The Secret Sauce to Work-Life Balance in the Dealership – NADA Blog

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What’s the secret sauce to creating a healthy work-life balance at the dealership while satisfying customers? Unfortunately, there is not one. But dealerships are getting creative in addressing the concern. 

And it is a concern. The long hours associated with dealership careers are often identified as a significant barrier in recruiting more women. Hours that extend beyond the traditional workday are not just a concern for women; younger generations are increasingly prioritizing work-life balance. 

The hard facts are that the most popular times for vehicle sales and service are outside the standard 9 to 5 weekday hours, so employers have to think outside the box to develop schedules employees are happy with while providing the customer service their businesses require. 

Dealers, manager and industry leaders at the 2024 Women Driving Auto Retail event hosted in conjunction with the NADA Show discussed potential solutions to this concern, and their top takeaways during a session sponsored by Solera. Check out what they said below. 

Schedule creatively. 
Some dealerships are seeing success in offering atypical schedules for employees, such as four-day work weeks with 10-hour days or allowing some positions to work by appointment to accommodate caregiver responsibilities. Other positions are being adapted for job sharing or hybrid roles, allowing employees more time away from the store. 

Consider what work can effectively be done at home. 
Innovative employers are using technology not just to increase efficiencies in sales and service processes but also to offer digital and remote services, allowing both the customer and employee a more flexible experience. There are also some positions that do not require face-to-face customer interaction, like the business development center and finance, and therefore translate better to remote work flexibility. 

Reevaluate performance incentives. 
Taking a new perspective on incentives based on performance (instead of presence) can reinvigorate the workforce. For example, the salespeople at one dealership can go home on Saturdays after completing two sales. Incentives like this prioritize the customer experience over clocking in and patrolling the lot. 

Offer benefits that outweigh long hours. 
There are some dealership positions that require being at the store early, late or on the weekend. The people in those positions are more likely to perform well and stay at the dealership longer if their efforts are rewarded through compensation and benefits. If employees are expected to be at the dealership for long days, ensure the facilities meet their needs, including a space for lactation and clean and pleasant spaces for breaks. 

Learn more about other strategies to retain female talent in the dealership or read about tactics industry leaders recommend to improve recruitment strategies and attract more women. 

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