According to the 2014 Dealership Workforce Industry Report, dealership employment grew 3.4 percent and topped 1 million people last year, with median weekly earnings of $976. However, turnover is still taking a toll on dealership overhead, with an average rate of 36 percent.
As you re-evaluate your operations going into 2015, you are probably asking yourself how to address turnover in your dealership. After investing time and money into recruiting, training, and ramping up your employees, the last thing you want is to lose that investment to high turnover.
Maintaining and retaining a staff of high performers always starts with recruiting. When identifying the type of person you want for a given position, set up a model that extends beyond experience and education and considers the qualities, work styles and strengths of Top Performers in the position for which you are sourcing candidates. Then stick to that model during your candidate selection process.
However, in order to truly woo Top Performers, dealers need to think beyond how much they are willing to pay in commissions, to how they will provide a career path to recruits. For today’s job seekers, the opportunity to advance is just as important as their paycheck. A good career path does more than simply list off the hierarchy of job roles in your dealership, but also clarifies benchmarks and career goal metrics for employees to be considered for promotion.
Once you’ve hired quality talent, cultivating and retaining your Top Performers becomes the primary objective. This process begins with providing your team with the tools to succeed through training and mentoring. The most successful dealerships are those with a culture that encourages education and mentorship, and fosters a community where your team members support one another.
If you have a person placed in a position where they are not succeeding, consider whether they would fit better in a different position or if more training and follow-up is required. For those that are succeeding and providing the dealership with significant income, don’t get “sticker shock” when you see their commission check.
The number one reason why good sales managers and F&I producers are recruited out of a dealership is because their pay plan was changed, resulting in less take-home pay. When creating your job descriptions, determine a pay plan for each position based on percentages you are willing to pay. Then stick with that pay plan when your people succeed. If an F&I producer is taking home a fat check, that means the dealership is making that much more.
Lastly, take account of the work/life balance of your employees, especially if you are looking to hire young talent. Generation Y has repeatedly stipulated that they want to be a part of an organization that is about more than making money, and that provides a good work/life balance. According to NADA’s 2014 Dealership Workforce Study, dealerships are seeing an increase of Generation Y employees, which they attribute to across-the-board cuts in dealership hours, as only 13 percent of dealerships surveyed schedule sales consultants to work more than 50 hours.
While this might make you cringe, think about productivity in a different way. Numerous studies have demonstrated that employees who live full lives tend to also be the most productive employees. Work/life balance does not have to mean complete flexibility for every employee, but rather tailored to individual dealerships and their respective cultures. Good work/life balance programs have the potential to:
- Increase employee retention
- Improve morale
- Reduce absenteeism
- Increase engagement and productivity
- Decrease stress and burnout
With almost 40 years of experience in automotive retail team development, EFG Companies knows how to cultivate a culture of success within your dealership. Our recruiting services team has conducted extensive, proprietary research to identify core qualities of Top Performers. With our Top Performer Profile, our recruiting experts can match individuals whose personality characteristics and work style will make them successful in the retail automotive space. Meanwhile, our training services team goes beyond traditional methodologies that temporarily fuel sales teams without changing culture, behaviors and attitudes for sustainable benefit. We are a team dedicated to identifying and changing behaviors to transport teams into Top Performers. Find out how today!