But what does it look like in trade?.

This work is intended to advise you, the information is compiled to the best of our knowledge, but no liability can be derived from it.

Die Deutsche Bibliothek CIP unit record : Mertens Ralf Professional human resources management in car dealerships : selecting, managing, and developing employees / Ralf Mertens / Willibrord Kramer. Ottobrunn: Autohaus, 1999 ISBN 3-89059-092-6

But what does it look like in trade?.


– Thank you

– Foreword

– Personnel planning in the car dealership

– Business management aspects of personnel work

– Instruments of human resources management

– Recruitment options

– Personnel Services

– The job ad

– The selection of applicants

– The applicant interview

– The assessment center

– Remuneration systems

– Introduction of a new employee

– Human Resources Management

– The appraisal interview

– Human resources development

– Team building and team development

– Warning and dismissal

– The handling of the employment relationship

– Customer orientation

– Quality Management (QM) in the Car Dealership – Success Factor of the Future

– Summary

– Appendix

Thank you

Every day brings new tasks and if there is only one thing we have in common, it is that we are never without work, never without ideas for new projects. For us, writing this book means fulfilling a goal we set ourselves, but for our families it means an additional burden. We would like to thank you for your understanding. Thank you for your support in the first place.

A comprehensive view of personnel work in the dealership would be incomplete without the business link and the implementation of the quality idea. In this regard we could rely on the expert advice of. Leaving the help of two experts. Mr. Dellner of the consulting firm Dellner& Rill wrote the 2. Chapter Business aspects of human resources work. Bernd Porath, author of the book Quality Management in Car Dealerships supported us with chapter 19 Quality Management (QM) in the Car Dealership Success Factor of the Future. Many thanks, dear colleagues.

Constantly on the lookout for improvements in language or content, Nicole Laudenberg from GiPsy Beratungsgesellschaft has helped us to live up to our claim with this book: Nothing is as good as. As that it could not be improved.Many thanks for the excellent support.

Finally, it was a great pleasure for us. To work with our colleagues at Autohaus Verlag on the realization of this book. Thank you very much for the great cooperation.

Also with you, dear reader. We would like to thank you for taking the time to read this book. We'd love to hear your critiques and suggestions so we can use your comments to help our customers, car dealerships and their employees. Stralsund, Prof. Dr. Ralf Mertens Asbach, Willibrord Kramer


The profound changes in technology and society are leading to revolutionary changes in automotive dealerships. Competition and cost pressure are getting tougher. Customers demand products and services that meet their individual requirements. It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to find suitable skilled workers.

If we want to continue to be competitive, we need employees who have inter-professional knowledge and key qualifications. This can only be achieved through consistently practiced personnel management and well thought-out personnel development.

Medium-sized companies in the automotive trade in particular need to utilize and develop qualifications, motivation and the ability to work in teams. Companies that implement personnel development in a targeted manner will gain competitive advantages in the medium and long term.

There are no patent recipes that can be applied to all companies. Each company must develop and implement a customized personnel development program in accordance with its specific requirements.

The discussion about personnel management and personnel development is still topical and controversial. Obviously, there are different approaches, experiences and conceptual understandings. Nevertheless, the need for development is great in many companies in the automotive trade due to the adjustment factors dictated by the market. Operational conditions often differ from one another and hardly allow for patent remedies. Each company will develop a personnel development concept that is tailored to its needs and promises the greatest benefits in terms of costs.

The core components of personnel management and personnel development include the selection, assessment and promotion of specialists (sales staff) and managers (sales managers, managing directors), needs analysis and advice on training measures. Evaluation and learning transfer are processes that can be controlled and improved in the long term in connection with management principles and business organization tools. As an instrument, the focus is on leadership through target agreements.

A successful personnel development concept follows a corporate strategy approach and is interlinked with the corporate goals.

But what does it look like in trade?.

Challenges for modern personnel management in car dealerships

Personnel management is at a turning point. It must be expanded to become an integral part of corporate development, because the success of a company in the future will be determined to a large extent by the early coordination of quality, organizational and human resources development.

Total Quality Management focuses on first-class and marketable products, which can only be produced and sold by qualified and competent employees in an efficient company organization. TQM methods have taken hold at automotive manufacturers. But how does it look in the dealership? Despite the upswing at the end of the 1980s, personnel development measures have not yet taken on a pacemaker role in the companies.

