So...WHO Pays for Training?

Brad Bossen
The brochure said; Room, meals, transportation and class registration only $2800! ONLY? Only $2,800 of real, green paper dollars that the dealership pays to send one technician to receive training. Ouch! How many 'sold shop hours' will it take in REAL profit, for the dealership to recoup that expense? Oh ya, and how about the lost incomes while that employee was away from the dealership? Add it up. It cost a bundle! It's been my experience that the auto industry has lived within the misconception that it's the dealer's responsibility to insure that technicians, parts techs, and other employees with specialized skills continually receive both OEM and ASA training. Service and Parts managers constantly petition the GM for training funds to keep their employees "certified," for fear they will fall outside the demands placed upon their departments by the manufacturer. Understand please, I am a huge proponent of training and the continual upgrading of employees. My issue is the "accepted" opinion that the dealership is obligated to pay for this expensive training with absolutely no reciprocal obligation by the trainee. Why is the dealership responsible to pay for an employee's upgrade training, only to have that employee return and in three months demand an increase in hourly rate because they now have enhanced their credentials (at your expense!)? Or a technician(s) that you have judiciously and at great cost sent to training only to have them resign and go to work for your competitive franchise? Ouch! Isn't it an open job market? Of course. Does an employee have the right to seek more prosperous employment? Yes…but not at the dealership's expense. Let's be fair! As a minimum, local training (ASA) should be paid by the employee and partial or full reimbursement paid by the dealership only if attended and passed. This isn't "your dad's Oldsmobile." Our industry is in the midst of the worst recession any of us have seen in our careers. It's time to take those 'sacred cow' policies and procedures and do a little re-tooling for today's environment. GET HELP HERE: In the non-automotive industry, contemporary companies require employees to sign an agreement of employment obligation prior to specialized training. Go to my blog page, www.dealerscompass.com Here you'll find a link to two, free, employee contracts that are 'fill in the blanks' that will get you started. Good Luck.

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