The coronavirus pandemic forced a reexamination of workplace culture both broadly and within automotive retailing, and many dealerships — particularly those honored through the 2022 Best Dealerships To Work For program — are still exploring ways to improve their work environments for the long term.
Stores up and down the Best Dealerships To Work For list have kept in place at least some of the strategies they added or strengthened in the last two and a half years to accommodate the work-life challenges employees were facing. Some dealership leaders stressed to Automotive News the importance of continuing to offer flexible schedules, improved pay and benefits and hybrid or remote work options. Others reported that efforts to create more inclusive environments for women and minorities, including placement in key store operating roles, have boosted their retention rates and their dealership groups' desirability among would-be hires.
Several dealership leaders say they allow employees to stop work when needed because the pandemic laid bare the importance for staff to be able to participate more fully in family events and life outside work. Some retailers have cemented these shifts by making permanent changes to store hours and to their employment handbooks — for example, dealerships are increasingly offering paid parental leave, though there is still a long way to go before that kind of policy becomes widespread in the industry.