ASOTUCON 2022 Panel Recap: Building the Future Workforce

By: Whit Norrad   |   12 Sep 2022
Group of people talking at an automotive conference

Out of all of the content we’ve seen so far at ASOTUCON 2022, this panel was one of my favourites. Fleming Ford’s panel with Gregg Ciocca Sr., Scott Simons, and Dawn Williamson was one that I believe would benefit all dealerships.

The key takeaway?

Treat Your People Like Family

After 47 years in business, Gregg Ciocca Sr. shared that one of the reasons he’s been able to build such an incredible empire is that he treats his team like family. Holding and protecting culture was the cornerstone of his insights.

“If we want people to be loyal to us, we need to be loyal to them.”

Ciocca shared the value of loyalty and taking your business-to-employee relationship beyond the baseline obligations most businesses adhere to.

“There’s no better way to recruit than having our employees do the recruiting for you. We want our people to raise their families to work with us.”

After seeing the new Subaru dealership here in Philadelphia and meeting some of the team that makes the magic happen, it’s easy to see the value of this relationship dynamic. Checking out his company’s GlassDoor profile adds proof to the pudding, with glowing employee reviews that show his insights are more than just lip service. 

Are you treating your employees like family? Are you taking their interests to heart and helping them grow towards their goals? You sure should be!

Your Legacy Is Bigger Than You: Grow Your People to Leave a True Lasting Impression

Previous Dealer Playbook episode guest, Scott Simons of Carter Myers Automotive Group, shared a personal story of elevating one of his employees from carwash attendant to managing partner.

After acquiring a new store, Scott and his team interviewed all of the employees and offered them jobs. He knows that there may indeed be shining stars within the dealership, even though it is being sold. In one of the group’s previous acquisitions, an employee, Ben, shared that one of his goals was to own a dealership someday. 

Scott helped him achieve this goal by selling him part of his very own stake in the company. He put this team member through rigorous training and mentorship, testing, and training, effectively elevating him towards his goals. Flowers can grow from unlikely places if you ask questions, listen, and connect.

“He’s part of MY legacy,” Simons shared.

By not just being “in it for himself,” Scott is able to help his teams grow, which ultimately helps elevate him and the entire group towards increasingly lofty goals.

This mindset is clearly one of the things that set Scott, Liza Borches, and other members of the Carter Myers Automotive Group apart from the competition. 

Internally, they work with employees to set specific goals each quarter and train them toward meeting those goals. The avenues that they provide training for might surprise you: physical fitness, health, mental health, financial literacy, and more. People are complex, and the more that we work towards scaffolding healthy development in the whole self, the better off we'll all be - both in and out of the dealership.

Are you elevating your team beyond the sales floor? Replicating Scott’s human approach could certainly elevate your business! 

Hiring Isn’t a Race

In growing the team at Effectv, Dawn Williamson shared insights on how hiring the right people can take longer, but the impact patience can have is highly effective (get it?!). Internally, Effectv had a focus on hiring new employees during the pandemic. In doing so, they were focused on creating an inclusive culture that was diverse and representative of the people in the communities they serve.

Dawn went on to share the impact of representation in the workforce and the importance of hiring people who customers can relate to. This encompasses the immeasurable value of customers seeing people who look like them, providing an experience that makes them feel comfortable when creating a purchase relationship, and adding different experiences that elevate the overall dealership culture.

“It’s a whole new way of doing business.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Keep it locked to our Flex channels for ongoing insights from the brightest minds in automotive at ASOTUCON 2022!