Dealership turnover doesn’t just decrease morale, it can also cost your dealership thousands of dollars per employee in lost training, time spent interviewing, and dealership resources.
In addition to paying well, giving incentives, offering health coverage, and giving paid time off, there are a number of ways to reduce dealership turnover.
Provide exit interviews. You’d be amazed at how many dealerships don’t take three minutes to ask their employees why they are leaving. If 40% of your staff are leaving because of a personality conflict with the same person, it may be time to retrain that person or cut your ties. One lost employee is better than eight.
Manage by personality. Get to know your staff and find out what motivates them.
Treat employees like people, and ideally like people that you like. You may not love the personalities of all your staff, but all of your staff need your respect. Other employees notice when someone isn’t getting treated fairly and it may affect their ability to trust you or your company.
Be transparent. Tell employees about your processes and procedures. Explain why something needs to be done a certain way.
Make work fun. A dealership is a competitive environment, so there’s a good chance that most of your employees thrive during friendly competitions. As a BDC manager, I would provide competitive incentives that were designed to strengthen my team, like financial rewards for the employee with the most assists.
Don’t micromanage. Allow your staff to try new things. Encourage them to find their own way.
Be lenient and promote accountability. Let your staff feel secure enough to own their mistakes without feeling as though they’ll be severely punished for them.
When disciplinary action is necessary, ask your employees what they think that action should be. This doesn’t mean that they have final say. It means they are respected and valued enough to have their views considered. This also gives you the opportunity to find out if they are remorseful for their mistakes.
Do not make emotional or reactionary decisions. If you or your sales manager/trainers get caught up in the heat of the moment, your staff will feed off of that energy.
Get your hands dirty. People respect leaders who get involved and are willing to do the work they ask others to do.
Promote from within, but provide training. Don’t assume that your best salesman will be good at leading and managing because they make the most sales. Nearly everyone can manage themselves; it doesn’t mean they will be good at managing others, at least not without training.
Invest in your team. Train new hires well when they enter the dealership and provide periodic training throughout their career. Allow employees who are being considered for promotions to take leadership courses. Encourage your staff to cross train and to help train new hires. Provide positive reinforcement when they succeed and understanding (and more training) when they make mistakes.
Letting employees know that you trust them and see their value is essential in reducing staff turnover. Empower your team; don’t let them feel stuck in their role. Provide the proper training that they need to help them succeed and encourage them to grow.
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