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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

Are you standing out or standing by?

Whether it is the employee experience, or a customer one, people are driven by enthusiasm and passion.

Theirs and yours.

This enthusiasm needs to be about them, and not just the business or the brand.

We have begun to understand this in a much more significant way when it comes to building relationships with our customers, but what about our employees?

Yes, we can all point out a tenured employee that we know well, but how well do we know what drives our staff (present and future) to want our business to do better, sell more, serve stronger and for them to stay longer?

That is true enthusiasm for our people. Think about this in terms of a "user experience". Do your employees get a satisfying and invested experience by coming to work daily?

Do you know what prompts them to want to do more, more of the time?

Have you asked?

We often ask our customers what kind of experience they are looking for in their next vehicle, what do they have to invest and where do they plan to go, but we rarely ask our team the same questions about their career, and then wonder why they depart.

In the current employment market, it is even more important than ever to ensure that we are sincerely interested in the individual experience of our people, and this should be easy. ASK, and respond.

Do your staff share how awesome your brand (and dealership) are in everyday conversation? Why not?

Do you offer them reasons to brag about working for you? Why not?

Are you still trying to see what a candidate has to offer you, while thinking all you need to offer them is an income? If so you are standing by, not standing out!

With a HELP WANTED sign on every corner, we need to put our best selves out there to ensure we hire and retain the best people, both within the industry and individual businesses.

Here are a few things to consider when you are looking to gain more insight from your people:

1) Treat all your people like experts at something. They may be experts in their trade, people skills, parking in a tight corner, or just knowing their demographic, but they all have something to tell you that you don't already know.

2) Ask the hard questions, and be prepared to make some changes. Are you paying fair market value? Are you offering benefits and perks that matter to them? Do you encourage ongoing learning? Is your dealership a pleasant place to be? Are you investing in their future, so that they invest in yours? What does that look like?

3) Gather data- the best decisions are informed ones. Ask for input, compile the information and ensure that it is representative ( did you ask people in multiple ages, career stages, education levels, roles and tenure?).

4) Keep an open mind- We often think we are giving people what they need, but it turns out we are giving them what we think they want, and we are sometimes wrong. More and more data shows us that just adding to a pay cheque isn't going to retain great people, and it doesn't make them big fans either.

5) Here is the best for last- Are your employees actually fans? Literally! Are they promoting your brand (both sales and employer branding)? Are they EXCITED to be part of your team? For that matter, do they feel like it is a team? Does that passion shine through as eagerness to learn, curiosity about the business, and true passion for participating in your success? This is where we can all truly stand out in a highly competitive employment market. Not by putting our company first, but by ensuring our people are doing it for us.

Just like in sales, your best marketing is word of mouth. What are your people saying about you?

Are you ready to stand out? If you would like help to move the needle and be seen as exceptional, we have solutions. Contact us at to find out more about how we can help your retention strategy stand out so you aren't just standing by.

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