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Rapid Dealership Culture Assessment

Finding great people is one of the biggest challenges for dealerships. In today’s fast-paced business environment, most of us spend the majority of our waking weekday hours at work, so recruiting great talent isn’t just good for business, it’s essential to fueling a positive workplace culture.


Finding great people is one of the biggest challenges for dealerships. In today’s fast-paced business environment, most of us spend the majority of our waking weekday hours at work, so recruiting great talent isn’t just good for business, it’s essential to fueling a positive workplace culture.

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The more evolved dealers and customers become, the more we hear about culture being the primary reason for company success. A positive dealership culture is far more than pizza Fridays, pool tables and free beer — it’s what will attract and retain great talent, motivate them to be their best and help your store thrive. 

Company Culture — Reinvented

Company culture is the values, behaviors and shared vision that contribute to the environment of an organization. A great company culture will guarantee dealer success. In fact, companies with strong cultures experience a four times increase in revenue growth.


Good for business, good for people.

Research from Deloitte shows that 94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct corporate culture is important to a business’ success. A compelling culture is one that employees “opt-in” for and it doesn’t require a huge financial investment or complex employee engagement program implementations. Great cultures are created by leaders who are engaged and trusted and employees who are passionate about serving customers, both internally and externally. 

Gartner predicts in their Customer Experience Marketing Survey that 82% of companies will be “mostly or completely” competing on the basis of customer experience within the next two years. Meaning that competing on price and product is becoming much less important. As companies battle it out for the best CX, the winners will be those possessing the superpower of engaged employees. 

Shape the culture in your dealership today with these three steps designed to jump start your path to creating an “opt in” employee culture. 


1. Where are you now? An employee net promoter survey (eNPS) is the same principle as the Net Promoter Survey but designed to gauge employee engagement and loyalty. Tools like surveymonkey.com offer a platform to conduct these valuable surveys at no cost. To determine your eNPS, pose a single question: “On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being extremely likely and 0 being not likely at all, how likely are you to refer a friend to our dealership as a great place to work?”


The question doesn’t ask if the employee “likes” working for your dealership, it asks if they would refer your dealership, which is an indication of evangelization. As you review your score, anything above 0 is good news while a negative score shows you have some work to do. The feedback from your employees should be considered precious and reflected upon with a keen awareness of potential biases. 

Another way to gain insights about your existing culture is to review Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor is a great resource for gathering anonymous and honest feedback to uncover trends in your employees’ experience and culture. 


Beyond being a great resource for employers and employees, Glassdoor is also a shining star example of a company that has created an amazing company culture. 

Mariah DeLeon, Glassdoor’s VP of people, championed the development and implementation of the company’s Culture 2.0 rollout. “Our values can be written on a chart, but they are embodied in the culture and lived daily in our employees.” 

That’s the true ingredient to success, your values shouldn’t be a plaque that hangs on the wall, they should be the fabric that’s woven through every interaction an employee and customer has with your company. 


Over nine months, DeLeon led the charge and engaged with employees across the organization to determine how to define and articulate Glassdoor values and culture. 

2. Establish Where You’re Going: You don’t have to dedicate nine months of your time and resources to establish your dealership’s core values. Consider conducting a quick flip chart exercise at your next company meeting asking employees one question: “What’s important to you in a workplace environment?” Place employees into teams and ask them to address the question and collaborate on their answers. Consolidate the most common answers and then over the next few days invite all employees to place a check mark next to what they believe are the top three values. 

Zappos is a great example of a company that reinforces its company culture through values, and the employees who fit the corporate culture flourish working for Zappos as a result.

What Kind of Talent Gets You There? 

Like Zappos, create an ideal candidate profile that embodies your most successful employees so that you’re recruiting talent into your dealership that also thrives and flourishes. 


Southwest has always been known for their great employee-centric culture, which is attributed to their founder, Herb Kelleher, who famously coined the phrase and philosophy, “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” You can’t train employees to care and you can’t make up in training what you missed in hiring. 

Know what talent gets you there, but also dive into whether your existing talent is contributing to the type of culture you want. Use the above 4-Square tool to assess your employees’ attitude and skill dynamic.

For more on reinventing your culture and positioning your dealership to attract and retain great talent, email me at the address above.

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