Land Rover Peabody, Peabody, Mass.
Automotive News -- October 18, 2012 - 12:01 am ET
Good benefits and cash bonuses for top performers help, but Land Rover Peabody General Manager Dave Edwards has a secret weapon to win employees' hearts.
"Kane's doughnuts," he says, referring to a legendary Boston bakery Bon Appetit magazine calls an American 10-best doughnut spot.
"They go cuckoo. You'd think we were giving away winning lottery tickets."
Edwards targets stomachs in multiple ways: bagels and cream cheese on other mornings, pizza or sandwiches for Saturday lunches, and impromptu cookouts.
"I do it at random times and for no particular reason," he says. On cookouts, Edwards does give one day's advance notice, but only "so they don't pack a lunch."
Employees are encouraged to be active in the community, and the dealership awards paid time off for volunteer group work.
Those are Edwards' team-building tweaks to the employee-oriented practices of the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group, a six-store dealership group in Peabody, Mass., about 15 miles north of downtown Boston.
Besides family medical, dental and prescription coverage, the group offers monthly cash incentives to sales and service employees based on performance, as well as annual Cape Cod fishing trips for the store's best sales and service personnel with Warren Waugh, a co-founder of the group.
Edwards believes a relaxed atmosphere is important for morale at the relatively small store. It seems to be working. Last year, voluntary turnover was 9 percent.
-- Jesse Snyder