Oct. 25, 2021

Sandy Zannino | Founder of Innovative Auto HR | A dedicated, passionate, process-based problem solving human resources professional!.


https://www.innovativeautohr.com/

2019 TAMPA BAY HR CONSULTANT OF THE YEAR

2:38 diversity, equity, and inclusion
7:23 better to fire quicker (for the employee's sake)
9:25 affirmative action

15:47 Women: barefoot... and in accounting
23:18 applicants interviewing to continue receiving unemployment
24:02 Jeff: "...I've always worked hard to bring a female in... the reason I wanted females was not to be inclusive or diverse. The reason I wanted females is whenever I got a good female she just frickin' creamed everybody else..."

29:00 use what God gives you.
30:36 rice bowls and silos
31:22 the people that suck at paperwork are really good at getting a deal made
33:54 pay plans where everybody gets paid on the bottom line
35:08 Sandy: "...all of a sudden something came in the mail. It was a wage and hour lawsuit..."
38:44 Sexual harassment lawsuit in Tampa Bay- $500k
40:25 Sandy: "...what I learned is that there's always more to the story..."
45:57 "...when you're a manager, you are an HR manager..."
53:44 Jeff's interview question to car sales candidates: "How long will you stay if you hate the job?"
1:04:41 right to work state?
1:08:42 the offensive group email sent from the company email
1:20:17 the automotive technician shortage



Transcript

Unknown Speaker  0:00  
This country has the most diversity in the world than any other country. But does our staffing in our dealerships look like our country, if a union comes into your workplace, then you probably deserve it

Jeff Sterns  0:15  
quit sweeping so fast, you're making us all look bad, but it to me in capitalism, it's all protected anyway. Because in capitalism if you're not paying me enough, I can go look for another job or open my own business. That's it. And and I'm allowed to go try to find someone cheaper than you better than you as an employer.

Unknown Speaker  0:34  
I truly believe that non competes have a place in. In the professional world.

Jeff Sterns  0:40  
The reason I wanted females was not to be inclusive or diverse. The reason I wanted females is whenever I got a good female, she just frickin creamed everybody else along with the natural manipulative piece that you females have. So in 99, in 2000, you found out that you were non productive.

Unknown Speaker  0:59  
It was a wage and hour is the Department of Labor as a wage and hour lawsuit, and that's when I learned like, okay, I can't create profits, but I can protect them. They failed to promote a long term employee to General Manager, because they told her she was too motherly. When you're a manager, you are an HR manager and

Jeff Sterns  1:20  
one can't can't get laid in an all female prison with a fistful of pardons.

Unknown Speaker  1:26  
Jeff Sterns connected through cars, if they're big wigs, we'll have him on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. Here he is now, Jeff Sterns,

Jeff Sterns  1:43  
Sandy zunino, I'm so excited to have you on Jeff Sterns connected through cars referred by a good mutual friend of ours and turned out we ended up having some other mutual friends after we met. And I'm looking at your notes here. Folks strap in this should be two to three hours, but you're gonna love every minute of it. Whenever I get hired anywhere, I always let the HR person which you let me know, human remains I

Unknown Speaker  2:15  
love. That's from our friend, Sean, it's from Shawn. But I

Jeff Sterns  2:19  
always tell them right up front, about my health issue so that they understand what they're dealing with.

Unknown Speaker  2:27  
And is that Tourette's? Yes. Is it really though? No.

Jeff Sterns  2:33  
So for those of us that are not HR experts, what's the Ei train

Unknown Speaker  2:38  
diversity, equity and inclusion, right? And this is a I've always been really, I've always been passionate about inclusion, I have done it naturally. And that's not to say I know everything because nobody knows everything, right? But what I've recognized is that I've done it naturally in my wife, my you know, my daughter, and my daughter's Latina. her, her dad is a Puerto Rican. Um, my world is surrounded, I My world is surrounded by diversity, and in all shapes and sizes, colors, ethnicities, abilities, sexualities, I mean, it's, it's just always kind of been that way. Right? So, you know, like, a lot of people when, when George Floyd was murdered, I also was like, okay, you know, I've experienced things in my life, like, you know, speaking Spanish at the beach with all my friends. And me being screamed at to go back to my country. Like on I mean, you know, in my area, of course, I'm like, What are you talking about? And, you know, by but recognizing that, you know, what, my god people, there are people in this world that received that kind of treatment all the time. Right. And you know, so when, when that happened, I became I took a class, three months, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion course. Because I feel like our industry is the perfect industry to be in. And, you know, I don't know if you saw Paul Walser, the nada chairman. This year. If you saw when he addressed the dealer body at nada, it was pretty powerful. I mean, I have a, it was really, really powerful. He talked about this. One of the things that he said that is, you know, you can't i can't look away from it. It's really true that this country Is has the most diversity in in the world than any other country. But does our staffing in our dealerships look like our country? And and clearly does it?

Jeff Sterns  5:17  
So I'm, I believe in meritocracies You know, I'm a sales manager I was in dealerships 27 years I was a salesperson for, I don't know, five ish or something and a boss for 20 something years, and I'm not gonna sit here and act like, and I'm looking for diversity. I only cared about performance. So that was it. I mean, white, black, male, female. I mean, I could look if I had two people applying and I was be straight if I have two people applying one white one black, I didn't believe in I don't believe in affirmative action. But I would look, I would pray that the black guy would score good enough on the profile testing or whatever, because I wanted the show room, you know, I mean, let me just say, I need a black guy, I need a Latin guy. I need a Greek guy to be able to talk when the Tarpon Springs people come in. So I do want I don't want the showroom to look a certain way because I want it to look a certain way. But I want certain customers if they want to gravitate towards that salesperson it was all about making money. Let me just say it

Unknown Speaker  6:33  
well i think that that I understand that and I think that when when we put profit above people that always ends up being I understand what you're saying and and you know, when you think about affirmative action so what is affirmative action policies or processes that benefit a certain racial group? Right? Would that be a good definition do you think?

Jeff Sterns  7:02  
No, okay, well, well, that might be the written definition. But if if if well here's the problem. I had a guy selling five cars a month for God knows how many months doing a terrible job what we'll call a five car Friday, right? loved him loved him to death. You

Unknown Speaker  7:19  
loved it, you should have fired him a long time ago, but or you needed to Well, I

Jeff Sterns  7:23  
liked them too much. If I was a young manager, I learned to do it faster. But I always thought bad luck, bad luck, bad luck. He'll do better next month. He's doing everything right. When I'm talking to his customers, they love them. Whatever it was, after enough months of this, I knew that he couldn't close or I finally you know, I finally was able to accept that he couldn't close very helpful very good team spirit right? Now. Finally, I call him into let him go. And I'm like, I gotta let you go. And he's like, I've been waiting for you to say this for months. Well, what's interesting is is in very short order, and I think of him all the time when I let somebody go or when I advise another manager let's let the person go it's not a matter of if you have a heart you hang on to him long and if you don't have a heart you get rid of him quick if you have a hurt you get rid of him quick

Unknown Speaker  8:16  
because you're not doing anybody any favors if they can't

Jeff Sterns  8:20  
you're not doing them a favor because what happened was is this guy that I let go opened a cleaning company very quickly ended up getting our dealerships business as a matter of fact it through no intervention of mine, however, he applied, you know, got the contract, but ended up making he told me later when I any and I don't go to the golf course, very often, you know, back when I was playing a lot, I was going, you know, six times a year or something. Now it's once every two years. But I saw him at Innisbrook at the golf course. Every single time I ever went, I had I figured I had to live there. Because no matter what buddy took me no matter what time of day, I'd see this guy. And he's like, you know, thank you so much for letting me go. He's making 10 times the money. He's only working at night, he plays golf all day. So he was able to experience success. So putting someone in a role and have them it where there's not succeeding isn't good for them because they're just reliving not succeeding in their self image in their psyche is related to not winning.

