Chief executives of dealer groups often recite the mantra “a happy staff equals happy customers”. Yet businesses in the retail motor industry suffer more than many other sectors from high staff turnover. On average, one in five employees at a dealership will leave every year. We asked industry members to recommend their top 10 tips to keep staff loyal.
1: Induct recruits correctly
Malcolm Miller, managing director of automotive learning and development agency RTS, said the challenge of retention is a shame for the industry.
Many people join because they are already engaged by the attraction of a global automotive brand, yet many lose that engagement and exit. He questions why many dealerships ignore or fail to act on their poor retention rates, given the monetary cost of recruitment and the costs of lost management time, poor customer satisfaction and potentially lost sales.
“The roots of this high attrition rate run deep, and causes include economic recession, low basic pay and commission schemes. But there are other significant factors that are driving recruits out of the industry and one of these is poor induction. Recruits are often thrown in at the deep end and told to sink or swim,” Miller said. “There’s a failure to harness and develop recruits’ brand love and loyalty from day one.”
He warned that the more buoyant jobs market and growing job-seeking intentions could mean poorly managed dealerships find staff leaving in droves.