Investing in your team

A winning strategy for your people and your dealership

VADA Partner content provided by Zurich, N.A. For more on their F&I programs, contact Cindy Conley Ratkovich.

July 2023

Investing in employee growth and learning can pay off with a more engaged workforce, retention of your top talent, and a stronger bottom line. Without a strong culture grounded in individual growth and development, you could find yourself losing recruiting and retention battles.

Attracting and keeping great employees is one of the top benefits of creating people development programs because the cost of losing and replacing a highly valued employee is significant.

> The Society for Human Resource Management estimates that it costs an average of six to nine months’ salary to replace an employee. If the position requires intense information knowledge or customer interaction skills, then it can be damaging to the company’s productivity when that person leaves.

Employee retention can be a significant challenge and expense for your dealership. People who receive professional education and development tend to be more loyal and less likely to seek other employment opportunities. People development is also a benefit that is attractive to new employees and can help establish your reputation as a great employer because you care enough to invest in your employees. Attracting people who want to improve their skills will also help build your business. As your people grow, so will your business.

Beyond attracting and retaining employees, there are other business-building benefits that your organization can experience from investing in people:

  • Higher customer engagement. People who participate in development programs are more likely to be satisfied with their job, engaged in the company, and have a positive employee experience. Since people are the face of your organization, customers that interact with more satisfied employees are likely to have a more positive experience. This, in turn, leads to higher customer engagement.
  • Stronger culture. Investing in people development can also improve your company culture. Employees want to learn, develop their careers, and be happy going to work every day.
  • Preparedness for shifting customer demands.  Aligning your talent strategy is a clear benefit of having a people development program.  People want to feel like they are making a difference to the organization. The biggest ROI from people development is that you are growing more productive contributors, and that results in happier customers, which leads to a healthier bottom line.

Here are actions you can take toward employee growth and development:

  1. Set objectives with each employee and determine skill-building needs.
  2. Schedule a career development conversation and review quarterly progress on objectives and skill development.
  3. Provide structured feedback with the employee on progress toward meeting objectives and identify areas that may need extra attention.
  4. Deliver a performance assessment using qualitative and quantitative metrics (e.g., customer feedback, sales goals, etc.).

Finally, people development should always be grounded in your dealership’s vision. When your people understand the role they play in achieving dealership objectives, they can see more clearly the value in the contribution they can make to achieve them.