Discussing Dealership Employee Turnover

employee-turnoverEmployee turnover at automotive dealerships last year occurred at a 39 percent clip, compared to 35 percent in 2014. This information comes from this year’s annual Dealership Workforce Study presented by the NADA, the organization that represents the interests of new car and truck dealerships.


The topic of employee turnover is always a hot-button issue with car dealers, regardless of year or geographical location. Despite the average weekly income for all employees at new-car dealerships rising to $1,341, it’s always difficult to retain staff members – especially salespeople who are, ironically, among the highest paid of all. The employee turnover rate with the sales force is so severe, 40 percent are terminated within 90 days of hire!


There are several reasons for the severity of this staff retention issue. First, quite often dealerships have the mindset that these folks are “expendable” and therefore if they sink rather than swim it’s OK; they’ll just go out and find someone to take their place. Second, many people don’t like the long hours salespeople often find themselves working. Even though sales consultants working 50-60 hours per week earn four percent more than their counterparts working 40-45 hours per week, this extra money doesn’t seem to be worth it to many salespeople.


Employee Turnover Solutions

Bearing in mind that it costs a great deal of time and money to interview, hire and train new employees, what can be done to help lower this shockingly high employee turnover rate? For starters, it helps if you refrain from having too many people on the sales floor at a given time. If a dealership overstaffs, it can be frustrating for a salesperson who recognizes that the amount of foot traffic isn’t sufficient for everyone to get opportunities to make sales. Second, take the time to properly train your new employees. Online courses are not enough. If they don’t know how to present your products – and themselves – to customers, they won’t be successful. Third, give them consistent feedback. If you want them to improve – and you want to show that you care about them – give them the help they need to do their best. Fourth, be a little bit flexible with scheduling wherever possible; and finally, try your best to create career paths for valuable staff members interested in sticking around for the long haul.


Just as with most other businesses, attracting and retaining the best employees creates an atmosphere that is pleasant and comfortable for customers and staff alike. How does that compare to the one you’ve created at your dealership?


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