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The average tenure for dealership employees in the United States is under two years.

It’s a huge challenge to grow a dealership if your average tenure is near that. Turnover costs your business valuable time, performance, and money. And it’s all connected.

The benefits of employee training are clear. When you invest in training your employees, they feel like valued members of the team and even perform better. What does a sharp and satisfied team mean for the dealership? A stronger bottom line.

We know the best ways to attract and retain top talent are to have a strong culture, clear (and promising) career paths, and effective leadership. With those big picture concepts in mind, let’s look at some specific ways you can keep your team sharp and satisfied.

Employee Training Tips: How to Keep Your Team Sharp & Satisfied

#1 Offer Platform-Specific Onboarding & Training

Whether it’s a DMS or one of the many tools used by your service techs, sometimes new technology costs more time than they free up. Having appropriate team members consistently trained on these tools can save your dealership considerable time and money. Not only will they work faster, but they will be less likely to spend time on troubleshooting and ultimately make fewer mistakes in the system or with the tool.

Most software companies offer onboarding (aka implementation) for the main users. Often you can pay a separate fee to get that same training for other members of the team. If you want to avoid additional platform fees – and your dealership doesn’t have an IT Manager – consider making an employee your “platform expert” who can conduct trainings in-house. Beyond software, make sure your dealership has an employee handbook with documented instructions for every platform and tool. And if you have that, make sure someone on your staff is in charge of keeping it updated as instructions change and tools get added.

#2 Train for the Soft Skills

We know from our research that few things are more important for your dealership’s success than a great customer experience. Even loyal customers have little patience for a bad experience, while an outstanding experience can go a long way towards improving your retention.

That’s why training for people skills is so important. Make sure you’re regularly role playing with customer-facing employees and take action on your customer reviews, both positive and negative. They’ll often point you to the behaviors you should reward as well as the ones you’ll need to coach.


Prepare for the 5 make-or-break moments that can cause service customers to start going elsewhere.


#3 Host Internal Workshops Led by Team Members

The best way to learn is to teach.

Another great training method that also builds team morale is internal workshops. With these, your dealership has a calendar of weekly or monthly meetings where a team member (or small group) trains their peers on a certain topic or tool.

Internal workshops led by team members work because they force the teachers to master a topic or tool. They also work because the training is being delivered by a peer, a team member everyone can align themselves with. Keep it light and make it fun! Consider ordering food and drinks for the team members since this may be outside of their normal working hours.

#4 Create Your Own Certification Program

“Certification program” doesn’t mean your employees get a plaque; don’t get carried away with this one. We’re simply referring to a formal training checklist. Think about each job description on your team, and then create a list of imperatives your employees must learn and develop.

By reframing your different jobs as a certification program, you “gamify” the employee experience at your dealership. Instead of just waiting for a promotion (or leaving), employees can see exactly what they need to learn in order to advance. This will both sharpen your team’s skills and promote employee retention.

#5 Give Your Team Access to Online Learning Programs

Online learning programs for dealerships like DrivingSales span far and wide. Once you choose a program you like the best, think about what your team needs to learn and how they will get individual access. From handling sales objections to industry compliance standards, there are many areas your team can learn more about through an online program.

Here are some of the main areas to focus on when searching for and designing your team’s online learning program:

  • Customer communications
  • Dealership operations
  • Compliance awareness
  • Conversational sales tactics
  • General management concepts

Paying for your team’s access to an online learning program shows how much your dealership values professional development, and it will pay dividends over time as your employees learn and grow.

What will your team learn next?

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Discover the 5 critical moments causing customers to abandon your dealership service department, and how you can overcome them.   

Join us for a free online event on July 28th!Battling 5 Dealership Service Defection Points with DriveSure