Unknown Speaker  9:25  
Okay, so but what's that got to do with affirmative action?

Jeff Sterns  9:28  
If someone's in a role, race related as opposed to merit or talent or qualifications, then that's not a win for them. Okay.

Unknown Speaker  9:39  
Well, I mean, I understand that you've been in this in this business for a very long time, right? So, I mean, I could think of five people off the top of my head, who got a job that they were not qualified for. Because they knew somebody,

Jeff Sterns  9:56  
okay, but that's forever, always been always will be in And regardless of race,

Unknown Speaker  10:02  
no, but I'm alright well, I should qualify that I could think of five white white males who have gotten been put into a role. So I guess what I'm saying is that affirmative action has been around for a long time before it was actually called affirmative action. So you know, it really anymore it's it's only done the only place that affirmative action is actually a thing is in universities and they have to it's very, very regulated.

Jeff Sterns  10:35  
Well I'm also like anti union

Unknown Speaker  10:38  
Okay, I'm not I'm not a union fan. I mean, I think I mean like when the unions were important needed at one point and what what a professor of mine said, if a union if a union comes into your workplace, then you probably deserve it. Because if if you have happy employees, they're not going to unionize.

Jeff Sterns  10:56  
Well, here's the problem I have so Henry Ford used to beat the crap out of the employees he had someone called the service department that were actually thugs that would beat up and rough up employees that were yeah wow that were out of line sweatshops wages it cetera et cetera. I think there was a unions were probably necessary but what happened was when they gained too much power or when it swung the other way, I also have a problem as an entrepreneur where a number of people who want something can sit down or form a picket line and stop my customers from coming in they got no investment they got no risk they had nothing to do to go from the blood sweat and tears from the coffee table to what we have now and the employees to now they're going to put me out of business if I don't give them something they want that's one part of it that I struggle with. Another struggle that I have is just the union mentality sorry pro union people watching my show which is just the way which I know this is a cliche but I also know it to be true quit sweeping so fast you're making us all look bad I believe that it it greatly reduces the earning your way and outperforming everyone you know etc to to climb a ladder

Unknown Speaker  12:15  
i mean i've i've never been in I've never worked for a company with a union I've never been in the the unionized environment you know where there is collective bargaining for benefits and you know, and all of that so I can't I can't speak to it from experience I know that I don't want a union to come in to any of my clients or you know, and we're pretty low in that in in Florida.

Jeff Sterns  12:50  
We are but it to me in capitalism, it's all protected anyway. Because in capitalism if you're not paying me enough I can go look for another job or open my own business that's it and and I'm allowed to go try to find someone cheaper than you better than you as an employer.

Unknown Speaker  13:07  
You're right, exactly that it's so so it's interesting that you're that you say that because the um, a couple of years ago, I was like, What are you talking about there were it was the non competes that were happening and this was a whole like a session at my HR Association then and non competes have a place right I truly believe that non competes have a place in in the the professional world, right? For to me for executive positions, right positions where they're doing non competes like this is where this is why there's no it's so hard to find the even ground sometimes, because the non competes were being done like for people who here in Sarasota, the hotels for the the room cleaners, they were having them do a non compete, so they couldn't so the hotel next door, couldn't pay them $1 more an hour, and I'm like, this is experience that I'm telling you about. Right? And I'm like, What? That's anti capitalist, isn't it? I mean, like, it's like, it's a an interesting conversation. But we started this talking about Dei, we still we got to hear talking about diversity, equity and inclusion. And, and how how it's really it's an imperative, I believe, for our businesses to begin to really look at this and and you mentioned, you know, hiring for diversity. It isn't just about hiring for diversity. Now. Yes, there are things that you can do you, you can a lot of things you can do when you're trying to hire when you realize that You have a problem, right? When you realize that like, Oh my God, my dealership staff doesn't look like the people that I'm serving. Right when you realize it's, it's and there's an easy way to find that out most dealer groups have the data they have what is called their EEO one they have all this data right so pull it up go on this the the US Census and pull up your demographics in the area that you operate in and see if it matches across the board and I always tell people no it does not count if if the Latinos and the black African American employees are all in detail and in car show no none and it doesn't count if all the women are in accounting

Jeff Sterns  15:47  
well i mean that's that's God's design but we won't have to go we're gonna have so much fun this we want women to feel like women I mean, did you ever hear the guy don't want to take that rob a woman of being able to feel like a woman so Did you ever hear the wonder about the what the airplane pilot announces that they lost three out of four engines and he thinks he can only keep the plane in the air about 1015 minutes? No, I did not. Yeah, so he makes that announcement and a woman in the front of the plane yells if I'm going to die, I want to feel like a woman one more time in this gorgeous six foot five Mediterranean guy I don't know dark, hairy chest, whatever.

Unknown Speaker  16:29  
dinner or something like that.

Jeff Sterns  16:31  
Yes. He's walking down the The joke is he's walking down the aisle sauntering and unbuttoning his shirt and everyone's like swooning. And by the time he gets up to he throws the shirt at her and go higher in this. And when you're done, make me a sandwich.

Unknown Speaker  16:47  
You know, that is a great joke that shows one of the things that women in general have to deal with. And that is called the double bind.

Unknown Speaker  16:57  
What is that? Well, the

Unknown Speaker  16:58  
double bind is like, it is conflicting messages, right? That women get all the time and our young young girls, right? Your your baby is a little girl isn't

Jeff Sterns  17:13  
that you have a little Yeah, double standard fully kicked in. Yes.

Unknown Speaker  17:16  
You know, we are supposed to be sexy, just not sexual. Um, you know that that's one example Goldilocks, the Goldilocks story. We got to be just right, we can't be too cold. We can't be too hot. Women have to be just right. You know, there, it's like when when I start learning about these things, it just really makes me it makes me think and it and it makes me want to make our world a better place. Right. And one dealers and our little world, our automotive world, because I just really, really believe that when we do that we're we're going to be unstoppable. This this industry will be unstoppable when when that happens. You know, and it's it's easy to see that, you know, you can talk about and I'm sure that, you know, there are people who have been, there are white men who I'm sure have been hurt by affirmative action. Right? Like they didn't get somebody didn't get a job or, you know, probably, if you look at the numbers, it would probably go the other way, right? I know a lot of people that that have not gotten a job because

Jeff Sterns  18:37  
well, but my world like we all none, none of us Sandy, none of us none of us see the world as it is. We see it as we are. So it never occurred to me to go outside of whoever could perform the best and where I took exception to the film, put profit above people or whatever. I actually use that example of the guy losing his job and making 10 times more I want to hire people that are going to succeed and win so they can love it. So they'll tell their friends to come work here so they'll stay as a career so they're treating their customers unbelievable because they love their job and they're proud of where they work and they're providing for their family in a way that they never thought that they could that's where I got always got my juice.

Unknown Speaker  19:25  
I am not I'm not disagreeing that you know ability. Right In fact, I use a really really awesome purse. It's it's it measures personality and measures behaviors and it measures motivators. Right like all three because I want to know all you know, and it's such a cool tool because you can benchmark like your high performers. And then you see what you're looking for. Right? So I guess what I'm getting to is that a lot of this is about diversity. It is about opportunity and also You're well aware of a principle that is about attraction. It's, uh, there's the saying, you know, you got to see it if you want to be it. And, and it really is true, it is very true. So the applicants that are coming in are naturally going to be the applicants that look like, that's a natural thing. You know, we have grown up in a society where we spend the most time with people who look like us went to the same churches did the, you know, that's that's just what we do in in this country. So to me, it's also about, like, you can't in the workplace, you can't focus on hiring for diversity without or you can, but I don't think it'll work without also looking at inclusion. And what that means and that that's where the real good stuff is right, in fostering a culture that is inclusive and helps people to feel safe, right helps people to feel safe enough to say, hey, I've been sober for 25 years. And no, or to say,

Jeff Sterns  21:10  
Hey, I have Tourette's. And not just as a defense and not and not. Right, exactly.

