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Jason Volny

Jason Volny

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5 Steps to creating a dealership new-hire orientation process

“Even the greatest journeys begin with just one step,” -Confucius. 

When a new employee starts their journey in your dealership, don’t you want that first step to be in the right direction? If an employee gets on the right path on day one, you’ll increase their chances of success, improve productivity, and retention.  A great new-hire orientation is the first step of a proper employee onboarding. According to the latest study by Glassdoor, a good onboarding will improve retention by 82% and performance by 70%. 

A New-hire orientation is a defined and in some cases a multi-week process to welcome new team members and assimilate them into the industry and the dealership. It provides each employee with the education about the industry, the dealership, and the franchise they represent. In addition, a strong  new-hire orientation plan is consistent. Each employee receives the same welcome message from the leadership, so that the brand and the culture norms are clear and strengthened with each new hire brought on.  A good new-hire orientation focuses on the individual that’s being hired, their strengths and their personality. It’s not only about assimilating into the culture, it’s how they can add value to the culture. 

There are 5 steps to creating a dealership new-hire orientation process

Step 1 - Identify what does every employee at my dealership need to know? Regardless of their role, there are competencies that every employee must possess in order to gain knowledge and confidence in all four factors: Process, Skills, Product Knowledge, and Temperament. Remember this is not training, this is a role-agnostic knowledge that is important to a new-hire to have a great orientation experience, and it’s important to the organization for them to know. 

For example: 

Mission Statement

History of the organization

Products we sell

Culture of the store

Benefits package

Where to park

Org Chart

Dealership Scavenger Hunt

Policy and Procedures

Dealership Orientation Training

History of the industry

Career pathing

Performance reviews


As you can see, the list could get very large, however, it’s important for your new-hire to feel like they are learning about the company, the culture, and the industry. Most importantly, this will help validate their decision to work for you. For the organization, it’s important to bring the employee up to speed as soon as possible so they can focus on their new career path. 

Step 2 - Now that you have your training listed, think through the learning channels and assets that will be required to get this information to your new-hires. Is the training in person? Is there content that needs to be created? Is there of-the-shelf content that I can use? Will the individual need to perform activities like visiting different departments and their employees, or pass off branding scripts to a manager to maximize the learning? Do I want to quiz my new-hires on the information they have learned to ensure they have internalized the training? 

All of these are good questions to help you identify the resources needed to create and implement a proper new-hire orientation process. The DrivingSales HCM platform will help you automate a lot of these processes and help you keep it consistent. As you are going through this exercise, remember, you have access to over 2000 courses and 5000 modules in DrivingSales Library. The platform has the capability to house your custom training, should you want to record and distribute content that’s important to your organization. HCM can automate quizzes, activities and distribute PDFs, Word Docs, Spreadsheets, and even PowerPoint presentations. So as you are building this process, make sure you automate as many of these steps as possible to free up your resources.

Step 3 - This one is easy, decide how long a proper orientation should take within your organization. A good orientation should launch on day 1 and should not take longer than five to ten days. 

Step 4 -  Prioritize the training. What comes first? Just list the training in the order you want your employees to consume it. For some of the content, the order will not matter, however, for others it’s extremely important. For example, if part of the orientation is for a new-hire to meet the General Manager, it wouldn’t hurt for the new hire to learn about the history, the culture, and the mission statement of the company. It will give them something to talk about and let the General manager know they are being properly oriented. 

Step 5 - This is the last step and it’s the most important one. Who are you going to hold accountable for this process? A good orientation process has a lot of moving parts and the whole organization needs to participate in making sure the experience for a new hire is a great one. With that said, there needs to be a people champion that is in charge of this process. They are holding others accountable and report on everyone’s progress. This process should be part of their job description and part of their compensation should be tied to its execution. 

Remember to automate your new-hire orientation process as much as you can. This will help you reserve your valuable resources. With the DrivngSales HCM platform,  you’ll be able to execute and manage the whole orientation process, ensuring completion and consistency. 

Jennifer Bueckert

I want to make new hires as easy as possible for all persons involved 

Robert Niven

An important aspect to remember about training is that people learn at different speeds. Some people may have no problem going through module after module all day long and be able to retain that information. Others may only be able to process three or four modules per day.

Jason Volny

@Robert So True. Too many people treat training as a checklist they must get through rather than an opportunity to learn. If possible, every learning course should be coupled with a quiz and an activity. Adults don't just learn by watching videos, they learn by doing. Until it generates in their brain and comes out of their mouths, they didn't realy learn it. 

Jason Volny

@Jennifer That is key. It must be simple. The idea is to inform and welcome a new hire, not to overwhelm them. 

Christopher Berglof

I love the idea of a scavenger hunt. We have done that in the past, but didn't use a map, and get signatures. Good ideas!

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