In conjunction with Loughborough University, Renault Retail Group (RRG) introduced personal development programmes (PDPs) to boost the industry knowledge needed among its employees to progress within the company.
Since its launch, 37 people have completed the Diploma in Automotive Retail Management, while the PDPs have resulted in a retention rate of 97% and a promotion rate of 68%.
The training has saved RRG thousands of pounds in recruitment fees by enabling the group to promote from within. For example, by promoting four people at branch manager/dealer principal level, it has saved £72,000 in recruitment fees, and reduced its employee labour turnover in managerial positions by 30%.
A spokesperson for RRG said: “We were the pioneer automotive retail company to enrol our staff into automotive retail management programmes. Mercedes UK has since followed in our steps. Due to our experience, we have been contacted by retailers such as Volkswagen UK so they may replicate something similar in their business.”
Every year, RRG UK runs a training needs analysis for most staff. It also uses mystery shops to identify any gaps.
The training equips participants with a Diploma in Automotive Retail Management and sees them entered into a mentoring programme with a senior member of staff to give guidance, or work on long-term advancement goals. A unique feature of this programme, ‘walk in your manager’s shoes’, gives employees the opportunity to experience a higher position when their manager is on leave.
It also introduced an extra training level with the leadership development programme at Cranfield School of Management for its senior managers.
Ultimately, the main goal of the programme is to save money through internal promotion while providing long-standing staff members with heightened career prospects.