In a recent poll on LikedIn, we asked our Parts Managers followers which they wish they had more of; Time, Staff, Tools, or Education. A staggering 46% said they wished they had more staff! With the dawn of the hiring crisis and the great resignation, it comes as no surprise that a shortage of qualified employees is greatly impacting parts operations. While finding enough support is essential, it can be easy to shift all your focus to new hires and forget to ensure your current strategy involves retention of your existing staff. Today we are going to discuss three ways you can improve your employee retention in your parts department and ease the pinch of the hiring crisis.
We’ve seen time and time again bustling parts operation begin to operate on a reactive, emergency basis resulting in inconsistent scheduling, last-minute requests for support, and an ever-moving goal post for parts department employees. While it’s understandable to get caught in the day to day of putting out fires, these kinds of sporadic and unpredictable workplace expectations can cause major stress for employees and the department as a whole and eventually lead to talented team members leaving as a result of burnout. Not only does inconsistency negatively impact your workers, it also adds to the general messiness in your operation by creating big gaps for confusion in who did what and who is responsible for what. Creating a clear schedule and expectations for each of your employees will help them thrive and, as a result, help your department thrive.
Communication is about more than just talking with your employees regularly. Good communication means fostering an environment where questions are welcomed, teamwork is expected, and concerns are taken seriously. Without the ability to discuss their issues with higher ups, parts department employees will almost certainly become disenchanted and relatively small issues will blossom into bigger resentments if not addressed. If you don’t already, a good place to start would be a regular team meeting and/or regular employee check-ins where you directly ask what questions they have, what they need help with, and what is causing them issues.
Even the most exciting jobs can lose their shine when employees feel stuck. Inspiring employees means working with each individual to create a clear growth path- understanding that everyone has different needs from their career. Once you’ve fostered the good communication we discussed above, you can use that ability to better understand what drives each of your team members and help them create their own goals and plot a path to get there together. Finding ways to celebrate their wins and encourage their development will lead to happier employees and a healthier parts department.
We find most Parts Managers know what needs to happen to improve employee retention, but they simply don’t have the time to implement it. PartsEdge was designed by a Parts Manager and a DMS specialist who saw the gap between the demands on Parts Managers’ and the lack of resources to get everything done. PartsEdge saves Parts Managers hundreds of hours each year by taking all the guesswork out of DMS management and sourcing setup and optimization and allowing them to focus on creating a successful operation. As a result, our clients see an average 20% drop in total inventory, 15% less idle inventory, a 50% increase in ROI, and a 20% increase in parts sales. If you’re ready to put our parts power-tool to work, send us a message! We’ve been helping dealerships for over 20 years and our testimonials speak for themselves.