Unknown Speaker  21:14  
And not, and not be called the name. You know, or it's a i and i think that the symptoms of the exclusive culture that in general, nothing every dealership in the, you know, the 18,000 dealerships, we've been talking about these symptoms for a long time. The first one is our turnover. People don't stay. The second one is women in our industry, we can't get it. We've been talking about how we need to have women in our industry for ever, ad infinitum. Right? Like we've been talking about that and turnover. And the needle, the needle just doesn't move. And after, you know, this paper that I wrote and doing all the research, and I've just realized these are the symptoms, these are the symptoms of exclusivity, and we need to do something about it. Because our generations that are coming, that's what they're gonna want. And there really is a worker shortage. There's a worker shortage,

Jeff Sterns  22:23  
especially now

Unknown Speaker  22:26  
it is it's been coming. I've been talking about it for years. Nobody listens to me. I've been talking about for years, we've known that it's coming. Right? Because of just demographics. We've known we've had this big giant boomer generation, that's going to hit retirement age, we know how many Gen X's there are, you know, I'm a Gen X or, and small generation millennial great big generation Gen Z great big generation. It's the, you know, we just don't have enough right now there's one, job seeker. And this is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one job seeker for every job opening. That's slim pickins. Right.

Jeff Sterns  23:18  
That's very slim pickins. But things are very funky now. I mean, I've had a couple people no show for job interviews, and then still ask if I'd mark them down as a show because they really just wanted to do it for their unemployment. So that pisses me off.

Unknown Speaker  23:31  
They asked you to I mean, employment that I don't even know they have to go on the interview. They just have to I don't even know because I've never actually been

Jeff Sterns  23:39  
I mean, where it was out like Hey, man, I was just doing it to apply for unemployment, you know, to show him apply for jobs.

Unknown Speaker  23:46  
I mean, there are people who who play that game right but pretty much the I mean, if they're in Florida, I don't know if you can live on $275 that's the most you can make on unemployment an hour

Jeff Sterns  24:01  
a week. No, I know it's terrible. But it's it's it's terrible. But the

Unknown Speaker  24:07  
you know that the pandemic like it's that I believe that I don't know, I have maybe maybe I have rose colored glasses on. I also believe, because I believe that people want to work and I believe that people want to I was there's always the outliers, right? But I don't like to judge a whole group by the actions of a few right i don't i don't think that that's fair.

Jeff Sterns  24:33  
No, no, no, no, you're right. So the turnover in the female part that we've been talking about forever and haven't been able to move the needle You know, I've only been in three places. I'm now I'm with chat lead, selling software and consultative services to car, boat, RV, legal, etc, for the last 10 years. But I was in dealerships for 27 years, three stores over like 10 years. 10 years and seven year Very very low turret like very low turnover forget about compared to the car business I mean like compared to workforces in all three places that I work

Unknown Speaker  25:10  
in all three dealerships

Jeff Sterns  25:12  
all three i mean i'm talking 10 ish percent where are they first one was Carlyle Lincoln Mercury, which you're probably too young to remember but it was in its day one of the top few Lincoln mercury stores in the nation for volume like 650 new and used a month 1000 service arrows a week number one customer satisfaction like 15 years in a row among all Ford and Lincoln mercury stores combined like 5500 stores. So it was we call you know, call it Camelot. anyone listening that didn't work there. In town here in the Tampa Bay area is probably sick of it because anyone that's ever worked there. They're like, sick of hearing about it. But when that was in the middle of the buy sell to auto nation, it was one of the very first auto nation acquisitions. I moved to become GSM at Dima Cadillac which we later had a great operation. They certainly did. But it was good mechanic Landover in the beginning, and then we picked up the exotic brands the rolls belly, but the 10 years that I was there we were number one in customer satisfaction. had very, very little turnover but it had very little turnover when I walked in when I walked in there at age 30, as GSM there were we call them the four horsemen I think there was five guys. I think one of them was too new so we call it the four horsemen so the rookie was there 16 years and the longest tooth was there 34 years so that was five of the guys that I that I inherited. I always would work hard to bring a female in but I'd have to be straight with them during the interview process the reason I wanted females was not to be inclusive or diverse. The reason I wanted females is whenever I got a good female she just frickin creamed everybody else that's

Unknown Speaker  27:16  
that because that's relationships right like selling if you listen they just do Boudreau

Jeff Sterns  27:21  
well i think the reason I think the reason females do better when they get into the craft of female if done right attractive to whoever right i mean attractive is in the eye of the beholder but a guy as long as she can you know be professional understand the product is going to give a female a break is going to negotiate less hard is going to be less abusive. And if it as long as she's not too too too threatening, the females will adopter they'll adopters their sister or niece or kid or whatever as long as they're not threatened so as long as they work it right they have some advantage you know along with the natural manipulative piece that you females here, so

Unknown Speaker  28:22  
we need to roll this I can't wait to watch this.

Jeff Sterns  28:26  
God knows what we're gonna hate God like that whole

Unknown Speaker  28:29  
part. You need to cut out because

Jeff Sterns  28:34  
I don't know I'm gonna watch it and see how I feel because I'm okay being because here's the deal. I mean, anyone that's ever worked for me in the car business made five times more than they ever made anywhere else or before that with the last Yes, I

Unknown Speaker  28:46  
absolutely believe that right? But all of the like these beliefs, right? That that you just expressed to me. They're the beliefs that a lot. They are the limiting beliefs

Jeff Sterns  29:00  
that you use what God gives you. I had a guy with a stroke that's outsold everybody limped around, wet himself a little. And he'd give the customer depend to start filling out their own stuff, how it played to that

Unknown Speaker  29:18  
you were I was getting ready to ask you a question, right? Because you were telling me about the three places that you used to work who had like 10% turnover? So my first question is about that will you need to have some turnover but my first question is, was it measured every month? Like who measured it?

Jeff Sterns  29:37  
We measured it and we measured it annually.

Unknown Speaker  29:40  
It was it was a done, okay.

Jeff Sterns  29:44  
Oh, we know what I cared a lot of turnover, like what I cared about was turnover and CSI because that told me employee satisfaction and that told me customer satisfaction. That's what I cared about. And then of course, the gross per copy, you know, the financial statement. I mean, if you're If you're getting more per copy than the district or the region or the, or the country, that's also a big indicator of how happy in train your staff is and how happy the customer is. Because if otherwise all you've got to talk about his price, and anytime you talk about price, it's gonna cost you money. There's no doubt about it.

Unknown Speaker  30:24  
So what was so great about working at those like, was there one thing that was the that was the same through all three of those work?

