Early last year, a sales employee at Delray Buick-GMC in Florida submitted a two-week notice of resignation. Another staffer signaled he was thinking about doing the same.
After the dealership had forged some success hiring a younger generation of sales employees new to the industry, the news of the likely departures triggered a rethink by store leaders. Those newcomers' introduction to the business had come with the long workdays that have traditionally defined dealership jobs, said Kevin Connolly, managing partner of the store in Delray Beach, Fla., part of Garber Automotive Group.
But that kind of schedule was beginning to lead to employee burnout, Connolly said, and some questioned whether a dealership career was the right path for them. Of the store's eight new-vehicle sales reps, five came in with no car sales experience. Of the three who had a background selling cars, one was of the millennial generation — a key demographic for the dealership group.
"We were actually going to lose two of our younger salespeople that we thought had pretty significant potential, and that's what prompted us to change," Connolly said. "We told them, let us not accept it. Let us talk about this on Friday and figure out a game plan."