RVDA Convention Kicks Off with Professionals Recognized

A picture of 2021 Society of RV Professionals scholarship winners being honored at the RVDA Convention/Expo

RVDA’s Convention/Expo began Monday, with the day capped by a reception honoring Society of Certified RV Professionals’ scholarship winners.

Five dealership employees who have maintained their certifications were presented with convention scholarships, plaques and gifts from sponsors. Gifts included leather jackets, sponsored by Forest River Flagstaff, and polo shirts and hats, sponsored by Northern Wholesale Supply.

Steve Davis, a master certified technician, has been certified, without a lapse, since 1996. Other scholarship winners were Denny Holmes, certified parts manager and certified service manager; Lynn Kemp, certified warranty administrator; Chris Roy, certified service writer/advisor; and Anna Freeman, certified parts specialist.

Mick Ferkey, the chairman of the Society of Certified RV Professionals, congratulated the scholarship winners on their achievement and dedication.

“Thanks to the support of their dealerships, in addition to the certified professionals we are recognizing here today, many more certified professionals … are here this week at the convention,” he said.

After the presentation, Mike Bensi led a presentation on the stages needed to build employee commitment.

Bensi targeted five areas dealers needed to follow to build commitment: Reach, Discovery, Bond, Prepare and Advocacy.

He began by joking he was old enough to remember when advertising job openings in a newspaper was the only option companies had. Today he said most companies simply have replaced the newspaper with services such as Indeed, Zip Recruiter or the company’s website. Finding alternatives should be a priority, he said, recalling one leader who decided to drive for Uber to engage with people. The driver ended up hiring two people from his Uber work, Bensi said.

Once a new employee is hired, Bensi detailed steps to onboard them properly. Ideas included creating a buddy system with other employees to ease the transition and encourage 1-on-1 meetings with their managers the first week.

After an employee has been with the company, Bensi suggested dealers provide opportunities to provide feedback to improve the dealership and relations with staff. Finally, he discussed providing “inboarding” processes for employees who are promoted, mirroring the dealer’s onboarding process. Bensi also urged dealers to create transition programs for retiring employees, enabling them to work part-time as they enter retirement rather than simply leave altogether.

A picture of Mike Bensi making a staffing presentation at the RVDA Convention/Expo

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