Our new hire is on board – now what? Four keys to an engaged employee

There’s more to onboarding a new hire at your dealership than what happens between the hire date and start date.

If you read Swim, don’t sink: Best practices for onboarding new hires at your dealership you now know how to get started down the right road, but the challenge will be to keep up that momentum.

“Beyond reviewing the employee handbook and clarifying the new hire’s job role and expectations, the onboarding process should engage employees early on and keep them interested in staying for the long haul,” wrote Adam Robinson, Hireology CEO, for Dealer Solutions Magazine. “Engagement builds company culture and rapport among new staff, in addition to directly driving your dealership’s growth.”

070617 IL Our new hire is on board – now what Four keys to an engaged employee


These are important with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing turnover among automotive sales consultants annually at about 67 percent – and as high as 72 percent for non-luxury sales people, or about 1.5 times the 46 percent total turnover for the private sector overall.

Here are Robinson’s four keys to engaging employees early and making them more productive:

  • Encourage open communication
  • Build strong connections at all levels
  • Assimilate your employees
  • Offer opportunities for future growth

Hireology’s recruiting and hiring model has been adopted by 700 automotive dealerships in the United States and Canada and by more than 2,500 other companies worldwide.

Key No. 1

“New employees may often feel scared or intimidated to share concerns or feedback about their new role and surroundings,” wrote Robinson. “Newer employees may not feel comfortable asking questions or expressing their opinions, and that could negatively impact their work as well as motivation to stay.”

Robinson suggests providing a communications structure that helps new hires get answers to their questions about their new workplace without pressure.

Encouraging new hires to be honest “can do wonders” for making them feel like part of the team.

But that’s just the beginning.

Key No. 2

“With an average employee count at automotive [dealerships] of 70 employees, it’s easy for new hires to lose track of who their key points of contact will be once they get settled into their role,” writes Robinson. “Develop processes that help new employees foster interpersonal relationships with their new supervisors and understand what role their co-workers play in your dealership.”

Key No. 3

Assimilating new employees is more than just giving them a desk and turning them loose to sell cars and learn about the culture of the dealership by doing something wrong.

“A defined approach can serve to assimilate new staff members and provide them with clarity regarding their roles, responsibilities and team goals,” Robinson wrote. “This will help a new team member effectively work with other departments to help them all reach the same page and best work together.”

Key No. 4

And while you’re at it, make sure your new hire knows there’s room to grow.

“Their career path should be clearly mapped out, with skillsets or requirements needed to be promoted to the next level,” wrote Robinson. “There should also be a clear review timeline in place. The more systemized your processes for promotions are, the better the response will be from staff.”

Combined, these actions just may help you win the “uphill battle” for retention most dealerships face.

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