Five Tips for Handling Internal Staff Transitions Within Your Dealership


In an ideal world, today’s entry-level employees would always become tomorrow’s senior leaders at your dealership. Ultimately, many factors impact whether an employee makes a lateral or vertical transition within a company. The level of experience, your evolving staffing needs, and their ability to stay with the company for the long haul are all critical elements.

However, what should happen when everything aligns, and you have a worker ready to move to another position within the dealership? You may feel tempted to treat it like business as usual, but these individuals still require the same level of support as an employee that was just added to the team.

So, how do you ensure your internal hire is ready for success? Check out our essential steps for ensuring a smooth and productive internal staff transition below.

Meet with the Former and New Manager

Whether your employee is moving up within your dealership staff team or is moving to another department, it is vital that you have a dialogue going between the old and new team. You can get a feel for why the employee is moving on, set up a system for collaboration to help the individual seamlessly move from one position to the next, and understand how their skills can fit into the new role.

This meeting is also an excellent way to enlist the help of both managers to support this transition. While telling them how they can help, you can also clear up any misconceptions as to why the employee is making a move. 

Ensure that an Exit Interview Occurs Between the Former Boss and Employeetransition

This process is pretty standard for when an employee leaves a company. However, it can feel like it isn’t necessary since the current employee will still be working at your dealership. It is crucial to understand that while this is the same person, they are leaving this position for a new job which is different than their old position.

Therefore, it is essential to get their feedback on their former role. Exit interviews don’t have to be negative as they can be opportunities to collect valuable information. The goal for yourself and the former manager should be to find out what the employee’s experience was like, and how you can optimize the position for future workers.

Try to Ensure There is Overlap Between the New Hire and Transitioning Employee

Again, since the transition is an internal one, you may feel tempted to forego a training period between the transitioning employee and new hire since the former will still be around. However, the internal hire should have their focus on the new position. So, ensure there is an overlap between the new hire and the transitioning employee. This action allows them to teach and train the new hire so they can eventually and completely move on to their next role within the company.

Have an Onboarding Process

This job is a different position with a unique function for your dealership employee. Therefore, your internal staff hire should be treated as if they are new to the company. Refresh their knowledge on HR practices, re-orient them to dealership principles and values, and ensure they have uninterrupted time to meet with their new manager so they can get up to speed on new expectations and projects.

While many companies only have a month of onboarding activities planned, you can improve the retention of this individual with three months of onboarding events and training. 

Ensure They Have Ample Time for Training and Development

While they will likely have to hit the ground running, it is critical that you do not promote a “trial by fire,” mentality. This individual has to be given the room to learn and grow so they can help your dealership meet its business goals.

So, work with the new manager to ensure the employee has an ample amount of time for training and learning. Whether they need to understand how to use a particular software tool or be introduced to new processes, they must have the time to become familiar with the nuances of their new position. 

Final Thoughts

Internal hiring can be a rewarding but also uniquely challenging process. An employee with history at your dealership is moving into a new role. However, the goal is to remember that they need the same level of support as a new hire. So, work to keep the communication lines open between the new and former boss, ensure there is time for the internal hire to train the new hire, and allow for an ample amount of time for training and learning in their new role. Having a robust internal hiring process will ensure your team doesn’t skip a beat.