Let’s be honest, life would be much easier if every new hire would hit the ground running. It’s every employer’s dream to hire people who can pick up the phone or step out on the sales floor and take action on day one. Instead, high turnover and painfully long hiring processes hold back dealerships across the country. A lot of the time we’re worried about hiring the right people—that’s important too, no doubt—but a lot of issues in the hiring process could be solved by successfully launching your new employee after they’ve arrived at the dealership.
After careful study, we’ve discovered a secret weapon—a strategy that will allow you to help each and every new hire reach their full potential from day one. And no, it doesn’t include additional pre-screenings or longer interviews.
A “new employee quick start” is the trump card all successful businesses need up their sleeve. It is important to provide each newcomer with a foundation that will set them up for long-term success at your dealership. Most new employees make the decision about how long they will stay in their new position within the first 60-90 days. Participating in a thorough onboarding program exponentially increases new employee retention and job satisfaction. Higher employee retention means less of your time spent interviewing and introducing new employees. It means more time for you and your business to achieve more.
While there are many ways for employers to handle orientation, following these five simple steps will help you quickly and easily assemble a system to effectively introduce new employees.
Start with the end in mind
Before you start developing your onboarding program, it’s important to analyze what you want your new employees to take away from the process. Many successful orientation programs not only incorporate policy and procedural information for legal and liability reasons but also aim to educate the new hires about the company mission, values, and culture.
If you want them to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk
Company culture is what distinguishes one dealership from another for both employees and customers. But it’s not enough to tell new hires what your company culture should look like. You must demonstrate it for them, showing them that it is a living part of your dealership.
Avoid information overload
Break up the amount of information new hires should consume into reasonable chunks, allowing plenty of time in the first days to get their feet wet with real work in addition to training materials.
Welcome the person, not just the business asset
Onboarding should not only be about information, but about socialization. Consider scheduling an informal lunch, so the new employee can get to know the people she will be working with. Or endeavor to make him or her feel at home in their first week. Tracking down their favorite soft drink or snack choice and supplying it for them on day one is an easy gesture. Welcome home, new hire! A special new hire party will allow newcomers to socialize with other people from departments other than their own, carrying the sentiment “We’re Glad You’re Here!” even further.
Set clear objectives, timelines, roles, and responsibilities
By clearly defining the expectations early, you’ll set new hires up for success. Allowing them early opportunities for success will also increase their buy-in and confidence in their new role. Provide a checklist of items they should cover with deadlines. Then test them on what you present, so both parties are sure the information was clearly communicated. If not, now’s the time to correct any misunderstandings.
While a new employee orientation program is the most efficient way to get new hires up-to-speed, it’s important to remember that employee growth doesn’t stop after the first thirty days. Continue to check in with your employees through daily mission reminders, weekly values check-ins, or monthly progress reports and consistent testing for your entire staff. This will ensure that every one at the dealership stays focused on the same goal—the continued success of your business.
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the founders of Rich Dealers®, the nation’s leading experts on attracting customers and the authors of Gravitational Marketing. Visit www.TrafficScale.com to request a complimentary Traffic Scale Report, which compares the quality of your traffic to other dealerships in your area and helps determine whether or not there’s potential business you’re missing out on. Use coupon code DMM1408.0