DONNA HARRIS

To fire or not to fire? That is the question

Donna Harris covers retail issues for Automotive News
I know several dealership groups that have started rewarding managers with bonuses tied to low employee turnover.

It's an interesting concept -- one that would make managers think twice about letting people go.

Then again, how do you weed out the loafers? Couldn't a bonus designed to keep people in their jobs encourage mediocrity? I heard from one manager who says the policy ties his hands.

Scott Smith, president of public retailer Sonic Automotive Inc., disagrees. Sonic links manager incentives to low turnover, and Smith argues the plan promotes excellence in both employees and managers.

Says Smith: "Any lemming can hire and fire, but it takes talent to train, develop and nurture a person."

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