“This training and target-setting helps to set expectations so everyone knows exactly what is required from them and what help and support they should expect to help them achieve their objectives,” said Young. “This allows them to concentrate on their learning without feeling the pressure of meeting targets.”
All new starters get a ‘fresh eyes’ meeting after their first quarter with Vertu to make sure they have settled in and are getting enough support.
The induction process and staggered approach to measurement have been essential for a company such as Vertu, which has acquired many new businesses and staff with them.
Young said staff are not assessed on their abilities when they have joined from an acquisition, but every effort is made to engage new starters with Vertu’s culture.
Vertu uses mystery shops to measure its customer experience in the showroom and also holds quarterly appraisals to track staff performance.
The group also uses its own internal system called ‘Showroom’ which is a live performance tracker that can give managers by-the-minute data on the sales performance for each person in the dealership.
Can monitoring and measuring have a negative impact? Staff should feel empowered and trusted to do their jobs and the spotlight is already fixed on those with monthly targets to hit.
“There is a lot of pressure to get it right and that is how it should be,” said Young.
“We need to ensure that every single customer has an outstanding experience with us and our objectives and processes are all set up to achieve this.
“Our processes do ensure that our colleagues deliver what is expected of them to contribute towards our vision.”
Using psychometric testing to recruit car sales staff
Lucy Beaumont, Talent Q solutions director, said: “Psychometric testing has tended to be used for senior positions in the past for leadership roles, but it is becoming more commonplace for companies to use it to recruit or review frontline staff.”
She said the technique was becoming more popular with automotive retailers as the focus on what is needed has changed from the bonus- and target-driven culture of old.
“Dealers want to tackle the staff turnover problem and keep people for longer,” said Beaumont.
“Dealers want great customer service skills and psychometric testing can be a way of determining if new candidates or your current workforce fit the profile you’re looking for.”
While she was unable to quote specific figures for an automotive example, Beaumont said Talent Q’s research showed businesses that have recruited or held a validation project of current staff using psychometric testing experience an average increase of 35% to their bottom-line performance.