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Unlocking the Keys to Retention: The Power of Clear Communication

A person changes careers on average when they are 39 years old. Over the next five years, 87% of respondents surveyed by Kronos consider improved employee retention a high or critical priority when choosing a new position. An analysis of 34,000 responses to the Work Institute’s Retention Report found that 75% of the reasons for employee turnover can be prevented.

Recognizing these factors in the hard-charging world of automotive retail, where the pace is fast and expectations are high, clear communication stands as one of the most critical keys to retaining your valuable team members.

In our ongoing series on reducing employee turnover and its associated costs, we emphasize the pivotal role that transparent communication plays in ensuring your employees stay engaged and committed to your dealership.

Clear Communication: It's a Game Changer

Imagine this: Your employees understand the company's goals, the changes happening within the dealership, and the career opportunities that await them.

This clear vision of their future within your dealership provides a sense of purpose that goes beyond the day-to-day grind. The result? Improved job satisfaction and retention.

The Impact of Transparency

Clear communication has a profound impact on your employees:

1. Increased Engagement: When employees understand the dealership's vision and their role in achieving it, they become more engaged. They don't just clock in and out; they actively contribute to your dealership's success.

2. Enhanced Loyalty: Employees who feel heard and informed are more likely to stay. They develop a sense of loyalty to an organization that values and respects them.

3. Reduced Turnover: Clear communication mitigates misunderstandings and uncertainty, reducing the likelihood of employees seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Steps to Improve Communication

1. Frequent Updates: Regularly communicate company goals, changes, and opportunities. Whether it's through meetings, emails, or internal platforms, keep your team informed.

2. Two-Way Communication: Encourage open dialogue. Provide avenues for employees to ask questions, express concerns, and offer suggestions. Listen actively and address their feedback.

3. Alignment with Career Goals: Help your employees understand how their roles fit into their long-term career plans. Offer guidance and support in achieving their professional aspirations within your dealership.

The Power of Honest Feedback

There is a 16% decrease in retention rates for employees who aren’t comfortable giving upward feedback. This makes it clear that managers and employees must communicate clearly in order to understand the needs and make improvements.

Regularly communicating employee thoughts to management should be strongly encouraged. It shows your employees that they are valued if you keep lines of communication open.

Addressing Poor Management Practices

The most common reason for leaving an employer? Poor management practices more so the inability to listen and communicate. The second-most cited reason: lack of career development opportunities. And third on that list: bad culture fit. If you’re looking at your own employee retention numbers, it might help to know what those three things are. If they aren’t addressed, then you can expect more turnover — which means less productivity and higher costs.

The Cost of High Turnover

One-third of new employees quit after about six (6) months, according to statistics. This is a significant number and one that needs to be addressed with some urgency if employers want to fix this problem in their company. Employee retention is not just about keeping your employees happy; it's about retaining your talent and ensuring you keep the best people with you as long as possible.

Employee retention also helps boost morale, reduces costs, maintains a good customer experience, and reduces overall costs. The most common reason employees leave their jobs is because they are not being challenged at work. This includes feeling under-appreciated and bored with what they do every day. To address this, consider how an employee’s job fits into a bigger picture or strategy through active communication.

The Role of Career Development

With open communication you could also consider allowing employees to change roles within your company, so they have more opportunity for growth, the chance to learn new skills, and grow professionally. The most common reason for high attrition rates is that employees are not being given enough opportunities to grow professionally or personally within their organization. This can happen if managers don’t provide training on new skills or give people chances to learn from mistakes they make while working with clients. The best way to prevent this problem is by providing ongoing professional development programs so that staff members have access to learning resources as needed.

While tracking employee turnover and retention is the first step, the real work begins when you assess these rates in relation to your industry and identify what needs to be done to improve your retention strategies. No matter how much data you collect, you won’t improve retention and turnover unless you do something.

Together, we can cultivate an environment where turnover is the exception, not the rule, and clear communication paves the way for lasting success in the automotive retail industry.

Share your thoughts and experiences with transparent communication in the comments. Your insights may inspire positive change in our industry.

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