The Solution to the Never-Ending Car Dealer Staffing Problem
So much has been written about the decades-long issues of turnover and staffing in automotive retail that I continue to be amazed when I read headlines like this one from Automotive News recently:
How is it we’re still talking about this today after over half a century of staffing issues and fixes? Moreover, the article goes on to also state that “… dealers are lousy at recruiting and hiring women.”
So, let me make sure we’re all on the same page here. The issues today are basically:
Turnover is rising!
We need more women!
Books have been written. Whole courses have been delivered. Careers have been made. Billions spent.
… all to solve these two issues that still linger today.
There’s a Simple Solution, but You’re Too Afraid to Try It!
Most in the industry aren’t going to like to hear my solution to these issues, because (1) I put the blame where it belongs (on the Dealer Principals and big group corporate executives) and, (2) there’s no money to be made by the myriad of consultants and trainers and staffing firms and dealer associations if dealers actually implement this simple solution.
The Solution to Nearly All That Ails Dealers Today:
- Write some simple, fair business rules. (Think of these as your Ten Commandments.)
- Write some enduring, fair pay plans. (Assume people will try to game these, so write them with that in mind, but make sure success gets financially rewarded.)
- Write some repeatable sales processes. (Simple steps your managers can understand and teach. You’ll need different processes based on customer type, of course.)
- Test your sales processes to ensure they will be welcomed by both customers and employees.
- Enforce your rules, pay plans and processes fairly. (Good people like order and great people love structure; while slackers hate having someone telling them what to do. By the way, enforcing these might mean firing those who refuse to comply – this may include your favorite manager.)
- Be nice.
That’s it. I wish this was a bit more complicated so I could write a book and then charge exorbitant speaking fees as I regurgitate the key learnings from that very book; but, it’s just not very hard to create a great work environment loved by all.
Of course, if you’re sitting in your dealership or corporate suites and saying to yourself that the real solution is more complicated than this, I challenge you to prove that you’ve ever meaningfully completed these six steps. (I already know that answer… and so do you.)
If you’re still not convinced, then I challenge you to view the recording of this free, live video webcast where Steve Stauning and the Undeniable Advantage Live team show you how to eliminate your turnover and staffing issues forever!