December 2, 2021

Strategies for Employee Engagement and Retention

NAC Blog
NAC Blog

Strategies for Employee Engagement and Retention

Having established why employee engagement and retention are important, the next step is to figure out how to increase these metrics at your dealership. While the action items themselves may sound simple, committing to them is something your store’s leadership must be motivated to do continuously in order to achieve meaningful results.

Employee engagement cannot be a once-a-year initiative: it is an ongoing practice that, when done well, will build a stronger connection between your business and the people who help make it a success. Ultimately, your employees and customers will be happier and will want to continue their relationships with your dealership for the long haul.

Employee Engagement and Retention Begin With Leadership

The dealer principal and management team must understand the importance of employee engagement metrics that aren’t based on numbers, sales, or dollars. (See our first post in this series for examples of important factors in employee engagement.)

Furthermore, managers must be empowered to build relationships with their teams and develop their employees over time: according to Gallup, 70% of the variance in team engagement can be attributed to managers commitment to it.

Establish a Mission Statement

Creating a compelling mission for your dealership doesn’t have to be hard: it can be as simple as “Provide the best vehicle ownership experience for our customers.” The important thing is to select a mission statement that is meaningful and actionable to your team, and to follow through: incorporate that mission into every aspect of your operations, from the dealer principal to sales staff, parts and service technicians, and administrative staff.

Offering your team a “big picture” mission gives them greater purpose at work, something they can relate to and connect with. Best of all, these actionable mission statements not only help a store build its brand with employees, but with existing and potential customers as well.

Ask for Employee Feedback Regularly

While customer surveys are something most dealers are familiar with, employee surveys are a must to engage and retain top talent. But asking for feedback is only the first part of the equation: your store’s leadership must be prepared to listen to what employees are saying and act on their responses.

Feeling like their opinions and concerns matter to their company is a critical aspect of employee engagement and retention. Even if a response raises an issue that is challenging to resolve, it should be an avenue to open a discussion with your team about their concerns.

Invest in Employee Growth

The concept of employee growth is often referenced in the corporate world, but it is also applicable to dealership employees. Ensuring that your team gets adequate training to succeed in their roles is the first step, but store leadership must be prepared to offer individual employees more opportunities to learn and grow.

Offering cross-training so that every team understands their own role as well as the roles of every department in the store will not only build engagement and team unity, it can create new opportunities. Furthermore, managers should not rely on individual contributors to start the conversation about advancement or education: through ongoing coaching, they should understand their employees’ strengths and direct them to opportunities for professional development, whether that means a promotion or simply deeper expertise in their current role.

Learn more on the importance of employee engagement and retention, as well as best practices to yield results, in the latest episode of NAC's podcast Fixed Ops 5. Click here to listen along as out host Corey Smith wraps up his discussion with Strategic DX CEO Steve Apicella. And be sure to subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen so that you never miss a new episode!

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