During the past three years, nearly every industry and individual has been impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 pandemic. The automotive industry is no exception. Massive shifts have taken place in the labor market and in workers’ priorities, leading to an undeniably altered landscape for employers to navigate. With over 1 million COVID-related deaths, the workforce itself has shrunk leading to a higher demand for workers and a correlated increase in negotiating power. Witnessing the unthinkable sudden loss of loved ones and job security, many Americans re-assessed their priorities. For workers, this shift in thinking has translated into valuing the experience of work just as much as the steady paycheck. For dealerships, it’s a good time re-think your employee retention strategy and focus on creating a workplace where todays workers thrive.
Start with the basics
While the paycheck is no longer the only thing workers are considering when job hunting, it certainly is a crucial foundation in making a selection. Find out exactly what the going rate for the positions you are looking to hire in your area is and aim to match or beat that benchmark. If good pay is the foundation, ample sick days, vacation time, and benefits are the roof and the walls. Today’s workers seek employers that understand they work to live, not the other way around. Additionally, when workers do take time off, it’s important to be respectful of this time by not contacting them. Ensuring your pay and benefits structure is competitive in your region will help you attract and retain the kind of employees who can help you grow the business to new levels of success.
Set clear expectations
Setting and following up on clear job expectations is crucial for the success of the employee and the operation at large. Not being certain of duties and expectations quickly leads to burnout, frustration, and, ultimately, turnover. It’s important that during the interview process, you are very clear on what is needed, how success will be measured and how often, and how the role could evolve. Finding the right fit for the job and creating systems for checking in creates cohesive relationships and loyalty in employees.
Consider your overall models
Some models for pay, raises, and incentives inherently breed competition among employees and can result in hostile workplaces filled with resentment. Each dealership is different, but it’s important to ask yourself if your models encourage collaboration or competition between your employees. While bonuses and incentives can be a great way to increase morale and encourage individual ownership in pay, if they aren’t fairly structured, they can cause more harm than good. Workers today value good relationships at work and won’t stick around long in environments that breed discord.
Check-in on HR
Unfortunately it sometimes only takes one hostile employee to unease an entire department. Ensuring you have a professional and responsive HR team can help identify breakdowns in departments and set clear expectations for a remedy before team members sour completely due to unhelpful (and in some cases inappropriate) behavior from co-workers.
What changes have helped your dealership better attract and retain employees? Leave a comment below!
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