There is a need for action to meet the challenges of the 1990s. When we talk about lean production, the Japanese challenge and the end of unqualified work, human resources development must play its part in ensuring that lean management is also introduced in dealerships. This applies in particular to the automotive trade. Consistent implementation seems to be the best prerequisite in the current discussion about the Block Exemption Regulation (BER).

Pacemaker Personnel Development

Personnel development is getting closer and closer to the company's key decisions. Thus, training and coaching events increasingly not only have a personnel development approach, but more and more frequently intervene in organizational development measures. But on the way there, some get stuck in a dead-end street. Taking on a pacesetting role means increasing the company's ability to innovate through personnel and training measures. This can succeed if a connection is established between the employees who are capable of learning and the organization that is capable of learning. Communicative systems create the conditions for innovation and success. The context can be outlined as follows:

But what does it look like in trade?.

While cost arguments often dominate the discussion, the question of innovative ability is neglected. It cannot be reduced to one-dimensional factors. Performance can be increased to the extent that expectations of success are realistic. If the innovation cycles of technological innovations, the economic interdependencies, the ecological challenges as well as the socio-cultural change are increasingly faster and more profound, the personnel development must become more effective in the transfer of new know-how. Learning in school, learning of adults in everyday life, further education in the company become indispensable. Learning and working times must be rebalanced in the education system. This applies in particular to training measures. All training content that can be shifted from training measures to leisure time no longer has any place in time-consuming and thus expensive training courses.

Objectives and subject matter of personnel development concepts

Personnel development can help to expand the qualification and personality potential of the specialists and managers in the dealership. In practice, there is usually a balancing of interests in which the goals of management must be balanced. It makes sense to start from factual goals (all of which have one overriding objective: greater customer focus):

1. Maintaining and increasing the competitiveness of the company: – Reducing employee turnover,

– Competitive advantages on the labor market,

– Adaptation to new/changed requirements.

2. Increasing employee flexibility: – Flexible organizational units,

– Teamwork and project management,

– Expanding the innovative ability of employees,

– Increasing the deployment potential of employees through multiple qualifications.

3. Promoting identification with corporate goals. The integration of employees into the company.

4. Securing a qualified workforce: – Raising the entry qualification level,

– Securing the next generation of employees,

– Improving qualifications for competent task fulfillment,

– Increasing the qualification potential.

5. Consideration of the individual and social change of values: – Satisfaction of the potential for self-realization,

– better pay,

– Avoidance of excessive demands,

– Increasing social security,

– Realization of equal opportunities.

Personnel development as a management task

The management process includes analysis and preparation, planning and organization, decision-making and implementation, as well as personnel and education controlling. An integrating approach proves to be successful in this context. Accordingly, specialists and managers must think strategically and act operationally. They have to rethink their previous ways of doing things. It is no longer sufficient to simply update the current personnel business. Personnel development must become the driving force. Corporate goals of a car dealership should determine the importance of personnel management. Clearly formulate personnel development.

Today, employees can no longer be trained and developed in a scattergun approach. This implies to consider personnel development as an investment factor. Today, it is no longer sufficient just to keep a record of costs; an investment balance sheet should be drawn up Personnel development and further training. At the operational level, the planning-. Focus on the organizational process. Personnel measures have to be initiated, trainings have to be designed, organized and carried out.

Employees who are capable of learning, motivated and creative are the prerequisite for the business success of the dealership. Motivation of employees always means motivation of customers. Self-motivation is a future-oriented skill for specialists and managers in the car dealership.

Planning and organizing are part of the everyday tools of the trade, and the specifics of personnel development and training must be considered, because employees are living people who are critical and can intervene directly in the operating process. In addition, (training and) personnel measures must provide answers to employees' questions. The implementation of these measures requires strategic foresight, tact and assertiveness in operational practice. Finally, operational controlling must take into account the personnel requirements of the company. Putting interdependencies into a cost-benefit relationship. This is one reason why, in future, personnel development should no longer be included in operational performance accounting solely as a cost factor. Managing directors and owners of car dealerships are moving to include them in their investment budgets. Human resources management is seen as a forward-looking investment.

To implement

Those who opt for strategic personnel management accept a new understanding of personnel and organizational development. This is connected with a change of position in the company. Personnel development must be organized professionally. Companies can no longer leave it up to employees alone to decide whether and in what area they qualify themselves. Targeted personnel measures are in the interest of the company. That is why personnel development needs a holistic approach. If it is considered as a manangement task, there are good chances to push the professionalization forward.

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