After digesting the findings from Automotive News Canada’s Best Dealerships To Work For surveys, the most inspiring best practice among the 35 winners was their commitment to career development.
Companies that chart clear career paths for their staff enjoy such benefits as lower turnover rates, healthier bottom lines and, more important, highly motivated workers.
Ask Meghan Muloin. In just three years, Muloin worked her way up from the reception desk at HGrégoire Mitsubishi Laval to sales coordinator at the Quebec dealership.
“It really fills me with pride and makes me thankful to have the team that I have, a team that takes the time to appreciate everything I do for them and is thankful of my work,” said Muloin.
While she’s focused on the “now,” she’s contemplating long-term goals, possibly getting her business degree toward a senior role as controller.
Muloin’s store, part of the HGrégoire group, offers employees the “opportunity to move up or change departments. That involves cross-training for employees seeking lateral or upward career moves.
“I was trained in several aspects of different departments, which allowed me ... to move up within the company,” Muloin said.
HGrégoire’s commitment to career development helped the group net five stores on the Best Dealerships list.
Most of the winning dealerships stressed career-advancement strategies that also served to put the right people in the right spots, which helps the business.
Winnipeg-based Birchwood Automotive Group had four winning dealerships. Managers regularly meet with their teams for “performance-development conversations that are documented,” said Sarah Giesbrecht, the dealership group’s director of human resources. These meetings address everything from achievements to work ethic to career development.
“Once they’ve set up the plan, their manager works as a coach to help them attain their career goals,” she said.
Calgary’s Eastside Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram, part of the McManes Automotive Group,has developed its own “playbook designed for new hires and their onboarding,” said General Manager Darcy Schinnour. “The playbook lays out their schedule for training for the first two weeks and portrays the growth potential at Eastside Dodge.”
It also features examples of employees who started on the sales floor and are now dealer partners in the McManes group, with three dealerships landing on the 2023 winners list.
Employees given an opportunity to grow will feel empowered and valued. They will invariably go that extra mile for their company.
Said HGrégoire’s Muloin: “It makes me happy and excited to come to work every day when I know I'll be spending the day working with these amazing people who work hard and support me in my work as much as I support them in theirs.”