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How to stop employee burnout from causing turnover in your dealership

May 10, 2021

Dealerships are experiencing two serious human resource problems: employee burnout and high turnover rates.

The pace of change, ongoing restructuring and inventory woes are frustrating dealership employees (to name only a few challenges). So, it’s no surprise that workers are maxed out at work.

Make sure you know the signals of employee burnout so you can intervene, take care of your people and keep them longer.

Here are five common signs of employee burnout:

  1. Disengagement: If someone who is normally engaged and contributing to the organization seems detached and distant, it could be an indicator of burnout. Some employees may not feel comfortable sharing feedback with their supervisor directly. Dealers can use behavioral assessments to learn about each employee’s communication needs and preferences, so they can approach workers in a way that’s comfortable for them (and most productive).
  2. Decreased productivity: If employees are stretched beyond their abilities or comfort zone, you may see a decline in productivity. Conversely, if their strengths are overused, they can become a hinderance and lead to decreased productivity and burnout.
  3. Irritability: If an employee who is known for grace under pressure becomes short-tempered and irritated, they could be overwhelmed. People who snap or lash out at others for seemingly minor things could be feeling a loss of control. They may be feeling ineffective or frustrated, which causes them to be irritable with others and dissatisfied with work overall.
  4. Tiredness: Critical thinking is basically impossible if you are overly tired. The brain needs rest to make connections quickly. Your salespeople are constantly gathering and synthesizing objective and subjective data to make quick decisions. Plus, their responsibilities have changed. Now they’re expected to be jacks of all trades—personable and strategic, incredibly detail-oriented, and up to date on the latest pricing trends, digital sales tactics and the industry overall. It can become overwhelming and exhausting.
  5. Questioning their abilities: Burnout can easily cause “imposter syndrome,” especially on sales teams. Many salespeople had to pivot into a more data-centric role, while still being their charismatic and empathetic selves. The new demands of the job can lead to burnout. Plus, salespeople are energized by sales. When traffic or sales are slower, it can make them question if they are in the right role when really, they may just need to re-focus and strengthen some of their skills. Behavioral analytics tools like Predictive Index® can help you measure employees’ “soft skills” and develop them into high-performing workers and leaders.

Recognize employee burnout — and then solve it

So, how do you overcome employee burnout in your dealership? Recognizing the signs is the first step. You also need to know your people. Getting the right people into the right roles can help prevent some burnout. Figure out which personalities and behaviors fit best in your sales department vs. other areas of the dealership.

Not sure how to place employees in the right roles? There’s a tool for that; it’s called Predictive Index (PI).

PI is a talent optimization platform used by thousands of organizations, including dealerships. It uses behavioral assessments to draw out your team’s natural strengths and match them to strategies and roles within your organization. Once you know how to motivate and develop employees, it’s easier to hire, retain and develop talent that fits your culture.

How Wipfli can help

Our organizational consultants use the science behind PI to help dealerships boost engagement, productivity and accountability. Learn how to build high-performing teams and keep your best workers longer. Learn more about our organizational performance consulting.

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Alyson McKinster
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