Employee Retention

Complete with expert tips, tactics and insights to help you to engage your employees to improve their advancement, your workforce development and your dealership.

You’ll learn why it’s imperative to:

  • Focus on holding onto and developing your current employees
  • Diversify revenue, etc., so that you can afford to KEEP your team because it’s getting harder and harder to find new people.
  • Understand that compensation plays a role in employee retention
  • Train your employees for professional growth
  • Implement an Employee Satisfaction Survey (ESS) to gain feedback for improvement, moral building and more trust.

Full Employee Retention Spotlight Description

We know you have aspirations of being the best dealership in the marine industry, one where people trust, admire and would love to work for and buy from. In order to be that way, though, you need to have a team or workforce that’s as committed as you are. The problem is since 2020 you’ve seen your workforce issues expand and the ability to retain employees become harder and harder. This can often make you feel as though you don’t have any control of your business, despite seeing a great deal of success lately.

Nobody in your position should have stress out over not having enough employees to grow like you hope to, or lose quality employees to burnout, change or disengagement. We believe you got where you’re at today because of your determination and willingness to overcome obstacles. We understand it’s not easy to build an awesome team and it can feel even harder to keep it intact so you can fire on all cylinders.

That’s why the MRAA’s Spotlight illuminates employee retention. We’ve heard it time and again that your workforce (your employees) are the heart and soul of your business. The guts of your business that make it function the way it should. This page is dedicated to helping guide you to retain your employees, offering tips, tools, tactics and expert advice to help you develop strategies and processes to keep your employees engaged, happy and yearning for a long career at your dealership.

You can stop playing what often seems like a form of “employee roulette,” and hoping for luck to come your way, and start inserting more proven and practical solutions to build a dealership people trust for the way it treats its employees, its customers and the community it serves. When you do this, you become legendary, not ordinary. You become a great dealership to work for, not just another place to work.

“It is more efficient to retain a quality employee than to recruit, train and orient a replacement employee of the same quality.” — From: “Managing for Employee Retention,” the society for Human Resources Management

The Boat Biz podcast, an MRAA resource for boat dealers across North America.
The Boat Biz’ Podcast, Episode 6

Jamie Haradine, Wakeside Marine, Elkhart, Indiana

Psychology major to school teacher to dealership principal, Jamie Haradine has built one of the marine industry’s Great Dealerships to Work For through a consistent focus on treating team members like family. Listen in on this conversation about how Jamie found herself in her current role, how she’s found success, and some of the unique insights she can offer your approach to leadership and management.

Why Can’t I Find and Keep Good People?

MRAA guest blogger Dixie Morrow, CDK Lightspeed Client Training Manager (Lightspeed is an MRAA Strategic Partner), provides six Ideas to help your dealership improve at employee retention through engagement practices and more.

Marine Dealer Data Points to Drive your Decisions

Compensation, employee benefits and overtime are all key factors in dealership employee retention. Source, 2022 MRAA Marine Industry Compensation Study

Wendy Mackie

Motivated to Work and Grow

Your dealership is direct competition for workforce. Not just within the marine industry, but with everyone. Wendy Mackie, Director of Workforce & Foundation Development, shares with you reasons why an apprenticeship program can act as a retention tool and help you build your team.

MRAA Ask the Expert Webinar: Employee Retention & Recruitment

Employees are family members, the heart and soul of your marine dealership and help keep it functioning properly. However, sometimes it feels as if the business is more focused on hiring to replace, versus retaining its existing talent. This can hurt your dealership’s culture, slow its progress and ultimately, your bottom line.

You shouldn’t have to be so deterred by employee retention.

We understand this is a big issue. That’s why MRAA is featuring Gloria Sinclair-Miller, Director of Enterprise and Executive Network Membership Services at The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) — a Dealer Week 2022 speaker — and focusing on employee retention and recruitment.

