Retailers strive to make company culture more inclusive

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Monadnock Ford allows parents to bring their children to work and offers flexible hours. Makhlis said he believes this is one of the reasons employee referrals are one of the main sources of job applicants.

“I really believe that if you provide the right environment, flexibility and opportunity, and are open to it, diversity will come,” he said, “no matter what part of the country you are in. find “.

Ford of Quantum5 said dealership executives should first make sure their company culture is inclusive, so employees feel a sense of belonging, before focusing on hiring. It doesn’t matter how good a dealership is at hiring diverse people if they don’t feel like part of the team once they join us.

Ford co-founded the DCI Champions Council for Automotive Retail, a coalition of automotive retail leaders who share DE&I best practices. She said dealerships told her past efforts to hire more diverse employees had not worked. It’s often a leadership issue that doesn’t create a culture that eliminates prejudice and elicits more empathy from her team, she added.

Dealers should create a culture by design rather than default – one that intentionally asks uncomfortable questions and challenges the way things have always been done, Ford said. “Your inclusive culture is what attracts more diverse candidates,” she said. If the dealerships haven’t created the conditions that make employees feel comfortable and safe, “you have to have the courage to admit it and work to change it.”

Dealer Dave Wright said hiring a technician this year at his growing Nissan-Subaru dealership in Hiawatha, Iowa, raised an issue that was overlooked several years ago during the building’s construction: Dealership No. had no female locker room.

Wright quickly converted a gender-specific toilet to a unisex toilet, and in September made job offers to two other women for technician roles. He now plans to build separate changing rooms for men and women in the after-sales service and unisex toilets throughout the store, as part of a future expansion of the concession.

But, he said, the situation illustrated the importance of making sure the dealership lives up to the story they tell to potential hires.

“If our story is to exist, we want to include people, period, we have to have an atmosphere that includes them,” Wright said. “We can say whatever we want and tell them whatever they want to hear, but if we don’t have a toilet for them or if we don’t have a changing room, we’re just kidding ourselves.”


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