Tony Gonzalez: Effective team building all about the right process

Publish Date: 
Feb 16, 2013
By Beth Dolgner

DEALER EXPO, Indianapolis, Ind. – Building a, effective team of employees is an ongoing struggle for many dealers.

Finding potential employees, interviewing efficiently and training thoroughly is about having the right processes in place, and Tony Gonzalez of Gart Sutton and Associates detailed those in his seminar “Recruit, Hire, Train and Retain a Professional Dealership Team.”

Finding the right candidates is the first step, and Gonzalez is a proponent of constantly looking for people with the right qualities at other retail businesses, especially outside the powersports industry. Handing a business card to a good employee elsewhere might be easy recruiting. “Get yourself in the mindset that your workplace is ten times cooler than anything else they can do,” he said.

Even interviewing is a process that goes beyond asking a series of questions. Have a list of the desirable behaviors and actively look for them during the interview. Let the candidate meet with the department manager first, Gonzalez suggested, since that is the person the new hire will work with the most. Only after the manager gives the okay should the interview process progress to the dealer level.

Once a candidate is hired, the department manager should handle training, but it shouldn’t end after the first week or month after hiring. Training, Gonzalez said, should take place for all employees on a regular basis, with short, frequent training meetings.

Having processes in place to get good talent into the dealership and trained is just a part of the challenge: keeping them is the other. In an industry where many employees are young and change jobs regularly, it’s important to create a positive work environment as well as opportunities for advancement. “Retention has more to do with you than with external factors,” said Gonzalez.  

And through every process, he added, remember that any potential employee needs you more than you need them.