In the world of car dealerships, we like to measure the effectiveness of any number of things, from what our customers think of their overall experience to how the color of the mulch in our flowerbeds affects the look of our buildings. The one thing that we don’t always do a good job of measuring is what our employees think about their experience working at our dealerships.
In an industry where employees are one of our greatest assets, why are owners and general managers not investing into them more? Why do our dealerships feel like a revolving door where people come and go, leaving us in a constant state of hiring and training? Think about when the last time you saw a dealership or auto company in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For besides Mercedes who ranked #30 this year.
Owners and general managers need to make their dealerships an employment destination – not just a stop over between more desirable jobs. It’s really not that difficult to do and most of the time, it doesn’t even involve massive increases to compensation plans, it’s just takes little effort from the management teams.
Four ways to make your dealership an employee destination:
#1 Survey your staff. It can be difficult to find out how our employees are truly feeling about their place of employment because we don’t foster an environment where they feel safe being honest. We survey so many things at dealerships already, it only makes sense we survey staff to get a better idea of our work environment. When I did this with my team, I found these surveys were extremely valuable and enabled me to transform my dealership into a desired place of employment. It also helped me grow as a leader and better manager.
#2 Bring some fun to the workplace. Dealership hours are long and they can wear on your staff. One of the best ways to break up the time is to broadcast different sporting events in the showroom throughout the year and create themes that go along with these events. For example, on Saturdays during March Madness, allow your employees to wear their favorite college jersey. Your staff will enjoy themselves and I guarantee your customers will too.
#3 Be more accessible to all employees. Don’t use your office as a place to go and hide behind a closed door so you can do busy work. Keep an open door policy and let your employees know that if the door is open, they can feel free to come in and talk. This will allow the staff to feel that they have more freedom to communicate with you and will enable you to have a more ongoing dialogue with them.
#4 Make a point to walk around the dealership everyday. Purposefully plan for a block of time in your day, that you will be out and about in the dealership. Don’t take your phone with you – it viagra usa can wait. During your time away from the office don’t just talk to other managers. Spend time with your sales staff, service writers, technicians, detailers and learn their names. Then coach a salesperson while they make a call, help a tech change oil or wash a car with your detailers. You’ll see they take more pride in their work and you’ll earn their loyalty and respect.
All of these things are ways to start building your dealership into an employment destination. As you begin incorporating these steps into your routine, you will see an increase in staff morale, which will lead to increased productivity and better customer service. Your dealership will transform from a revolving door to a place where employees are seen as investments and eager to create long lasting careers. Ultimately, this will have a positive effect on your bottom line.
Written by Bryan Jennings