The benefits of investing in staff training

Lee Peters | 8 July 2022

This investment in your people could help you win the war on talent.

For many businesses across the automotive eco-system, the race to find talent has never been tougher. While many industries across Australia are left reeling from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, international border closures and supply shortages, there’s another factor keeping leaders awake at night – a lack of people available for the job today. The outlook is not all bleak though. Top performing businesses are using this period of change to redefine and optimise their processes, to increase efficiencies and ultimately, support their staff to do more with less. How are they doing it? Our clients tell us that they’re investing in the training and skill development of their people. It’s not only delivering a strong return on investment when it comes to retention, but also higher profits for the benchmark organisations (Deloitte eProfitFocus, 2022). 

Train staff to improve their skills, business efficiency and optimise process

The best people in your organisation to help improve efficiency and optimise processes are those delivering on them every day. Despite elements of staff shortages, leading businesses tell us that they are investing in their frontline staff, equipping them with skills such as time management, process design, operations optimisation and delegation. The goal is to engage their teams, and the pre-existing skills that they bring to the role, to re-design the ‘way that we’ve always done it’. Just 10 minutes saved on a task or a small process enhancement that improves the customer’s experience can deliver strong return on investment, without the need to increase headcount costs.

Learning and skill development improves staff retention and satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is a continuous pursuit for leading businesses. Afterall, a return on investment in staff training can only be achieved if you retain your people and can experience the benefits of their training. In our experience, employees who feel recognised and are offered training opportunities as a result, are more inclined to feel greater satisfaction towards their job. We have found that it also helps them to feel a sense of challenge, purpose and growth, which are fundamental ingredients for a career with most  organisations. A culture of continuous improvement is likely to create loyalty and drive high performance. Your customers will also appreciate dealing with a familiar face who knows them, their service history and can provide tailored advice.

The data proves that investing in your people drives profit and performance

Interestingly, financial data analysed from Deloitte’s eProfitFocus benchmarking platform, which collects data from more than 1600 motor dealers every month, demonstrates the tangible benefits to dealership profitability that come from investment in staff training and development. The figures below relate to the period April 2021 to March 2022.

The Top 5%, Top 30% and Average performers in the industry are calculated on the basis of total dealership net profit as a % of sales.

Our analysis has found that the top 5% of dealers – the elite performers – are even more invested in the training and development space than the Benchmark performers.

  • The Benchmark dealers, which is the average of the top 30%, invest more per year into training than the Average dealers across the industry. 
  • Total training investment per annum is higher per employee for the Benchmark dealers than the industry Average. 
  • Training investment per annum is higher for the top 5% of elite dealers than even the Top 30% of Benchmark dealers.

Whilst investment in training is not the only factor at play in determining what separates the level of performance within the automotive industry, it appears to be an important factor when driving dealership performance.

Overall, we see that ‘net profit per employee’ is almost double the amount for the industry Benchmark than the industry Average.

So, the overarching question here is: in an industry environment where pay and working conditions are no longer primary differentiators in the war on talent, how will your business think differently about attracting, recruiting, and retaining top talent, whilst driving profit and performance at the same time?

We’d love to hear what’s working for you when it comes to staff development and the performance results!

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