One of the biggest challenges for any business in the long-term is retaining staff. In the highly-skilled and super-competitive automotive industry, holding on to your best employees is essential to maintaining good morale and cutting costs. If you’re looking at ways to reduce staff turnover, bespoke staff uniforms could be a great place to start.
Well-made and carefully-chosen workwear can show your employees that they’ve made the right decision in working for you. As we’re about to learn, premium workwear has the potential to unify and bond your workforce, as well as improving performance across the board. Therefore, making sound choices with work clothes could lead to you reaping the benefits by keeping your greatest assets — your staff — happy.
Let’s take a look at how bespoke staff uniforms could play a central role in employee retention and why it’s so important to your dealership.
Why is Employee Retention Important?
There are huge benefits to keeping the churn of staff turnover low and holding on to your best employees for as long as possible. Employee retention affects everything from training and recruitment costs to skill levels, morale, and more. Additionally, the better you retain staff, the likelier it is that they’ll buy into your brand and become true ambassadors.
Let’s delve into the biggest advantages of employee retention in a little more detail:
Automotive businesses spend a lot of money on hiring and training new staff. Recruitment agencies and advertising can be expensive and interviews take time — so the less you recruit the more you’ll save. But recruitment is just the start. It’s estimated that, on average, it costs £3000 to train a new starter and takes around a month to get them up to speed. Therefore, making that investment worthwhile is only possible if you keep them happy and hold on to them.
The better you treat your staff, the quicker they’ll buy into your dealership’s ethos. Inspiring loyalty in your teams means they’re more likely to be around in the long-term — and fully-invested employees tend to be more passionate and conscientious about what they do. The more they view you as a caring and considerate employer, the more you could get back in performance and effort.
Teams Develop Their Skills
Employees who stick around for the long haul tend to pick up new skills, making them much more well-rounded as they take their journey towards becoming specialists. The natural benefit of this is that you end up with a more talented and capable group that does everything to a higher standard. Additionally, this ongoing personal development creates more candidates for internal promotion — so you get to keep the best talent in-house while fostering a culture where self-improvement is rewarded.
Spread the Work Evenly
When individuals (or whole teams) within your dealership start to feel overworked they can quickly begin to feel undervalued. If you’re constantly stuck on the treadmill of training new starters, it’s likely that established employees will need to pick up the slack. Therefore, the consistency that comes with long-term working relationships means the work can be spread around fairly. This creates a positive cycle and instigates a better working atmosphere.
Word of Mouth Spreads Quickly
In the automotive business, word gets around. The best new workers read employee reviews and pay attention to what’s being said by existing staff. If all the noises coming out of your dealership are positive, you’ll likely be well-placed to attract the best talent should any gaps appear in your work force. Get this right and you could quickly develop a positive local reputation as a caring employer that keeps teams happy.
How do Bespoke Staff Uniforms Help with Onboarding?
The chances are that when you last started a new job you began to form an opinion about your new employer pretty quickly. Therefore, from the moment your newest recruit arrives at your automotive business, every interaction should be seen as an opportunity to show them they’ve made a good decision. One of the best ways to do this is with a premium bespoke staff uniform.
Comfortable and stylish workwear shows that you are a caring and forward-thinking business that dresses for success and values professionalism. Further to that, with so many different teams doing a variety of different roles within your dealership, it’s useful to show that the uniform itself isn’t just a superficial touch. If all of your teams have the right selection of garments for their roles, it will be clear that you give everyone’s welfare the consideration it deserves.
On the flipside, poorly made and uncomfortable work clothes could easily be seen as evidence that you cut corners, and therefore are not an elite operation. If your bespoke corporate uniforms are low quality, they’ll probably be uncomfortable to wear, and that daily discomfort will quickly start to chip away at morale.
Ultimately, your new starters will notice everything that happens during onboarding, with an initial focus on how their new employer presents itself. If you want to make a statement about the kind of organisation your new colleagues have joined, finding a supplier of quality workwear matters. You only get one shot at a first impression. It’s important to make it count.
The Impact of Bespoke Corporate Uniforms on Your Automotive Teams
Bespoke staff uniforms can have a transformative effect on morale. If you listen to the different teams within your dealership, you’ll quickly understand that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t appropriate. The reasons for giving workwear serious consideration include:
- Comfortable clothes make happy employees: Comfort really shouldn’t be underestimated. Your teams are sporting workwear for most of the day, so keeping them comfortable is a quick way to keep them content. Happy employees are more likely to stay for the long haul, so something as basic as comfort could unlock the benefits of staff retention
- Dress for the role: It’s important to match the right uniform with the right role. What works for your sales team won’t necessarily be suitable for your technicians. Because they work in such different conditions they’ll need different garments and alternative fabrics. Technician workwear should be flexible and lightweight, like polyester. Meanwhile, sales would benefit from the comfort of 100% cotton
- No more ‘us vs them’: A work uniform geared entirely towards your sales professionals risks causing ripples among other teams. It can be very difficult to shake the perception that one team is more important to your dealership than the others. If you want everyone pulling together, show them they’re all equally valued with a diverse range of garments that works for everyone.
- Morale helps with retention: if we accept that better team morale improves employee retention, the importance of bespoke staff uniforms seems even more striking. As long-term team members build lasting relationships, they might collaborate better and enjoy coming into work. Don’t underestimate the power of a unified and happy team.
To fully benefit from the potential advantages of quality automotive workwear, it’s essential to have a buyer who understands its importance. Ultimately, by listening to your staff, adapting to their uniform needs, and showing them you care, you have a better chance of being repaid over the long-term. In short, if you look after the talent, they’ll look after you.
To read more about the changing attitude to automotive workwear, you can read our blog here.
The Impact of Bespoke Staff Uniforms on Customers
Just as a new employee will likely make quick judgments about their new employer during onboarding, new customers will notice the little details when they visit your dealership. If we accept that uniforms can have a big impact on team morale and therefore retention, it stands to reason that the customer will notice. If your teams are working well, are skilled in what they do, and are happy in their work, this positive working culture will be clear the moment a new customer steps onto the forecourt.
Dealerships have a few strategies at their disposal when it comes to the little touches that soon add up. From wearing stylish uniforms to offering tasteful handover gifts, these smaller gestures count. If you’re just as interested in promotional gifts as you are the benefits of workwear, you can read our blog on the subject here.
In much the same way as premium bespoke corporate uniforms say a surprising amount to your staff, they also speak to clients. In a purely visual sense, stylish and practical clothing can set the tone for every interaction that follows. When your teams look professional, it’s easier to conclude that this will be reflected in their standard of work.
Finally, keeping dealership staff for years rather than months can help to build stronger, more fruitful relationships between customers and employees. These long-term relationships could result in more business over a longer period of time. And it could all begin with the right workwear.
Leighmans: The Experts in Bespoke Staff Uniforms
Leighmans is a premium supplier of bespoke staff uniforms with considerable experience in the automotive industry. We offer a huge range of customised workwear for every team within your dealership. So whether you need light, breathable fabrics for your technicians or a versatile range of layers for your sales professionals, we’ve got you covered.
Thanks to our Workwear Wizard, we’ve taken bold steps to improve the entire sizing and buying process. This unique app lets your teams decide on their preferred styles and sizes, removing awkward conversations and simplifying the often tricky ordering process. Our products are made from premium fabrics and could offer serious savings — whatever your budget.
If you’re ready to take advantage of the many benefits of premium bespoke workwear, you’ll love working with Leighmans. Contact us today.