Are You Listening to Your Employees to Improve Dealership Culture?

By Adam Robinson,
May 18, 2016

Auto dealerships that have a hard time recruiting the right employees often run into this problem because they don’t fully engage their existing employees. Listening to your staff and allowing them the opportunity to provide their unique impressions of the workplace, expectations and performance is a critical step in improving your dealership’s culture.

If you don’t know what your dealership’s values and mission are, how can you expect new hires to become fully engaged with your business and strive to grow your business? More to the point, how can you actively and accurately recruit the right talent without a clear mission?

How Dealerships Can Get Started 

To effectively understand what your dealership’s culture means for your existing employees, it’s important to go to them directly and get answers. While the thought of employee surveys may invoke groans from both the people conducting the research and the recipients, they’re ultimately useful tools to help you understand what values tie your workforce together – that is, if you know how to put together a valuable survey.

So, how do you get started?

  • Begin with an identifiable purpose: While it seems self-explanatory, conducting an employee survey should produce tangible outcomes that influence future decision-making. All too frequently, businesses pay lip service to surveys as part of a checklist to show staff that the company pays attention to their needs. However, conducting a survey that yields no visible positive results will more likely alienate employees by making them participate in what amounts to an empty gesture.
  • Communicate your goals: When you’re asking staff members to interrupt their regular work day to participate in a study, it’s crucial they understand why they’re being asked to do so. Accordingly, any survey used to help you identify the values and mission that each employee adheres to should be clearly explained as a tool to help improve both business operations and recruitment.
  • Make the survey open to everyone: There’s no use in limiting survey distribution to a target group of employees unless you’re trying to assess a single team. Considering most dealership payrolls don’t exceed 70 or so people, you’re not asking for the whole world to respond. This will not only make it possible for everyone to have a voice in the survey, but give you a more accurate representation of your dealership’s culture.

Look at the Results and React Appropriately

Once you’ve put together the employee survey and distributed it, be sure you carefully analyze the results. For instance, pay strict attention to the questions that correlate to your dealership culture, including shared values and expectations. If you prioritize a team-based environment in which people are encouraged to share knowledge and information, scrutinize questions that look into perceptions about transparency and whether employees feel communication channels are open.

Uncovering this information can have a profound impact on how you market your employer brand and culture internally and externally. By identifying and addressing any issues or gaps between perceptions and reality will enable you to effectively address hiring and retention issues. You’ll be able to confidently – and honestly – showcase your dealership to prospective new hires and attract people who identify with your business.

Improving Dealership Culture

Internally, your dealership’s culture is one of the most important aspects of your business. How you treat your employees affects how they treat each other as well as your customers, which ultimately affects your bottom line.  Ask for your employees opinions and genuinely listen to what they have to say. By bringing problems to light that you didn’t know existed and addressing them, you’ll be able to create a better workplace and overall culture.

For more information on how you can build a better dealership team and culture, download our ultimate guide by clicking on the link below!

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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