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There have been countless studies about employee engagement and how, when engaged, employees tend to be happier, more productive and deliver a better customer experience. With a 70 percent annual turnover rate in sales, this is an area that the auto industry – at least on the sales side – has a problem with. Don’t think the auto industry is alone, however. According to an article posted on Digitalistmage.com, a recent Gallup poll found that “67 percent of workers aren’t engaged—or worse, they’re actively disengaged—a number that’s been pretty stagnant for the past 16 years.”
The article went onto state that companies who are participating in these polls and then taking action to create initiatives within their organization are failing as well. Why? According to the article, the reasons are two-fold:
You can’t fix any problem with old data. If you don’t know what’s going on in the dealership RIGHT NOW, any attempt you make at changing culture and winning over employees will more than likely fail. On top of that, engaged employees aren’t something that can be magically created. Management can peruse data and create ineffective programs even with the best of intentions. Employees must decide on their own to be engaged with a business. Management can’t make them.
So if, as the article states, we’re all doing it wrong and have been for almost two decades, how do we improve? The article suggests that a more modern – and effective - approach to increasing employee engagement lies in three areas:
Employee wellness is imperative to employee engagement. While the auto industry may be their career, don’t force employees to choose between family time, healthy living and mental well-being. Working 70 hours a week, never seeing their families and living off of whatever fast food place is nearby your dealership is a recipe for burn out regardless of the industry.
Employee engagement, employee retention, customer experience and the value of human capital are hot terms in the auto industry right now. To truly create a culture where employees want to work for your dealership and are actively engaged in its success, consider the importance of and think about how the three areas above might be applied in your dealership Just because we’ve always done it that same old way doesn’t mean that way is still viable. The employees are voting with their feet and to keep them happy and engaged with your dealership, it may be time to change things up a bit.