Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Automotive News -- October 18, 2012 - 12:01 am ET
Dave Wright, right, president of Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru, and Bart Gingrich, parts manager and one of Wright's first hires 34 years ago
The Japanese philosophy of kaizen, or continuous improvement, drives personnel policies at Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru. It all comes down to investing in yourself, says Dave Wright, the dealership's president.
Employees at the dealership receive a staggering 300 hours of training a year, an average of almost six hours a week. Employees are encouraged to complete master-level training for their positions, which the company pays for.
Each employee seeking a management role is encouraged to spend time observing other departments before crafting a formal training plan with a manager so that when a position opens, the employee is ready to step up.
Each department crafts a monthly training schedule. Training duties are assigned to managers and staff alike, depending on who has the strongest skills in a particular field.
The investment goes beyond the professional world. The dealership sponsors weight-loss contests and provides annual flu shots for employees and their families, on top of full medical, dental, vision and prescription coverage for all employees, including part-time workers. Wright's employees get an hour every day to themselves, whether it's just to take a breather on the sofa or to pursue an interest or training.
At the end of the year, each employee in a department that hit its annual goals receives a cash bonus. Last year, more than $20,000 was awarded to employees.
"If you can't invest in yourself," Wright said, "then you're going to just be the same person all the time."
-- Ryan Beene