► Organizational Design ► Compensation Planning
► Employer Branding ► Hiring and Onboarding
► Communicating Expectations ► Performance Management
► Career Path Planning ► Leadership Development
These are the core elements of the consultancy in which Garry House & Associates specializes today. Woven together, these eight components represent the foundation of what I refer to as the organizational lifecycle culture. Unfortunately, this foundation is perilously fragile in the retail automotive industry. And that’s the reason why recruiting is such a difficult task, why employee engagement is so low, and why employee turnover is so high. Following are some of the lifecycle management challenges facing many dealerships today:
- Traditional compensation plans, particularly in the sales and management roles, are outdated and miss-focused. Employees must be compensated based on their effectiveness in performing the activities, and generating the results, within their control. We must recognize that “one size does not fit all,” and we need to create defined levels of expertise and compensation in existing individual producer roles.
- There is little focus on “selling” the retail auto business (or our dealership) as a “great venue for earning a great living.” Our employer brand needs to become as formidable as our customer-facing brand. Employees want to feel good about their company and what it offers.
- HR Management is still treated with limited importance by many dealerships. Hiring and onboarding practices must be significantly improved if we are to reduce employee turnover. Senior management should highlight compensation for candidates and new hires, and they should have meaningful conversations about pay structure and potential during interviews. Our attraction and retention strategies must also highlight, and deliver on, learning opportunities and career pathing.
- As for the best practice of “clearly defining and communication expectations,” the retail automotive industry is one of the worst! Clear expectations usually start with a set of job objectives (or a job description), but that documentation must reflect the activities the employee is expected to perform. Surprisingly, less than half of dealership employees I’ve queried said that their job description aligned with the activities they were asked to perform.
- Department leaders rarely approach performance management in ways that motivate employees. The best managers don’t primarily give reactive feedback on past performance. They proactively provide advice and strategies for achieving improved performance in the future. Good managers coach forward, focusing on what can be done differently and better. Very few of the dealership employees I’ve queried said that their performance was managed in a way that motivated them to do outstanding work. Managers must become coaches and learn how to have effective performance conversations with employees.
- Career path planning and development is largely neglected within the retail automobile industry. Historically, we have focused externally when a management position has opened, rather than having a “grow our own” culture and strategy. Far more than other generations, millennials are very interested in having a job that accelerates their professional or career development. Many millennial job seekers say that career path opportunities are “very important” to them.
I provide some sample tools on the Garry House & Associates web site to assist you in dealing with some of these challenges. You may access, review, and print these tools by scrolling to the bottom of the page at https://www.ghaGPS.com/lifecycle-management.
Finally, lifecycle management consulting includes assisting dealership executives to install and instill the above eight principles into the very DNA of the organization itself. I am a consultant with vast knowledge and experience in all aspects of dealership management, and I’m typically engaged to lend my expertise to clients in need of insight. In the lifecycle management space, the expertise of Garry House & Associates is also focused on the areas of organizational development, succession planning, overall business performance, and accountability management.