Article by ProSales Magazine

It’s no secret labor shortages are one of the most pressing problems facing today’s dealers. As one measure of the issue, more than 80% of NAHB members expect it will be a problem in 2017 while 78% said it was a problem in 2016, according to the latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

But smart dealers are realizing they have a powerful ally in combating this persistent labor shortage: free manufacturer trainings and offerings. That’s key because while some dealers may not realize it, experts say ongoing training is crucial to attracting new and keeping old employees satisfied in their jobs, especially in a tight labor market.

As most dealers know, manufacturer offerings come in three main varieties: lunch and learns, product knowledge seminars and booth support for customer appreciation days.

Here are three ways these offerings can help combat your labor shortage:

1. Attract new employees. 

Research shows that regular ongoing training is an increasingly powerful way to attract younger workers as part of an overall benefits package. More than 20% of human resource professionals say professional and career development will be crucial to attracting new employees over the next three to five years, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, 2016 Strategic Benefits Survey—Assessment and Communication of Benefits.

2. Retain existing employees. 

Hiring employees is one thing. But how can you keep them over the long term? Studies show that existing employees are more likely to stay with dealers if they feel they have a clear path toward advancement. Putting together a training program—with the aid of manufacturer offerings—is a great way to create such a path. As a bonus, ongoing training leads to a more engaged, contented, efficient and committed staff. In fact, 46% of contracting firms are doing more in-house training to cope with workforce shortages, according to a just-released survey from the Associated General Contractors of America and Autodesk.

3. Reduce the workload. 

In the midst of the labor crunch, dealers everywhere are trying to do more with less. This is another area where manufacturer offerings can help. For example, when it comes to creating product brochures, some manufacturers will create free custom catalogs, brochures and advertising pieces complete with dealers’ logos to aid sales. At the same time, leaning on manufacturers for booth support at customer appreciation days essentially gives additional sales people to dealers who may not have enough sales people of their own in a tight labor market.

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See more from the March issue of Dealer Digest. 

Articles in | March 05, 2018