What Does Good Company Culture Mean at Dealerships?

In simple terms, good company culture is the difference between keeping your top employees and driving them away.

If you want to get technical, company culture is the culmination of all the decisions leaders at your dealership make day-to-day (and especially during onboarding) that embody the organization’s values.

It’s no secret that employee happiness is the foundation to keeping workers at your dealership  — but did you know that it could even help you attract automotive talent? In our State of Automotive Hiring Report, we surveyed around 450 job seekers in this industry for a comprehensive understanding of what they want in their job search and their next roles. Surprisingly enough, we found that 36% of respondents would take a lower paying job for an organization with a better company culture.

So what can you do to build a good company culture at your dealership? Read on to learn five ways you can cultivate a good environment for your workers.


The best time to give a good impression of your dealership is during onboarding. Since you’re already presenting your newest hire with all of the necessary information to perform their job duties, it’s the perfect time to introduce them to your company culture via items they can interact with — and find useful — every day and candid conversations with key people on your leadership team.

If you don’t already, consider gifting an onboarding box to new employees with items they can either use during their shift or wear; think travel mugs with your dealership logo on them, hats, jackets, notebooks etc. — the possibilities are endless! To clue new employees in on how your work culture communicates, set up a new hire luncheon where workers are invited to interact candidly with your CEO or owner. This experience, if done right, will allow your new hires to get a feel for how communication flows at your dealership and lay the groundwork for mentorship opportunities (should they choose to pursue them).

Focus on values

Values are the morals and beliefs that back your company’s decision-making processes. If your values are merely listed and your company doesn’t attempt to embody them every day, then you’re not capitalizing on this aspect of a company culture well enough.

Values should already be an integral part of working at your dealership — but it can be difficult to put the ways that you incorporate them into words. To get started, we suggest taking stock of what your current values are and making sure that your dealership is still aligned with them. From there, consider ways to reemphasize them to your staff, whether that’s having them shout out the different ones at a certain point during staff meetings or recognizing employees who truly personified those values weekly.

Also, it’s important to remember your company values during interviews because you want to hire automotive talent who share those sentiments themselves — especially when it comes to hiring leadership staff. 

Practice what you preach

Speaking of values, your dealership needs to make sure that your management team actually embodies the beliefs and morals that your business supports. This goes beyond adequately performing their job duties; it also includes integrity, whether that’s a clearly defined value at your business or not.

Integrity is what you do when no one is looking — which can be especially impactful if your supervisors aren’t setting the best example for your other staff. Your leadership team needs to practice what your core values preach, otherwise it might all feel like a farce to existing employees and anyone else you bring onto your dealership’s staff.

When employees can see the disconnect between what should be done and what is actually happening, that’s when cracks in your company culture start forming, dividing your employees amongst themselves. Avoid this fracturing by making sure that not only are your core values aligned with how your dealership operates, but that your leadership team embodies them as well.

Foster inclusivity

This shouldn’t have to be said, but unfortunately needs repeating: talent comes in a diverse range of packages. While no two employees are equal, it is unethical to treat them differently based on their performances so long as the work gets done. As a dealer, it is your responsibility to create an environment where everyone is treated equally.

Usually, unfair treatment is rooted in the unconscious biases that we all must work hard to overcome. It’s important that you take the time to train your employees on how to avoid these behaviors and fight any injustices that may be happening at your dealership so you can foster inclusivity. When you combat these stereotypes through training and intentional strategies like implementing DEI programs, you can start to make great differences like closing the gender gap in the automotive world. When your environment allows these inequities to flourish, retention rates will plummet and it will be hard to find employees who will tolerate a work culture that only benefits a few.

Make management an asset for your employees

Aside from implementing programs that encourage diversity and inclusion at your dealership, your leadership team should be an asset to your efforts as well. Supervisors should be coached to listen to what employees’ aspirations are and offer advice and help on how to get there. Your managers should also be trained on how to encourage employees to take care of themselves mentally, as well as how to be supportive to those on your staff who may struggle with mental health. Finally, emphasize how much of a priority establishing a good feedback loop with employees is; this will be another avenue that the leadership team can help employees grow, as they’ll be clued in on what else they can do to achieve their goals.

Your company culture ultimately determines whether your employees stay or leave — it embodies everything from your branding to physical items that your employees interact with. Along with what is said and how it is said, your company culture includes the core values your dealership wants to represent. One of the best ways to communicate your company culture is to consciously incorporate it into your onboarding practices.

Want to see how a great onboarding process will empower your dealership to develop a good company culture? Find time to connect with our team for a personalized demonstration of our intuitive hiring platform! 



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