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Mike Gorun

Mike Gorun Managing Partner/CEO

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The Transformation of Employee Loyalty in Gen Y

In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for employees to spend their whole working lives with a single company. People would start in their late teens and many would retire without ever having worked anywhere else. However, businesses, in general, and dealerships, specifically, are experiencing less loyalty from employees today than ever before in history. Why?

According to Orlando Barone of The Wharton School of Business, Gen Y has been educated and trained to be transactional managers and leaders. "I got the impression they perceived themselves more loyal to their values than to a particular company or organization," Barone said. "They would be loyal to a place that enabled them to make the kind of impact they would like to make. I did not sense that they would be likely to identify with their organizations as if it were a sort of home or family. And reciprocally, they do not expect that kind of loyalty from their employer." He goes on to say that employers who allow them to be these types of managers and leaders can earn a great deal of loyalty from them.

The labor laws of today encourage freedom. Freedoms of an employee to work where they want to as well as the freedom of employers to hire whom they want and to let them go when they’re ready to. Gone are the days of commitments that must be upheld by either an employee or an employer. Every day we see major players in key industries either leaving large, respected companies to start their own businesses or join competitors. 

Working in the car business is a very taxing career. There are many late hours and not as many days off, especially in sales. Several positions are commission-based, which introduces stress into the equation as well. Combine these factors with a general lack of loyalty and you get a recipe for high turnover.

So how is a dealership supposed to combat this shift in attitude and increase employee loyalty?

The first thing that could be done is to create an environment that is conducive to family-life. Recognizing that for most of your employees, family comes first and respecting and encouraging that puts your dealership in line with their values. Creating an environment in which someone would want to work is also important. Employees want to not only feel appreciated, but also want to feel as if they’re making a difference. Empowering your employees to make decisions when it comes to customer experiences and fixing problems helps them feel as if they play an important role in your dealership. It can actually make a difference and help transform your dealership into one in which they are proud to be a part of.

All of this is easier said than done. People are resistant to change and putting your trust into your employees may be scary as a manager but it shows them that you believe in them and their judgment.

If you want your employees to be loyal to you, you have to be loyal to them.

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