Jeff Sterns  30:36  
Well, I just believe in authenticity and directness and confrontation and problems only. Staying alive in the dark. I could VDA not me. I mean, the staff. I mean, the thing that I would that matter to me in culture was for example, you know, because you're, I don't know if you know, in HR, but like, really sure you do. Be like in between departments, of course, you have what I call, or what I was taught a long time ago by a mentor rice bowls. Yeah, there's like silos, nobody in the sales departments worried about their rice bowl, and the service departments worried about theirs in the office is worried about theirs. And the office, of course, gets frustrated when paperwork isn't square. But they don't know that the only reason they have a frickin job is the people that suck at paperwork are really good at getting a deal made. And the service manager having to adhere to tough line the service manager here because the service manager has this used car manager that's giving him more work than any customer than they'll ever run into. And the used car managers paying retail, paying the same hourly, as a customer usually are darn close. So the service used car manager saying, I'm paying as much as a retail customer to recondition a car, I could literally go up the street and pay half an hour than I am at my own place where I'm giving the guy two or 300 or 400 cars a month to get to set up. And my cars aren't going to the front of the line. And as soon as I buy that car, the clock starts ticking and I got to wholesale the car after 60 days. So by the time I get it out of the shop, I've only got five weeks to sell the car on a on a 60 day turn. And then if I wholesale, I lose 100% of the 1600 or 2500 a car or whatever I'm spending all of that's gone when I gotta send the car to the auction again. So it's

Unknown Speaker  32:32  
and that manager doesn't understand what the right,

Jeff Sterns  32:35  
right and the sales oriented manager that's got to fight for every dollar and prospect for every dollar and sometimes work with a customer months or years to finally get a deal together with them can't understand that while the shops follow work that all the technicians leave at 502. Because all the work will still be there tomorrow, when they're saying My God, if they would all just stay three more hours, I can get 20 more cars up to the front, I understand I agree, etc, etc, etc, etc. But one of the secrets that you asked about was mediating that stuff, empathy. Having one person here another person's movie, or having one department, which there is no such thing as a department, there's only people, but having one person in the department understand the movie of another in once true empathy is achieved where I understand what that person's going through, then for the first time this person can behave, work concerned about how it impacts that person.

Unknown Speaker  33:31  
I think that's awesome scope is what you're telling me is that the culture was holistic, it wasn't about it was about how is the dealership going to do as a whole? And how does my job affect that person's job and that person's job affects this person job and how

Jeff Sterns  33:47  
I have such I've such a holistic mentality only because you use the term that I actually never could get it done. But I tried to change pay plans to where everybody got paid on the bottom line. It didn't necessarily mean that there shouldn't be. I never got it done. But I could never get it done. But I always wanted and I did get it done a little bit when I was running the exotic car department, I was actually able to put a pay plan together where they got more for what they did. But they were worried about everything, including wholesale loss. So but this show is about you, and you're interviewing me, so I don't know how you keep turning this around. So in 99 in 2000, you found out that you were non productive.

Unknown Speaker  34:31  
Well, you know, honestly, like I was hired. I was hired by a dealer Group here in Sarasota to answer the phones and file. Right and we all we found out pretty quickly that I was capable of much more and I started so that was in 1998 and I started you know doing the benefits like I started taking over Have the transactional HR stuff. And then there came a day where all of a sudden something came in the mail. And it was a, it was a wage an hour is the Department of Labor as a wage and hour lawsuit. And that's when I learned like, Okay. I, I can't create profits, but I can protect them through knowledge and understanding, right? Because this, there was nothing. There was no bad intent on the, on the side of the dealer. I mean, it was it's a long story, but it was it basically, somebody was promoted on a temporary basis while a salaried employee was having her preemie baby. Right? So an hour, a formerly hourly employee was then put into that role temporarily given the same salary, you know, she stopped punching in and out. And then she left like, I don't remember any hullabaloo or anything of when she left, but, um, and then the next thing we know, here comes this and it was overtime. And she won. She won. And, and she was right. But she was only right because of lack of knowledge. Right? Like, I hadn't started learning yet. They thought they were doing the right thing, the next right thing.

Jeff Sterns  36:37  
So what would you have done different would have been would have been a pay plan adjustment or a

Unknown Speaker  36:43  
will because the I now understand Wage and Hour laws, and what qualifies for exempt and non exempt and it's not that somebody a salary? It's that's a very common misconception that like, Okay, well, I'm giving you a salary, so I don't have to pay you overtime. It's about the work that you do. And there are other things like so for this one. She this, this particular employee did not have the ability to hire fire, or discipline. employees, right. So there you go. Like that, was it?

Jeff Sterns  37:24  
Did you ever try selling cars?

Unknown Speaker  37:26  
No, I've been told that I probably should. Oh, you definitely.

Jeff Sterns  37:29  
You definitely could. But you know, that goes that flies in the face of that you couldn't generate

Unknown Speaker  37:38  
profits. I mean, in the role where I was right, doing HR, I realized that human resources was not a profit center. Right? It's not it's not a I can't turn it into a profit center. But what it is what I realized then is that like, okay, cuz I thought it was, I mean, I wasn't making very much back then. But it was more than I was making a year. Right, this loss, and I was horrified. I just remember like, Oh my God, that's never gonna happen again, for this little stupid piece of knowledge that we didn't have, right? So that's when I you know, I went back to school, blah, blah, blah. So and now my thing is really like, profit protection because I, I have this belief that and maybe it's silly, but I really do believe that. The all the lawsuits that I see, I think they're preventable. I think they're preventable.

Jeff Sterns  38:32  
That's all of them. Well, okay, so when you say they're preventable, you mean that if the, if the employee doesn't get sexually harassed or something,

Unknown Speaker  38:44  
that is one part of it, right? Like somebody should know not to grab somebody's ass. You know, like, it shifts? Like, hello, you know, um, like, there's a recent one close to us in Tampa. $500,000 loss 500 that I mean, like, what would you do with $500,000? That's all I think I'm like, What would you do with $500,000?

Jeff Sterns  39:12  
What happened? Can you talk about Sure. Yeah, the E it's on the EEOC website.

Unknown Speaker  39:16  
They lost this and it's a I'm not gonna name the group but it's a Harley dealership group that is associated with another dealer.

Jeff Sterns  39:26  
Harley dealer in Tampa. We got to figure it out. All right.

Unknown Speaker  39:29  
Um, and there have a great reputation. Excellent.

Jeff Sterns  39:34  
Great family.

Unknown Speaker  39:35  
They did not they failed to promote a long term employee to General Manager, because they told her she was too motherly. Like, you see this stuff and you think, what the

Jeff Sterns  39:52  
like, What the f

Unknown Speaker  39:53  
Yeah, what the f. And you know, so that's where I think that these things could be what I don't understand. You know, there's always another side to the story. Right? And my experience, is that the, my experience as the person who talks to the employers attorney, right? There have been, I think it is natural to rationalize and defend your position, right? You don't want to be sued. So it's natural to do that. But what I learned is that there's always more to the story, right? Like, and it sounds absolutely the when the manager is like, but this and this and this and this and this. And you're like, Okay, fire them. You're right. You're right. But there's always more to the story. And I just believe in solutions rather than I believe that there are solutions. Sometimes, you know, somebody is going to do what they're going to do, and they're going to go Sue no matter what, because, you know, especially when the economy's bad.

Jeff Sterns  40:58  
Last Well, on another show I did with, with Marsha, Marsha, another HR person. She said that someone sued five employees in a row five, five employers in a row.

Unknown Speaker  41:12  
I mean, I've never run into anybody who I mean, I know that they're out there.

Jeff Sterns  41:18  
A friend of one of my, one of the Friends of one of my sons, says that his mother had lawsuits at three employees.

Unknown Speaker  41:26  
I don't I don't doubt it. I don't doubt it. Right. Um, personally, I haven't seen it. In my personal experience, right. I don't doubt it. But what I do know, is that there are some, they shall not be named law firms. I'll call them that. pay people to go apply? Because, you know, you know, almost every employer does a background screen, right? Yes. So I know that you are acquainted with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, because you have to pay attention to this in the front, you know, in sales and f&i, but it also applies to employment background screens. Did you know that?

Jeff Sterns  42:13  
No, okay.

