515-223-5119 info@ineda.com

Mark Hennessey, President and CEO, markh@ineda.com

“It is easy to be a leader when everything is going well for you. A true leader is someone who steps up when the adversity shows up.”

-Ed Thomas, legendary high school football coach in Aplington-Parkersburg, IA

Recently, INEDA held our first regional workshops focused on workforce development. One of our guest speakers was Aaron Thomas, son of the late legendary coach Ed Thomas. The message he shared on leadership that his father passed down to him was very impactful for everyone in attendance. It made me pause to reflect on the adversity that we all have faced this past year. Whether you are still dealing with the turmoil originating from the COVID-19 pandemic, trials related to today’s supply chain constraints, or challenges you may be facing at your dealership, Ed Thomas’ words are so true. As a leader, how do you persevere? Who were your role models that mentored you during your challenging times? What have you learned that you can pass down to the next generation?

Our association is filled with leaders who have faced adversity. Many of our dealers have survived the test of time across family generations and decades. While talking to attendees at our workforce development event in May, one owner shared their story of adversity with me that may resonate with many of you. It involved sleepless nights when they were unsure whether “making payroll” was possible. Tough times, challenging times. They had to make personal sacrifices for their employees and poured everything they had into the business. Eventually, their grit, perseverance, pure determination, and hard work prevailed. Listening to their story, I could not help but feel their emotion and very strong sense of pride. It was apparent that they have passed their own attitude and values to their employees, resulting in dedicated employees and loyal customers.

What about you and your dealership—how have you stepped up against adversity? What attitudes and values have you passed on to your employees?

Our next round of regional workshops slated for November will dive into the theme of employee retention and how you can build retention rates within your company.

Within Human Resources journals, the term “employee retention” is defined as “the process by which a company ensures that its employees don’t quit their jobs.” REALLY! For me, this definition falls woefully short and completely misses the mark. I believe “employee retention” should be defined as “the process by which employees enjoy working for an organization where they feel appreciated, fulfilled and important.” That’s my definition, which touches aspects of culture, company values, and leadership. The upcoming workforce development workshop in November will focus on employee retention, workplace culture, and approaches for increasing employee loyalty and retention rates.

Stay tuned for additional news and announcements about this workshop event.