The good ones always go: what might be behind poor retention rates

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goodonesalwaysgo | Teamrecruit
Do you struggle to hold onto your best workers? Do you feel like every time your dealership manages to get into a ‘good place’, you lose a key staff member? Are you sick of investing in training, only to have all the knowledge you’ve imparted walk out the door?
You’re not alone. Plenty of other businesses also struggle with retention issues.
If you want to understand what might be behind the less-than-great retention rates in your dealership, here are a few things that could be behind it all.

You’re paying below the market rate

While it’s true that money isn’t everything, remuneration is an undeniably important factor in any role. After all, would you get out of bed and go to work each day if you weren’t getting paid for it?
If you want to hang on to the employees you’ve worked so hard to bring into the business, you need to ensure you’re paying a fair salary that’s in line with the going market rate. It’s simple really; if you could get paid more to do the same job somewhere else, it’d be very difficult to find the motivation to stay put where you are.

There are a few ways to check if what you’re offering is in line with the market rate, such as:

  • look at salaries listed on competitor advertisements posted on job boards
  • check industry salary data reports like our latest one here
  • ask exiting employees how much they’ve been offered to accept a role elsewhere
  • reach out to an industry recruiter (like us!) for advice
If you do discover that you are paying below the market rate, you have a couple of options. While the obvious choice is to meet the market and review salaries across the dealership, if you can’t afford to pay more, you can also look for other ways to sweeten the deal and make working for your dealership a more appealing prospect.

They’re being poached

Poaching is another big motivator that causes workers to jump ship prematurely.
An employee may be happy and content in their role and not actively looking to change employment, but when approached by one of your competitors out of the blue with a ‘too good to pass up’ opportunity, the cogs quickly start turning. The prospect of being sought out for an opportunity that offers a new environment, experience or challenge, more money, better conditions or greater opportunity for progression can be incredibly hard to ignore.
In some cases, your dealership may also be viewed as an industry training ground. Your competitors know that you do a great job training staff up, then swoop in and offer them a better deal to join their dealership once all the hard work has already been done.

A clash with the managerial style

Most workers have different working styles. While some workers are self-motivated and autonomous, others require a lot more direct instruction and feedback. Some need plenty of consultation, while others are happy to simply follow the party line.
A mismatch with the managerial style of a supervisor is a common problem that can lead to an employee becoming discontented within their working environment.
While every manager will have their own natural management style, a good manager should be able to identify how individual employees operate best and adapt their style to suit the individuals they’re leading. Without this ability, it won’t take long for minor issues to snowball into major problems, motivating some employees to exit the business.

A cultural issue

Issues with the workplace culture within your dealership could also be an issue.

If you’re unsure whether you’re fostering a toxic workplace culture, try asking yourself questions like:

  • Is there scope for talent to succeed?
  • Is good performance recognised and rewarded?
  • Are all team members pulling their own weight?
  • How is poor performance managed?
  • Are employees consulted in relation to key issues or changes?
  • Are unresolved issues allowed to go ignored?
  • Do employees get along or are you continually having to do damage control to keep the peace?
  • Are you as loyal to employees as you expect them to be to the dealership?
  • Do workers feel encouraged, accepted, respected, appreciated, valued, inspired, empowered etc.
By stepping back and assessing what the culture within the dealership is really like, you might uncover some gems of truth that have been preventing you from retaining your best workers.

There may not always be a problem

While it’s easy to think “it’s you and not them”, that may not always be the case. There could be a range of other circumstances behind an employee’s decision to leave that are well beyond your control.
The reasons for leaving a job can be wide and varied: personal issues, leaving to care for children, an elderly parent or sick relative, or to pursue a career in a totally different industry.
The key is to ensure you initiate an open and honest discussion with each employee that decides to leave the dealership to find out what’s really behind their decision to leave and ensure you’re dealing with fact rather than incorrect assumptions.
Most importantly: if you do identify an issue, don’t ignore it. Get on the front foot an implement the necessary changes to address the underlying problems and create a more appealing work environment.
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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