Does Your Dealership Suffer from Culture by Default?

Company culture often falls into a gray area. Sometimes underrated, yet invaluable, the culture of your dealership is just as important as what you sale and how you serve your customer. Think of it as the engine in a car. A strong, well-functioning engine is more capable of providing a vehicle with faster acceleration and better performance, much like a robust, well-adapted company culture allows organizations to thrive.

Just like driving, you cannot know where you want to go without knowing where you are, and a high- performing culture is no different. You, as the leader, need to be intentional about creating the culture you want. It starts from the top.

Managers, you must realize that you can never create a team that is different from yourself. It is crucial to exemplify behaviors you want to see from those under your management—model the culture, don’t just preach it.


Culture is very much a top-down commitment, and company leaders must be intentional with positive efforts to craft the desired culture.


What can you do to motivate high performance? One of the best ways to be intentional with your dealerships’ culture is to focus on employee engagement and satisfaction.

  •  Brainstorm with employees—listen to what they want from their work environment, and get feedback on management styles.
  • Invest in employee training—offer employee development opportunities. This will help your employees feel empowered and increase engagement levels.
  • Create positive rituals—celebrate small victories in ways such as habitually recognizing team and individual employee accomplishments.


For example, if a dealership suffers from a lax culture that doesn't empower its employees with product knowledge and sufficient motivators to encourage high performance, employees will go elsewhere. The same holds true for customers. Without high levels of customer service, people will leave—customers will go where they feel appreciated. There is no room for a sales-only mentality. The culture in your dealership directly affects customer satisfaction.


When company culture is not intentionally shaped, management can unintentionally fuel a negative culture. Just like a car, without routine maintenance, all parts will suffer and fail over time. A negative company culture can easily get out of control, affecting employee performance and customer loyalty, and will certainly hinder your dealership from reaching its full potential.


If your dealership’s culture has taken a wrong turn, it's time to get back on track because it won’t change by keeping it on autopilot. It is imperative to create a company culture where employees love their job, feel empowered, and are given the tools that they need to be successful. An intentional, positive change will impact your employees' performance and bring your dealership more sales and repeat customers.


Company culture is a road map for success, but it has to be intentional.

Mike Poskey is President of ZERORISK HR, a Dallas-based human resources consulting firm that focuses on hiring, developing, and retention programs for the auto dealer industry and is the exclusive provider of the ZERORISK Hiring System.


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Comment by DealerELITE on December 7, 2016 at 10:18am
Mike thank you for sharing with All dE members

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