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Jared Hamilton
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Derrick Woolfson

Derrick Woolfson Business Development

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Do You Really Have an Onboarding Process? You Need One Now.

Having an onboarding program for any of the positions within your dealership can not only save hundreds of thousands of dollars. It can also significantly decrease turn-over. Increasing profits as the managers have a clear outline as to what steps are necessary for training the new employee. Setting them up for success at the dealership. Long gone are the days of being able to put the new hire with an employee (to train them) who has not been with the dealership for more than a few months. 

The other thing to consider is - do you really want an employee who does not have the same level of experience training a new hire -  where they can shape (and influence) their perspective on the organization? 

Here are the top reasons to have a well-thought and developed onboarding program: 

Chaos Causes for Concern & Disinterest 

I remember the first day in the auto industry all too well. Where the first day I was shuffled around to 5 or 6 people. All of which were frantic in trying to get me what I needed. The problem, however, was that I was unsure of what I needed! I did not know what logins I needed - what products I needed training on! That said, it took well over 2 weeks to get the logins needed! 

As a new employee, you already feel as if you have taken a huge risk to make a career move. Where in the interview it is made to seem as if everything is well planned out. No problems. Easy as pie. But we all know, that is not how it works! 

Training - What is Expected?

You cannot hold someone accountable if they have not been given the necessary resources to do their job. Where the manager just gets frustrated with the new hires lack of knowledge on a vendor’s product. Yet, even the managers - themselves - do not know how to use the product hence the frustration they exhibit when dealing with a new hire. 

Make no mistake, the new hire can not only sense the frustration, but they will also sense a sign of weakness. Where if you are frantic and chaotic in trying to assist them with the simplest of things - they can (and in many cases will) lose respect for you as a manager. Where they will not want to come to you with questions regarding the selling of a vehicle, etc. 

Go Ask Someone Else

Sure, if you have been a long-time employee, you might feel comfortable and confident to ask someone for assistance in working with a new product. But when you are brand new and do not know anyone and are told to “go ask someone else” to handle something it sets the tone. Not to mention, when you do go and ask the other person, and they say “go see them,” which just so happens to be the person who directed them to you! 

This causes for frustration in the new hire. Where they do not feel supported. And if they do not feel supported within the first week or so they quickly lose interest.

Not Keeping Track of Training 

If you are not keeping track of what items s/he has completed then you are missing out! This allows a new employee to set the standards and expectations regarding the timeline to complete their training. This, of course, is a dangerous approach as it makes it that much harder to set expectations. To avoid this approach, have a training guide that offers what it is expected for the first 2-3 weeks of employment. Where both the manager and new hire sign off on what has and has not been completed. Giving you an actionable plan to follow when managing your new employee. 

Bottom Line: 

Onboarding someone - regardless of the position - is never easy. There are many facets to a job within a company. That being said, it is essential to ensure that the new hire has all of the necessary tools and resources when they first start. Making sure that the management team is involved when it comes time to train the employee in the various roles. Remembering that the more in alignment everyone is at the dealership, the better off the entire department will be! 

How do you handle onboarding? Do you get the employee their logins as the days go on? Are you the type that pushes the employee to someone else? 

R. J. James

LOL...This makes me recall telling a Dealer or GM, "Not having an Onboarding Process is like asking a NFL first round draft choice to become a starter without a Playbook!"

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