What value do you put on your staff?

  27 August 2018

I’ve heard enough of WLTP and Brexit for a while so let’s think about something positive and pleasant instead – staff.

When valuing the assets of a dealership you count the physical stock and inventory of the showroom, forecourt and workshop, the property value if you own it, money in the bank and money due and that most intangible of all, goodwill. People say you can’t measure goodwill but surely it’s easy – measure the amount of repeat business.

Customers return for several reasons, for convenience and price but also because of trust. If the staff do the job right with a smile on their face you have more than half a chance of getting them back.

The more switched on companies see the value in nurturing, training and retaining their good staff who repay that investment tenfold and our trade seems to have a reasonable track record in this. Staff at a Motorpoint recently voted it the best place to work at in the North East, the Swansway Group is a regular in various `Best Employer’ surveys, we report this week on the Hendy Group’s appreciation of its loyal workers, RRG has a similar story and there are more like them.

I know of one multi-franchise operation with a staff of hundreds spread over more than dozen sites where the founder/MD knows many of them by name and of whom I heard the story that on one occasion he asked a service receptionist if her dog was now any better and another where he arranged for flowers to be sent to the mother of one the staff while she recuperated after an operation.

Employees should walk through fire for a boss like that and there must be a mutual benefit beyond just getting eight hours work a day for eight hours pay.

One hears a lot that it’s hard for businesses to attract quality staff. If that’s true and they are in a competitive market to recruit then look at what you offer staff outside of the basic job, pay and conditions and think about how they are treated and valued. If you have a high level of staff loyalty then the business is working well; it’s working especially well if that staff loyalty translates into customer loyalty too.

John Swift


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