The success of your car dealership relies on the strength of your team. Human capital is what is ultimately going to determine organizational culture and customer experience in your dealership.
Often, dealership owners do not spend enough time focusing on the human element of their business and working to hire, train, and maintain the best employees. A lack of attention to building a strong team results in too much turnover, a weaker customer experience from employees without personal connection, and eventually lost sales and low profits.
As a car dealership owner or manager, one of the most productive things you can do is work to develop strong HR strategies that will yield a happier and more engaged team. Below are 5 effective strategies you can employ to improve employee satisfaction.
#1) Stick to a 40 Hour Week. Dealerships are notorious for long hours and shifts that extend into nights, weekends, and holidays. Having your team work excessive hours contributes to burnout and turnover and ultimately makes your team weaker and less productive, despite the longer hours. Staying within a 40 hour week ensures that your team has time to spend with their families and will make them more productive and more effective over time.
#2) Effective Onboarding for New Hires. It’s important for new employees to be trained efficiently and effectively on the important aspects of your dealership including your values, policies, and procedures. Many dealerships do not have effective standard training processes and are thus wasting time and providing poor training to new hires. A combination of group meetings and standardized cloud-based training videos is ideal for consistent training.
#3) Ongoing Training for Existing Employees. Dealerships should always be investing in their team’s skills and knowledge. Ongoing training for all employees helps to improve customer experience as well as employee morale. Continued training programs are also key for business areas that change frequently such as compliance. Your dealership must have a training process in place for compliance updates and changes.
#4) Background Checks. We all know that in many cases the automotive industry doesn’t have the best reputation, and part of the problem is unethical employees. Dealerships can greatly reduce the risk of a bad hire by conducting both a criminal background check as well as a credit check on all new hires. Just one bad employee can have a serious impact on your reputation, so all dealerships should consider strong background checks as a mandatory HR process.
#5) Effective Pay Plans. It is common for dealerships to have employee pay plans that are very heavy on commission with low base salary. While this can help motivate your team to sell and is effective during good times, it also greatly increases turnover during slow periods as employees often are making very low income during a slow period. Obviously you will not keep an employee long if they are not making any money. Having a better balance between salary and commission will help reduce turnover and ultimately make your team happier.