Unknown Speaker  42:14  
So with employment background screens, it's very, very specific, just like every pain in the ass law is right. And so if there's one little thing wrong with the process, even if there's no harm to the whoever's doing the lawsuit, they'll do a class action with this target has had these like the end. So they send people in waiting for something to be wrong, and then they sue them. It's It's awful. So it's just about processes, right? Like these processes. The biggest thing that I find when I go like, when, when I'm working with a dealer client, the first thing I do is do an audit. Right? I'll do a compliance audit. I go in look at background, I look at everything background screen, I depends on how much they want me to look at, because I will look, I'll do like a mini Wage and Hour audit, look at their pay plans. I'm not a paid plan guru, certainly not with sales, right? I'd like pay plans. I like pay plans that can pass what I've heard called the neighbor role, where you can show your pay plan to somebody and not in this business, and they can understand how you make your money. Right? Like it's not so complicated that well not

Jeff Sterns  43:35  
everybody in another industry knows what commissionable gross is. But I suppose if it could be explained that it would be understandable, right? But you don't Yeah, you're not more into like the structure of a pay plan. Because a paid plan is often a job description. I want you to pay attention to the cell, so many of these and get at least this kind of customer satisfaction and make sure they're all within 10 miles of the dealership. That's an aspect you don't care about, but you do care about for example, the legal aspect that got you that the Wait, wait,

Unknown Speaker  44:03  
I want to know that overtime is being paid correctly. I like all of those things, right? Um, the benefits, the ACA compliance, lots of times I'll look at a look at that. 401k I'll look at you know, and and all the other compliance, your handbook. Any trainings that you do or probably don't do you know that that's the first thing I do, and I never find? I always find stuff that isn't that could cause I guess the thing about it is that these simple processes could cost the dealer money with penalties and fines, which I think is silly, right? When it's it's it's not hard to follow the process. Right? It isn't. I mean, we're a process based business, right?

Jeff Sterns  44:56  
Right. Well, when it works, the stores that work is Yeah, well, our base, you know, I don't want to say we're a bit process based business, because I think all businesses that do well and scale have to be processed. I mean, nordstroms has their greeting. Ritz Carlton says the certain thing when you walk up to the counter, and they they have they're already can spiel about if you want to be on a ground floor and that there isn't any or you want to be on a high floor and there isn't. So we're all all business insurance is replot responds with a certain answer banks. So I think all businesses that are scaled are processed out.

Unknown Speaker  45:35  
Yeah, yeah, for short, one of the wonderful things about this industry is that it's an industry where a lot of managers make a great income, they make a great living, but they don't necessarily get the training that somebody would in the corporate world as what you need to know when you're managing people, right? Because when you're a manager, you are an HR manager, if you're managing people, you are an HR manager. So the one training that I feel like, in my experience that I've seen, that we neglect to do and in in our industry is just the basics. Like you don't need to know, a manager doesn't need to know employment law in the way that like, say, Marsha, or I know it, right. But you do need to know the basics. Like you need to know if, okay, no call no show, my employee hasn't been in for three days. Should I just fire them? Or should I make sure that they're okay, and not in the hospital and need family medical leave? Like the things like that, where they should know what triggers family medical leave, or they should, you know, just the basics of the do's and don'ts. There's one training I do I love this training. It's fun, I make it fun. It's 30 minutes, period, because who wants to be in an HR training? I don't even want to be in an HR training, right? But the do's and don'ts of interviewing, when you're in the interview, what can you ask and not ask? Right? Because a lot of people think, Oh, I can't get sued. They're not my employee. That that's a, you know, a misconception. And there's always I mean, I've been asked, so funny, I gotta tell you this, because this is the best. And I always talk about this in my okay. You got to know what question you want to ask. Right? So I sent this was early on, when I had like, just decided to open my business and I saw a HR director position open on automotive news. And it was in an area, I won't say where, but it was in an area that I was like, You know what, I could totally live there. I sent my resume. 10 minutes later, I get a phone call from the dealer. You're exactly what we need blah, blah, because I am right. I've been doing this for 20 years, I understand this industry. And he says, Let me ask you something. Are you married? And do you have kids? These were his first two questions. And I left being me. I laughed. And I answered his real question. And I said I can relocate. Because that's what he wanted to know. Right? Like, that's what he was worried about. Is is if I if I had a husband that was holding me back. And would it be okay for, you know, with a child?

Jeff Sterns  48:49  
Why do you think somebody doesn't just ask the direct question like, can you relocate like, it doesn't seem like an unsafe biases, he

Unknown Speaker  48:55  
wouldn't have asked that to a man. Have you ever thought about that with a man? Never?

Jeff Sterns  49:04  
No, no? Sure, I have. Sure I have because I've hired people from out of the area, whether they need to relocate or whether they need to commute quite a bit. And I've had it fizzle so no, either that one to me, I wouldn't think of I understand in your world, you can take a lot more aggregate info and you see it more with guys it sounds like I'm sorry. You see that concern more with female but that wouldn't even now

Unknown Speaker  49:30  
that the well the assumption it's it's just about a bias. Right? And you know, those kinds of things, you just have to allow the candidate to make their own decisions. Right about this and and ask the question that you really are worried about, you know, and which is you know, that's what I mean. You got to know the question that you're that you're trying to get to and understand what you can't Ask, um, you know, so and that's that's an important thing I think,

Jeff Sterns  50:07  
an important I hate the way the world is no, you do. I wish we get I wish people weren't as sensitive, I wish they had more of a sense of humor. And I wish that there could be just a frank, direct discussion authentic about what you're really worried about. I mean, like, I would like to be able to say to someone, Sandy, you're exactly what I want. You're a single mom, you move here. It's the job you want. You're excited about the prospect of changing your life around you move here

Unknown Speaker  50:41  
is a great question.

Jeff Sterns  50:43  
Hang on. But you've got a support system back home, you got a sister and a mother, your mom lives up the street, your sister lives across town. And when you work late there, you got all kinds of support. When you come here, you're going to be alone, I want you to think about when we get past the excitement, and the adrenaline of just that you're the validation of that you're wanted in the excitement of the change? Can we play out? I know, you heard this, can we play out the tape a little?

Unknown Speaker  51:13  
Are you going to ask those same questions to a single dad?

Jeff Sterns  51:18  
Yes.

Unknown Speaker  51:21  
That's, um, well, first of all, I'm

Jeff Sterns  51:24  
not gonna ask any of them if I shouldn't ask them. I'm just saying, I wish the world could be that we're just being direct and saying what we mean, and it's not dangerous.

Unknown Speaker  51:34  
I think that, you know, there there's something that I have often said to managers, when they say to me, what the hell can I ask anything? Like I want, you know, there's certain things that I, you know, what can I ask him when I'm not asked? And I've got genuine concerns, right? And I guess the, the thing that I always say is that, you know, what, we have all of these laws, right? Because they seem really restrictive, too. They seem like they could be restrictive, right? When you're, I guess, when you're interviewing somebody, but these laws are, they're all reactive, right? Every single employment law we have, is in place, because of bad actors. Because somebody really did discriminate. And so that doesn't mean that every single person who has a concern, like you just talked about, right, that is like you're hiring somebody, you want to make sure that if they are relocating, that they have the support that they need, that maybe they're leaving behind, and you want them to think about that. That is not making a decision that's different, having a conversation like that, and maybe even helping that employee that that candidate who you want to hire because you think that they have the necessary skills and abilities for that role. Right? That's a different conversation, especially when you're cuz I would imagine you, Jeff would also say, and let's see what we can do to help you find those resources. Right? Like, you know, you might ask about community involvement that they might want to be in and give them

