Capitol Auto Group, Salem, Ore.
Automotive News -- October 18, 2012 - 12:01 am ET
Scott Casebeer says the secrets to retaining good employees are simple: Keep them well-informed and involved, care about them and celebrate their achievements.
Each month, Casebeer, president of Capitol Auto Group, hosts what he calls Birthday Meetings with employees in each of the three dealerships he owns on a 25-acre parcel in Salem, Ore. In the meetings, employees hear about incoming inventory, are briefed on things such as new incentive programs and review any changes in their working environment.
And then it's time for cake -- to celebrate the birthdays of any of the 300 employees in his Toyota-Scion, Subaru or Chevrolet-Cadillac dealerships -- and a drawing to see who spins a roulette wheel in order to win between $50 and $150.
"We're really big into communication and employee involvement," Casebeer says. "I stress to my managers to keep their ears to the ground to see if anyone is having any personal issues off the job. And if they find something that we can help with, like someone that had a fire in their apartment, we try to help them as much as possible."
Casebeer recently moved his three dealerships into new stores on a central campus. The parklike setting has a mile-long walking path around an 8-acre pond, suitable for employees to use for exercise, Casebeer says. The setting also makes his regular employee lunchtime cookouts -- where managers grill hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch -- a much more relaxing experience.
-- Larry P. Vellequette