Regular internal communications have helped each of the 110 full-time employees at McEleney Autocenter and Southgate Motors in Clinton, Iowa, feel like a valued member of the multifranchise dealership group.
Small group meetings with dealer John McEleney over lunch, a monthly employee newsletter and annual planning retreats for managers are some of the ways McEleney keeps in touch with his business and his employees.
Only one of 18 salespeople has less than three years with McEleney.
"We're not perfect, but we have many long-term employees," McEleney says. "Thirty percent of our staff have been with us more than 20 years, and over half have been here more than 10."
When there is a need to recruit, the Partners in Progress program kicks in.
"Before going outside to announce an opening, we send a memo to our employees describing the position," he says. "Many of them already know someone who would be good for the job.
"We pay a $200 bonus to the employee who refers the successful applicant, and if the new person is still with us after six months, the employee gets another $200."