Jeff Sterns  53:20  
well, if I want someone I'm certainly going to try to problem solve with them. But But I also am a I'm an armchair psychologist, right? self appointed. So I like to paint a real picture. I mean, like when I would, when I would interview salespeople I would ask them directly How long will you stay if you hate the job, talked about turnover that there's a lot in the industry and I agree and I think that part of that is paid driven and I think part of that is involvement I think part of that is just your manager we A lot of us quit our manager, not the you know all of that stuff. And look, I've had low emsi I've had low employee satisfaction scores, which shocked me which you know, taught me a lot about being a manager because I had my staff making more than they ever made in their life working with me and and they're in the same store they were always add and now I'm the new boss and now they're making money. It's like the places like a winning casino and I'm thinking you know, who, who's who would I not be their favorite person, but it was like a low management score. But they're not leaving so it was almost like they were making too much to leave even though they weren't thrilled environmentally engaged. Exactly. So you know, I learned a lot about that. But you know, part of the reason for the turnover in the industry is in sales is in frankly their car business doesn't have the market. cornered on turnover on sales you you bring on life insurance agents you bring on telemarketing people you bring you know there's heavy turnover and a lot of that and that's just because it ain't easy. It's just ain't easy but when I'm interviewing someone I'll say how long a standard question is How long will you stay if you hate it? And they're like well What kind of question is that? And my answer would be is if you can't give me a year and you hate it for 11 months I'm not interested

because there's so many growth steps in so many metamorphosis sees and so many coming out of the cocoon and being a new whatever over and over and over again in one whole year of selling cars I mean I've always said that everybody in the world when they get out of school should travel Europe or South America or Eastern Europe or Asia go somewhere else in the world for a few months learn about the world and that they should also sell cars for at least three months if not a year everybody because you'll learn more about the human condition selling cars than just about any other tells tell somebody what their property's worth if you want to see I mean other than a police officer what

Unknown Speaker  56:25  
dealership quite honestly that they're going to go well and

Jeff Sterns  56:29  
I only of course again I only see the world as I am not as it is because I've only worked in I mean 330 tables

Unknown Speaker  56:35  
right like I think that what that's where I I was I waited tables for a lot of years

Jeff Sterns  56:41  
oh I'm sure you were phenomenal and I would not be offended let's put 25% after tip I'm sure of it and I would not be offended if you said what do you want hon? So because I don't have a chip on my shoulder

Unknown Speaker  56:55  
but that you say that because I'm from Baltimore?

Jeff Sterns  56:59  
No because I think that a great this is what I'm talking about the world being too sensitive and I wish that people didn't have a chip and I wish that they could enjoy a little because you say in Han or me saying hon shouldn't mean anything other than that,

Unknown Speaker  57:15  
you know here's the thing and especially when when we're taught honestly I have created learning relationships with you but with a different face. You are exactly like I worked I have worked with so many managers who just like you right and and have the same think the same way right? Because I've heard that before too. And you know, when I think you

Jeff Sterns  57:43  
got me pigeon holed go

Unknown Speaker  57:44  
ahead I do have a pigeon

Jeff Sterns  57:48  
he's a 27

Unknown Speaker  57:50  
it's like a word track really right and and just want everybody to be but what it reminds me of is, you know, somewhere on my YouTube you could probably find my video of how to not respond to when an employee says I feel like I'm being harassed or I feel like I'm getting treated differently because of or this is offensive to me right like something happened and you know the way it's easier to say how not to respond which which is oh they didn't mean it they you know you need tougher skin right like it's these are things that I have heard it's the car business right so because and I understand like your wish that everybody could just I don't know

Jeff Sterns  58:46  
well i mean i'm going way out there I wish like all in the family would be okay now

Unknown Speaker  58:56  
Archie Bunker that you know this is part of the the right around that time, right? And this is part of why there is such we have this binary view it's your either and we associate this with good and bad. And that's why people have such a hard time. Right because you don't want you know that you don't want to be Archie Bunker right? Because you know, Archie Bunker like that was just, if anybody who's watching remembers Archie book, Archie. What was her name? Edith. Edith.

Jeff Sterns  59:30  
No, I don't want the world to be I don't want to be archie bunker. And I don't want to be George Jefferson. I know you don't. But I do if someone finds it entertaining, and it's funny in satire, and how about this, if somebody finds that entertaining, and that's what they find entertaining, they should be allowed to find that entertaining and it doesn't mean that they share any of the views. You know, look, I'm Jewish. So people you know, I've heard you know, you talked about covering like black or you said people of color can't cover their skin color so easy. Well, on one hand, I don't get that. I don't know if that's a benefit or a detriment because as a guy who doesn't necessarily look like a, like a minority or like a suppressed or oppressed don't look race, like an ethnic yam to mix now I mixed everything. But I so what? So what I get the pleasure of is hearing people talk about Jews in front of me.

Unknown Speaker  1:00:35  
Right? And how's that? How awful is that? Right like?

Jeff Sterns  1:00:39  
Well, it depends. It depends, you know, it also depends on your point of view. I mean, when it's when it's like neo nazi stuff, it's horrible. When I'm negotiating with a customer, and they say, Go Jew down your boss, you know, then I want my humor to kick in and say no, because it's a customer, right? Well, my dad taught me a lesson, you know, because he was an independent dealer in Detroit. And he says, anytime anyone's giving you, you know, racial slurs or whatever during a deal, just make a mistake on the license plate fee. But he used to be able to keep that we can't do that anymore. You know, and now we got to refund the difference, darn it. But, you know, Jews represent what? One or 2% of world population? I don't know. I'd have to look but at some crazy low number like that I was reading a book about it. And, and you know what, I'll hear whether they know and they're being fun or no, and they're being jerky or don't know who I am. And they're talking about them in front of me is why do you have order the Jews own everything? You know, why are they all over Hollywood and the banks? And you know, it's easy? It's because the answer to that's easy is because back when you used to have to put your religion or race on an employment app, nobody would hire us.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:01  
Right. So yeah, and and community. Community is a big reason for the generational, some generational wealth. Right? Like if they're

Jeff Sterns  1:02:10  
my dad's dad, my grandfather applied but couldn't get hired at Ford. Because he had to, because he was Jewish. Yeah. And Henry Ford was a big time Hitler sympathizer.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:25  
Do you know it? I heard lies abortions tell this awesome story about about their, like their Ford deal. And I, you know, I can't remember but one day ask her about her aunt and Henry Ford, and how they had to hide what was going on? Because she was the aunt was the only one with the money, like during the depravity. And they had to, like keep that a big secret. Because Henry Ford would have been. Yeah, I mean,

Jeff Sterns  1:02:55  
oh, but But the thing is, is I'm not offended. If I'm getting if I'm getting what I call stick, if someone I know and I've rapport with, like Sean armor wants to give me a Jewish stick. And it comes from friendship, I'm all in all in all in. And I just, I think that people are quite sensitive. I don't know who's like really sensitive, and I don't know who's sensitive for the sake of being sensitive. Because they think they're supposed to be or they think there's something in it for them?

Unknown Speaker  1:03:35  
Well, for me, it's about just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. My level of offense, and what is going to bother me is about me, right? So somebody else can't say that is offensive, that that shouldn't be offensive to you. Right? So especially in what I do in the workplace, what I usually say is, you know, suggest that if an employee is offended at something, then you just say, you know what, thanks for bringing that to my, to my attention. We take these things very seriously, then and this is how a big giant thing gets stopped.

Jeff Sterns  1:04:18  
Well, it takes a law being broken and it takes someone being upset for their for there to be a loss who doesn't even it doesn't even take a law being broken to figure it to get sued to just take somebody being upset right

Unknown Speaker  1:04:32  
and which is a reason why I I believe, you know, especially in Florida, I'll hear a lot of managers say but it's, uh, you know, right to work state, it's employment at will, you know, so you don't have to give a reason. When you're terminating somebody, I've heard a lot of stories from people who they got terminated, but they don't really know why. And I never recommend that I always recommend, you know, when you terminate somebody it, you know, it should hopefully done with be done with respect and compassion. It's not an easy conversation for anybody at least I hope that, you know, it isn't an easy conversation for a manager, especially when you are letting somebody go for performance. And hopefully that's been they they've shouldn't be if you're letting somebody go for performance, it should not be as surprised like your guy who said, who said,

Jeff Sterns  1:05:31  
I've been waiting, I've been waiting for you to tell me this for months.

