We really treat our staff like family and we promote an environment where "no idea is a bad idea."
We encourage our staff to share ideas and try to incorporate those suggestions into our everyday dealings. Many of our successful promotions and changes in procedures have come from the staff. Training is imperative and staff members love the fact that we support them in getting trained. Training is successful to the business as it brings in more revenue and also puts more money into our employees' pockets.
We give monthly bonuses in all departments and run corporate contests to generate our desired outcomes, whether it be aged units sales, line items per ticket, billed hours or anything else like that. It gets all staff involved, they build camaraderie, esprit de corps and, more importantly, they start understanding how the business works. We typically advance from within, and don't go looking outside of our walls unless absolutely necessary. We have an employee of the month program in which each manager nominates one of their staff members, and it then it is voted on. The monthly winner gets a parking spot, gift certificate to a local restaurant, photo on the wall by the entrance of the showroom, a paid day off, and a plaque.
We also have a family day picnic when we close the store so everyone and their families can attend. Every quarter, we hold a potluck breakfast before our all-staff meeting.
We have a group ride where we close the store so everyone can attend. During this ride, we travel approximately 100 miles, stop at a restaurant and dine (food purchased by the dealership). If some staff members do not ride, they are encouraged to team up with a rider or bring their car. If they attend, it is a paid day. Lunch is also purchased for the staff during big events. We have bowling nights during winter and, with our restaurant on the premises, we have been known to congregate there after work. We also feel very strongly about providing our staff a 401(k) and profit-sharing program. It would have been easy to discontinue this during the economic downturn, but we decided to keep it -- and those staff members enrolled are very appreciative.