What Dealerships Absolutely Need in a Successful Work Culture

Posted by Norm Charney on June 10, 2019

Dealerships aim to differentiate themselves from the competition by enhancing the customer experience. It’s not always an easy thing to do. When customers search for vehicles to buy, they're looking for the dealership with the right inventory. Your dealership can carry the same thing as another dealership 20 minutes from you.

All things being equal, which will the customer choose? Most likely the closest one or the one with the cheaper prices. There is a way you can nudge the customer to choose you that doesn't require lowering prices, and that’s by having a strong work culture. What does a strong work culture mean?

Ask your employees how they feel when they come to work. Their answers will reveal what kind of culture you have. A great business culture is one where employees feel happy when they arrive at work. They're ready to do their jobs with fervor. This creates a positive place for everyone, customers included.

The Price of a Bad Hire

Of course, you want to hire the right people in the first place. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. A CareerBuilder survey has found that 27 percent of U.S. companies report a bad hire costs at least $50,000. That's almost one-third. Of the companies participating in the survey, 41 percent said a bad hire costs them at least $25,000.

Bad hires have other side effects such as a negative impact on productivity, employee morale, client relations, and sales. Not only does the company lose money in recruiting, training, and onboarding a replacement, but also the time it takes to find another employee. It's rarely ever fast.

Five Things Dealerships Can Do to Create a Dynamic Work Culture

Developing a great work culture that attracts the right talent starts before you hire. Companies with a prosperous culture begin before they make the hire all the way to the exit interview and beyond.

Here are the five things to do to build a dynamic business culture.

1. Know your why.

Does your dealership know its why? If not, start by watching Simon Sinek's TedX talk. Collectively define your why. It's not an exercise that should be left to the top-level leaders. Once you determine your why, post it everywhere to remind employees and show customers.

This will also help you reach millennials you hire. They want a job that gives them a sense of purpose. Knowing your why will make that happen.

2. Engage in social media

Job seekers use social media when searching for a job. They don't just look for postings. They look up companies to see how they represent themselves. A company's social media accounts can tell its story, directly and indirectly. When a dealership has a strong positive culture, its social media accounts will reflect that.

3. Support formal development.

Dealerships want to hire employees who desire careers, not just a job. Formal development is a must-have to help employees grow their careers. Integrate mentoring, training, and coaching into the culture. On a new hire's first day, assign a mentor. The mentor does not have to be someone in a manager role. This is an opportunity to empower a non-manager.

Human resources can benefit from partnering with nearby vocational schools. It gives them access to prospective candidates. School leaders can identify strong candidates and inform the dealership.

4. Create a feedback culture.

Build a culture of constantly providing feedback that covers what needs improving and what employees do right. They can't improve what they don't know they're not doing as well as they could.

Invite input from employees, including a way for them to leave feedback anonymously. It encourages honest feedback that could make a difference. Employees won't fear backlash when a company implements a healthy feedback culture.

OfficeVibe says companies that nurture regular employee feedback have 15 percent lower turnover rates. It also finds that 43 percent of highly engaged employees receive feedback weekly.

5. Recognize employees

Almost 80 percent of employees in the OfficeVibe survey feel motivated when they receive recognition. It does not have to be expensive. It can be a simple thank you note, recognition in the company news, plaques, and work anniversary cards signed by top leaders. The survey reports that about 7 in 10 employees would work harder if they receive recognition.

When employees leave -- regardless for good or not so good reasons -- conduct an exit interview. This is your opportunity to gain insights as the employee does not have to worry as much about the backlash. Be a good sport about it.

Every dealership wants to offer memorable customer experiences. Throwing in all the perks in the world isn't going to make a difference if a dealership doesn't have its employees behind it. That begins with a strong work culture.

Dealerships can take it a step further to improve efficiencies with video monitoring. It's not about big brother, but about identifying opportunities for improvement. Besides, most dealerships rely on live remote surveillance to prevent theft and vandalism. Process improvement is just another way to maximize your dealership security program. To learn more, please contact us.

Posted in: Video Monitoring