Unknown Speaker  1:05:34  
Because you should be every month saying, okay, and here's what I need you to do. What do you need for me so that you can get there? You know, every month.

Jeff Sterns  1:05:48  
I've struggled though, like with the legality, I'm just talking about the legality or the discrimination piece about letting someone go to you have to five car Freddy's. But one can't close the door. One can't can't get laid in an all female prison with a fistful of pardons. You can steal that one? I

Unknown Speaker  1:06:11  
know. I will not steal that one. I've never heard it. But yeah, go ahead. Oh, my God.

Jeff Sterns  1:06:18  
And the other one had written three times as many deals and gotten an ungodly amount of credit turndowns. And they both end up at five cars three months in a row. And one you just know is had a ton of bad luck. And one you just don't think can win at this. And by the way, that's the way I like to, that's how I look at it. You're winning, or you're not winning at this, and it's not good for you. If you're not winning, you can't go home and face your loved ones if you're not winning in life.

Unknown Speaker  1:06:52  
So you can prove right? How many ups the guy has taken the the guy with the bad credit? Look?

Jeff Sterns  1:07:00  
Yeah, yeah. So you can prove so you're so you're saying the difference in one, having a lot of write ups in one not having a lot of write ups ending up with the same amount of deals, if I'm

Unknown Speaker  1:07:09  
your HR person, that's what I'm going to look at, right? Either here, I'm going to say look, you know, give them both another month, give them the same, you know, help? What do you because what are you gonna do like, okay, I mean, especially if it's a new car person, like what? Alright, look, you're not doing good, better next month? Like, what's that like you need? Like, because I do believe that if, if my in most cases, if my employee is failing, it's also my failure? Of course, right? So So as long as those things are equal, as long as you're giving the same resources to both employees, you can also prove in this case that you did you know, came up with that the one candidate or the one employee, while he's only sold five cars, you can show how many you know, prospects he's actually touched, how many have been in there working a deal, he got the credit app, and the credit got turned down. Otherwise it would have been a possible sale you know, and you can prove that then then I would be like, well let the guy let the guy go who's who you want to let go because you think the other guy can make it right? I mean, that's what I would do. And I think you're pretty safe with doing that because because you have you have you can defend that

Jeff Sterns  1:08:42  
so tell us Sandy, you once received an email as part of a group email from a general sales manager from a work email. And I don't even want to say the word that it was about I'm gonna let us Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  1:08:56  
I don't even know if I if I can say it out loud on on it was hard to even type it really. what it was about, you know, when girls are wearing pants way too tight. Right and what they call in the front anyway, it

Jeff Sterns  1:09:14  
rhymes with schmell toe.

Unknown Speaker  1:09:17  
Anyway, there was a photo I opened my work email, and this is what I see. And I am the HR manager I was like, I don't even I can't remember I don't think I I did. I just I hit reply and was like really? And I think that's all I said, and the next thing I know here he comes like he's in my office apologizing and this and that. But you know what I said to him, why do you remember saying this to him? I was like, you know, you're sending something like that from your from the company email. What if that had gone to a customer. I was like, What if that had gone to a customer? Right? Like, forget about that it came to me, you're lucky that it came to me, is what I said to him like you are lucky that it came. And that I am who I am, right? Because I mean, like nothing happened with him. But this, but it was a lesson. It was it was a learning lesson. Right? That, you know, I mean, just it is stupid. And that is, this is a long term. I loved him actually, I thought he was one of the better. One of the great managers he

Jeff Sterns  1:10:35  
saw he was a guy whose nature you understood who you knew what he was about. So through your filter, I mean, you know, it was dumb, but, and you needed to coach him through it, but you weren't wildly offended, because you knew who he was outside of that errant?

Unknown Speaker  1:10:53  
Because I am who I am, right? Like, I get that. I'm not. And I care more about the company than I do my own. You know, no, it wasn't a nice photograph for me to see.

Jeff Sterns  1:11:07  
It wasn't a good one of those photos. It was

Unknown Speaker  1:11:10  
it was offensive. Right? Like it was offensive. You know, and I don't even know what there was nothing funny about it. Like I didn't find it funny at all. Um, you know, but I care more about the, the real problem there. And that's using company email for these kinds of things. You know, real easy to hit a name. And it's a customer. If you have customers if you're using it's just yeah, so that was the lesson there.

Jeff Sterns  1:11:48  
Very, very interesting. But really, it's just don't be dumb. Don't send offensive stuff to employees and don't send offensive stuff from company email.

Unknown Speaker  1:11:57  
I know that Marsha had a whole bunch of crazy stories, but like that is like the highlight of my crazy shit that happened.

Jeff Sterns  1:12:07  
No, but you but you are the Marsha is so boring. So boring. She is not boring. She's not here. So let's just be honest.

Unknown Speaker  1:12:17  
I like I've never met Marsha in person. Like we've talked on the phone a couple of times. I know she worked for they had a Honda store. The hell is the name of that group? in Tampa. She was the HR.

Jeff Sterns  1:12:30  
Yeah, I don't know. I don't know for naming stores.

Unknown Speaker  1:12:32  
Okay, yeah, that's right. My name is George. Um, you know, we've talked a couple times, and I admire her. I mean, she is like a marketing extraordinare, right. Because when I opened my business, I had to learn how to do everything. You have to you have to do it all. And no longer just HR

Jeff Sterns  1:12:54  
was gonna come out and editing sharp for a Latin Alright, so let's continue.

Unknown Speaker  1:13:01  
Like, see, you say shit, just to get the, you know,

Jeff Sterns  1:13:07  
I feel I can't help but I can't help you do it. I can't do

Unknown Speaker  1:13:11  
it that makes me think is that you don't mean it.

Jeff Sterns  1:13:13  
And it's so much work. I mean, I've matured you know, it's kind of like I once had a nine year old lab that was a nut case of a dog. And some people came over and said, Man, Belvedere is really calm and listening to you have you put them through, put them through some trainings that no, he's nine. He's just nine. So with me, I just got a little older, but like I used to, when something would come to mind, it will come out of my mouth. Before I would even register, I think they call that a filter. I have no filter. But well, now I do have a filter in that I can stop it from coming out. So that is a filter.

Unknown Speaker  1:13:54  
Right? That's a good thing in the professional environment. But it

Jeff Sterns  1:13:57  
almost kills me sometimes because I can think of 27 things at once where I just want to go on record that I thought of them and didn't use them. So let's talk about our, our female employee that put in a harassment claim. But it was had a little bit of a surprise,

Unknown Speaker  1:14:16  
it didn't had a surprise ending for her. Um, you know, and and, you know, because when, whenever any kind of complaint happens, there should always be an investigation, right? Like if there's not, it doesn't have to be a big giant investigation. But there should be something like and within 24 hours 48 at the latest right, like so if somebody makes a complaint, just know that people. So, you know, I conducted the investigation. And you know, what I discovered, you know, and you look at a lot of different things, right? You'd have to try and be You have to put on your activity hat. You know, um, that's it's really very important. You know, it was interesting because it was two peers, right? It wasn't a manager, what I discovered and there were some things in black and white, that the person who made the complaint was actually the harasser was actually the, the, you know, the person who was,

Jeff Sterns  1:15:27  
so was that a smokescreen? Like there was trouble about to happen? I don't

Unknown Speaker  1:15:32  
remember. Exactly. No, I don't think. I don't think so. I think it was more like, um, you know, a unrequited. You know, the, like, whatever was going on, had stopped. No, one person wanted to stop and the next person and she didn't want this consensual thing that occurred to stop. And so she filed a complaint and tried to get him fired.

