Here’s why I love Automotive News’ annual special section and event to honor the Best Dealerships To Work For: We’re celebrating the good guys. These are the folks who give car dealers a good name.
These are dealers who treat their people well. Call me naive, but I honestly believe that employees who are treated well are more likely to treat their customers well.
Moreover, the dealerships that made our list this year didn’t get there this year. Let me explain.
I’ve never run a dealership, but I bet that, with one good assistant, I could take over a dealership and double its profits and send its sales volume through the roof within three months.
How? There’s plenty of spending I could ax to get my profits up this quarter. All I’d have to do is ignore the implications of my actions over the longer term, say two years from now.
I could be destroying the dealership’s future, but short-term? Sure, I could make my numbers look good.
It doesn’t work that way in employee relations. You can’t earn your employees’ trust in just three months. It takes years of walking the talk. At the Best Dealerships To Work For, the employees know from day after day, month after month of personal experience that the boss is committed to treating them fairly.
And a surprising number of those employees see that, year after year. The stores that made the list retain employees at a rate that puts the industry to shame. When their customers come back, there’s a better chance the salesperson they liked before is still there.
Can you say, “virtuous circle?”