Rusnak Auto Group Stops by the Smart Compliance Podcast (Interview)
“We’re one of the only auto groups in the industry that has a formalized HR department, marketing department, so forth. And we wanted to see where we could kind of set ourselves a world apart in terms of compliance.” Valerie Mendoza, Director of Human Resources shares her thoughts on using Compli to help Rusnak stay airtight in terms of exposure to legal liability.
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I have the pleasure today of speaking with Valerie , who is the director of human resources for a Rusnak Auto Group in Pasadena, California. Welcome, Valerie.
Valerie: Thank you for having me.
So let’s start with some background. Tell me a little bit about your company and what your area of specialty is.
Valerie: Sure. We a multi dealership auto group that covers Southern California. My background, of course, is in human resources, so I’ve been with the company five years, in HR capacity ever since. So I’m now officially directing the department. We have almost 850 employees and we’re constantly growing.
And has it grown a lot in the five years you’ve been there?
Valerie: Yes, it has.
Well, and so let’s talk a little bit about Compli. With that many employees, that’s a lot of people to manage. Tell me a little bit how Compli helps you manage your performance management activities.
Valerie: Certainly. And so with that many employees, you can imagine that if we didn’t have a digital program to track documents that legally need to be signed off on or trainings that legally need to be conducted every other year or so, to track that manually would be a nightmare, so to say. So what Compli does, is Compli simplifies that so we have a date and time stamp. Whenever we send something out, whenever it gets signed off on, so it provide a nice clean cut file for every single employee in the company. I can at any time check someone’s Compli to see what their status is, how they’re progressing. The first day a person starts with the company, they actually log into Compli and are required to go through everything in the library and sign off on it. So it’s really made it an easy way to ensure compliance.
If we need to get something out that needs to reach all of our employees, whether it be an announcement for the health fair, or an announcement for open enrollment, we know that we can count on Compli to get that job done for us. It’s fantastic.
Give me an example of how you used to do something and how you now do it with Compli that maybe has made that performance management task easier.
Valerie: So I would say back in the day, before we transitioned, what you would have is okay, we would need to update an at will arbitration agreement. Maybe the legal requirements changed as to what we could put in there. So what would typically happen before is you’d get your good old employee roster of everyone in the company, you’d make an excel spreadsheet, and you’d have a couple people manually tracking who returned it signed in an inner office envelope and make sure it got in the file. But you and I both know that people are human, so maybe someone who did return it didn’t get checked off in that excel spreadsheet. It created just a cluster of paperwork.
And tracking it was very time consuming and so that would be a perfect example of how things were done previously. Or job descriptions. We have people sign off on their job descriptions every year. So what would have to happen before is you’d have kind of an on going roster of when people’s job descriptions came time to be dispersed. And so that would again need to be tracked manually. You’d have to set up a reminder system, maybe in your Outlook, and then send those out. Again, maybe you can send it out via email and they’ll send it back. But it still was just creating a lot of work and a lot of paper.
Yeah. A lot of extra steps.
Valerie: Yeah. And so Compli has simplified all that. It’s also enabled us to become more paperless. We’re not completely paperless here in our department, but we have the ability to send these things out every year without having to get it in their office envelope, collate it, put it in the file, and file it. So it’s fantastic.
Why did you choose Compli itself originally? Were you looking for a program? Or what made you kind of go with that in the first place?
Valerie: So the reason that we went with Compli, initially, is simply because we were looking for a way to really launch our dealership above the others. We’re one of the only auto groups in the industry that has a formalized HR department, marketing department, so forth. And we wanted to see where we could kind of set ourselves a world apart in terms of compliance.
We already have programs for the dealership compliance and auto compliance, DMV compliance. So in terms of HR, how could we really close the gap and make sure that everything was airtight? And that’s what led us to go ahead and use Compli. It really has set us apart.
And it obviously allows you to keep growing too, which saves you time and allows you to bring more people on board.
Valerie: Yes, exactly.
How about the support from the Compli team? It’s always tough when you’re bringing on a new piece of software and making change in an organization. How did they help you integrate it and how have you worked with them since?
Valerie: So we interact with the Compli team on two levels right now. Of course our day to day support, and then we are currently in the final steps of testing for migration to the Compligo platform. And so we work with an employee there at Compli, and he is kind of our dedicated representative for this project. And so they’re always there to support us if we need to hop on a call, if we need to hop on a webinar to share a screen and show them something that’s going on, they are always more than happy to assist us.
And they always have a quick response, so we typically get something within a couple hours. Very, very good communicators over at Compli. So they help us, sometimes what will happen is a training, maybe we’ll get stuck, just computer glitches. Or maybe there’s something wrong with the web browser, how it’s interacting with the training or a document. They’re able to resolves that right away. And in terms of our project management, without Compli’s assistance of this particular representative, we would probably still be creating our workbook of data. But he really keeps us motivated to keep moving along and give us kind of a timeline. So it’s been really helpful.
Almost like a tour guide gets you through the whole process.
Valerie: Yes. Yes.
Excellent. Well, one last question for you.
We’re always interested in speaking to folks in the field about the things that are keeping you up at night. What workforce management issues are keeping you up at night that you want to make sure you’re addressing?
Valerie: You know, I would say performance management, for example, our managers keeping on top of the evaluations they need to give to their employees. Our employees taking advantage of their Compli system. It’s here for everyone, so are they signing off on things as they come in so they can be in the know of any updates or changes.
And then, of course, the other things that keep me up at night are just general compliance. Are we doing everything we can to be airtight in terms of our exposure to legal liability? Compli, as you know, helps a lot with that.
And then lastly, just retention. The auto industry has a lot of turnover, so I’m always thinking of ways, and they usually come to me late at night, of how we can retain the workforce that we have because it’s very competitive. And so that’s something that I’ve always, always brainstorming about.
And those are the good things that come to you in the middle of the night, when you have those good ideas. So, well thank you so much for making time to talk to us today, Valerie. It was really a pleasure speaking with you, and thanks for sharing your experience with Compli.
Valerie: Thank you. You have a wonderful day.