Jeff Sterns  1:16:05  
How did it get discovered? or How did she get nailed through the

Unknown Speaker  1:16:09  
investigation? Right? Because in an investigation you asked for witness okay,

Jeff Sterns  1:16:13  
but you're I mean, are you detective like in advance? no fingerprints, like really like a prince. But tell me the evidence. Tell me how you figure it out?

Unknown Speaker  1:16:22  
Well, I told you, there were text messages. There were, you know, emails, and also you take into account the when you interview each person, and any witnesses. You look at the credibility of all of those people, you match up the stories. And, you know, and the end Yeah, it is kind of like being a detective, right? Like you, you look at all of the evidence, and you make a judgement, but it ended up being pretty clear. Particularly if I remember right for that, because of the text messages,

Jeff Sterns  1:16:58  
okay, but then you're seeing both sides of the text. So it's, yeah, I'm seeing them okay, cuz not like ones like the guy shows you Well, here's everything she said. But you didn't see what he was saying first or goading her on or anything like it was clear that she was the it was

Unknown Speaker  1:17:15  
clear, I would not have made the decision to terminate this person. If it wasn't clear. It was okay. You don't want to do this. So I'm going to do my best to get you fired. And this is how I'm going to do it. All

Jeff Sterns  1:17:29  
right, I'm going to ask you the recruiting story. Oh, yeah, that was recent. But if you don't mind, I'd like to use the restroom. Oh, go ahead. Okay. I'd like to leave the room to do it.

Unknown Speaker  1:17:45  
Well, please, that I would appreciate that. I'm going to go anyway, if you just want because he and a cup. I mean

Jeff Sterns  1:17:54  
I've already done it three times while you're up there. I'll be back to I'm back. Okay. I didn't want to make you wait so I didn't wash my hands. That's your problem.

So we bring in forgive me if I don't recall the exact number it was at least 10. And it might have been 15 kids from wyotech Wyoming technical, which is a very well renowned tech school. Okay. Bring them in, show them around, we have a painted for shop, it's clean. It's a beautiful facility, we've got a great reputation. We've also got these other interesting brands Landrover and Rolls Royce and all that business and so a little prestige of that matters. We have technicians making six figures we've got our two shop foreman been there 1015 years when each you know, like its career are Mr. dimmit or owner take some fishing on his boat with his Captain takes him out for the day. Uh huh. We got zero thank you cards and zero responses to phone calls later to say what do you think? Hmm. Wonder why? Because they probably were getting romanced by 20 places? Or just, you know, it was like, a star quarterback,

Unknown Speaker  1:21:26  
is that right? There is going to be what is going to happen? Right? Like,

Jeff Sterns  1:21:34  
probably times 10.

Unknown Speaker  1:21:35  
Yeah, because we don't have and for mediocre talent. Like here, here's that that's gonna be the part that like, you know, kills everybody. So if you want the top talent, what I think that dealers need to do is create a real and authentic value proposition for candidates, you know, and that there's a lot of things that go into that. I think that that all employers really should start paying attention to what the needs wants and fears. Which is the formula for any value proposition, right? Of millennial and Gen Z is, because that's going to be our workforce is millennial and Gen Z. I mean, and, and how are we going to transfer the knowledge and skill sets of the retiring? You know, cuz Gen X, and boomers is where all of our knowledge is a lot of the knowledge, you know, how are you going to effectively transfer that knowledge to these generations? And how are we going to attract and retain them? Especially Gen Z, right, like Gen Z rocks. I think they're awesome. And I mean, I could go on and on about how I feel about generations and the biases that we all. I mean, I think that a lot of people have biases, I don't think we'd like the generation that's coming behind us because they're younger than us, right? Like, I already don't like you, because you're younger than me. So

Jeff Sterns  1:23:10  
it's because they don't want to work.

Unknown Speaker  1:23:11  
That's what people think, right? Like that.

Jeff Sterns  1:23:14  
They're whippersnappers. It's like, it's funny, because I went to some you mentioned digital dealer, I think it was at a digital dealer, but who knows, and it was a speaker, who got up for marketing, and talked about, like, on the cover of Time Magazine, like every Gen had a Gen Z, are they gonna you know, are they millennials? Are they ever going to get out of bed? You know, but it's every one of them. Yeah, but but the fact of the matter is, I mean, look, there's a lot of talented, hard working people in every generation. I'm extremely proud of both of my sons 19 and 21 that work multiple jobs, and no one has to tell him to and, and so and not just because they're my sons, but it's like, thank god kids want to work and a lot of their buddies do too. So the crowd that they run in, have a weekend job and a night job and you know, so I'm not like, completely ruined but I do think that only because things have been so good in America for so long. And parents wanting it better for their kids than them which is natural. I spoiled the crap out of my kids and anyone's kids for that matter. They're softer, they're softer of regeneration. I mean, come on. I mean, you know, you don't think that it's that mentality is different pioneers to World War Two vets to a few generations ago till now it's just been easier, easier, easier, easier.

Unknown Speaker  1:24:44  
I think that that's a simplistic way to look at it and there are and I'm perfect. Yes, keep it simple, right. And, you know, every generation the the world view is different because of what was happening in the world. Right? Like, you know, I grew up I had without, I mean the first time and what was it? 1992 1991? When when was a desert storm? Like, that was the first time I had experienced any war. And it was like,

Jeff Sterns  1:25:19  
oh, gosh, that would have been 90 ish. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  1:25:22  
it was like, I think it might have been 91. I don't know. But okay. Oh my god. Like, I remember watching that on the news. I'm like, Yeah, okay. Yeah, you know, because my mother was the silent generation. Um, and, you know, like, they had air raids, you know, like, they had the pull the curtains down, you know, so it was different for our diversity, equity and inclusion, I think is going to be something in particular Gen Z is going to be looking for, right Generation Z is the first generation in our country that it's about 5050. White, right? It's about 50, white 50% it's just over. So um, there's a lot there. So this is such a diverse generation, that they don't even know what generation what diversity is, right? You know, like, it's everybody. for them. And, you know, it's an interesting generation, and we were talking about generations a little bit, and they're my daughter's a Gen Z, too, right? And she's pretty driven, like your two kids sound like, your older voice sound like, you know, a lot like Ariana you know, but she has, like, the first thing that they're going to do is figure is

Unknown Speaker  1:26:57  
Tigger, we're working here

Unknown Speaker  1:27:00  
and then she just kind of like answered you. Stop. So, you know, the first thing they're going to do is they're going to research your company, and they're going to go to your meet this def page, take her and, and they're gonna want to see themselves. I love what I do. I don't I don't know. I mean, I love doing what I do.

Jeff Sterns  1:27:26  
Well, that's, I think that's a wonderful close. That's what we're gonna end with.

Unknown Speaker  1:27:30  
Okay, that's good, because I do I love doing what I do. I love being able to create some value, and I love being able to create win win win situation.

Unknown Speaker  1:27:45   

Sandy Zannino

HR & DEI Consultant

With more than 22 years in the automotive industry, Sandy is passionate about protecting profits through compliance, programs, training & people processes. She opened IAHR in 2017 and in 2019 received Tampa HR’s award for HR Consultant of the year. Sandy is a processed based problem solver who believes deeply in offering exemplary customer service to her clients, earning their loyalty and trust. Sandy holds SPHR & SHRM-SCP certifications as well as ADCO’s Dealership Compliance Officer certification and is honored to be on the Association of Dealership Compliance Officers Advisory Board. Sandy is also a Certified Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practitioner through The People Company’s Inclusion Institute. It isn’t all work for Sandy! She is the proud mother of a beautiful daughter, Arianna, who is the light of Sandy’s life. Sandy is also an avid salsa dancer—in her spare time when there is not a pandemic, you can find Sandy on the dance floor!