3 Takeaways:

  • Understanding your organization’s culture
  • Importance of retention versus constantly hiring
  • Biggest factors driving employees to stay & how employers influence them

Gloria Sinclair Miller, SHRM, MRAA Ask the Expert October Webinar guest.
2022 Marine Industry Compensation Study

MRAA 2022 Marine Industry Compensation Study

Persistent workforce challenges within the marine industry have forced you to think differently when it comes to hiring and retaining your employees. You’re not alone in your desire to keep your best workers!

Nobody should have to guess about determining ways to not only engage their staff, but also compensate them fairly. The boating industry has long desired to know staffing and compensation trends for dealership employees across North America. That’s why the new 36-page MRAA 2022 Marine Industry Compensation Study was done.

It includes insights into salary and hourly compensation ranges for 37 common marine retail positions from five job families, including front office, marina, parts & accessories, sales and service. With its insights, you can make wise decisions for compensation levels, benefits and programs for your team at your dealership.

The MRAA Compensation Study full report costs just $299. MRAA Retail and Partner Members receive a $50 discount if they are logged in upon purchase.

Matt Gruhn MRAA President

How to Create a Great Place to Work

MRAA President Matt Gruhn contributes monthly to “Soundings Trade Only” content in the form of a blog. Often, this column will mirror the monthly MRAA Spotlight topic.

Our fearless leader is at it again for October, exploring the topic that is one of high priority: retaining employees! In this column, “How to Create a Great Place to Work,” Gruhn shares some top insights from more than 16,000 marine industry employee satisfaction surveys (ESS).

‘I Don’t Care’

In this revealing blog by John Spence, named a Top 50 Thought Leader by thinkers 360, he reminds us that it’s all about the people! Your employees are your people and that’s why it’s critical to hire great people and care for them!

Expert Quick Tip: Employee Engagement, Retention and Development

Dealer Week Subject Matter Expert Gloria Sinclair Miller, Senior HR Business Executive at SHRM, discusses your employees, the talent Tsunami, and a simple tactic to improve engagement in this 4-minute vlog.

“Managers must take proactive steps to increase employee engagement, or risk losing their workforce. Engaged employees perform better, experience less burnout, and stay in organizations longer.” — From: “How Companies Can Improve Employee Engagement Right Now;” Harvard Business Review

MRAA TNT — Dealer Case Study: ‘An Alternative to the Performance Review’

This Dealer Case Study features the Len’s Cove Marina’s Sean Horsfall and his successful implementation of Personal Business Plans as an alternative to the performance review. This business strategy can help retain employees, through engagement and professional development, because it lets them regain control — using the PBPs – in the process of tracking their professional development and performance.

MRAA Gold and Silver Members have free access to this course – and all TNT episodes. Want access, contact Membership Manager Sherri Cuvala.

Mini-Guide Org Chart
MRAA Mini-Guide: Why Your Dealership Needs an Org. Chart

Authored by Valerie Ziebron of VRZ Consulting, this handy mini-guide discusses adding a dealership org chart to help your team improve its recruitment and employee retention by creating clear expectations for your workforce to seek career growth and how to achieve it.

Sample Job Description

Job Descriptions & Employee Handbook

MRAA Members have access to two critical components for improving the overall experience for employees at a dealership.

MRAA Job Descriptions (MRAA Member Benefit)

MRAA members have access to nearly 50 job descriptions for common positions around the typical dealership, including the service department. Login and click the link above to download the service job descriptions you need.

Employee Handbook (MRAA Member Benefit)

MRAA Members can access this sample employee handbook for use as a guide or template for creating their own employee handbook.

MRAA’s ‘The Boat Biz’ Podcast — Episode 5, ft. Lou Cecchini, Off Shore Marine, Branchville, N.J.

From technician to dealership owner, Lou Cecchini has created dealership success through his approach to employee engagement.

“If you ask most business owners, they would tell you the most important thing in the business is the customers. It’s NOT,” he says. “Our employees are the most important.”

Listen in to hear how this MRAA Great Dealership to Work For creates a world class culture that drives business success.