Throughout my time in the automotive industry, I have visited hundreds of dealerships. I have seen every type of company culture imaginable. There are dealerships where everyone loves each other and others where there is such a disconnect, it shocks me that management keeps people employed.
Watching this and experiencing different work cultures throughout my career, I have learned that in order to have an impactful company culture, you need to empower your workforce.
As a manager, my goal is to make sure each employee’s answer to the following three questions is “yes” – am I happy here, am I making enough money here and do I have a future here? This means that every one of my employees needs to enjoy what they do, feel as if they are getting paid what they are worth, and see the potential for their own growth in the company. If you take care of these three areas as a manager, your employees will do their best work and you will create a company culture where everyone is working together to drive the business’ success.
Looking at these three questions, let’s first explore how to make sure your employees enjoy what they do. Look no further than your customers to find out the answer to this question. If your customers are giving you glowing reviews about your employees’ professionalism, rapport and integrity, it speaks volumes to how your employees approach their work. Likewise, if you overhear your employees consistently discussing their great meetings with customers and reaching their sales goals, there’s a good chance they are enjoying their work.
This does not happen by chance. You need to provide your employees with the tools and resources to be successful. You also need to provide an open feedback channel for employees to communicate issues, questions and concerns, as well as share achievements. Feeling empowered, well-resourced and heard by management are some of the most important factors to feeling fulfilled professionally.
This leads to paying your employees what they are worth. As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. If you are not compensating your employees competitively, they’ll leave you sooner or later, and they will not work to their full potential while they do work for you. If you are not offering the proper salary, you will not get the best employees. Compensation should not be the only driver of employee retention, but it is an important factor in getting top talent to stay and build your culture.
Now, this leads to my final question: Do your employees see themselves growing with the company?
As a manager, you need to provide constant feedback to your employees and let them know that their contribution is valued, they have a future with the company, and they can grow with it. Whether that means they will be moved to a more desirable sales territory, promoted to a management position or even one day have your job – your employees need to know that they are not in a dead end or a vicious cycle of non-recognition.
I’ve seen culture both build and destroy dealerships and companies. If you want to be successful, you can’t do it alone. Businesses thrive where there is an employee-centric culture where everyone enjoys what they do every day. I have seen this simple formula work miracles firsthand and know it works for anyone committed enough to make it work.
I invite you to join me for the Digital Dealer 24 Conference & Expo (April 10-12th in Orlando, FL) where I will be covering this topic further in my session: Improving Employee Retention Strategies to Increase Profitability. The presentation will focus on best practices in talent retention management (TRM), including innovative ways to use a CRM to manage millennials, and key steps in creating a strong recruitment and retention strategy.
About the Author
Chase Abbott is the Vice President of Sales for VinSolutions and Dealertrack F&I, both Cox Automotive companies.
Author: Contributing Writer
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