Larry Zinn's four years of overhauling the culture at Warren Henry Infiniti in Miami into a pleasant, fast-paced and transparent workplace is paying dividends.
Warren Henry Infiniti has been on Automotive News' annual 100 Best Dealerships To Work For list both times it has been compiled.
Not only was the store one of just 28 dealerships to repeat, but it made a bigger jump in the rankings than any other store that repeated: to No. 8, from No. 88 last year.
Zinn, the dealership's 27-year-old general manager, said there was no silver bullet that made the dealership a better place to work. Instead, he said, the jump reflected the culture that he began to build four years ago.
After-hours go-karting, monthly dinners out for staffers, on-site food trucks during the week and monthly bonus programs that give prizes to top performers are all standard at Warren Henry Infiniti. Zinn says the perks help build bonds among employees.
The idea is to share the successes, but staffers also share responsibility during times of adversity.
"A really great thing that we started to do is we share in our successes and in our failures," Zinn said. "If we have a bad CSI or SSI come in, we share that with everybody and we talk about how we can work past it and what we could have done differently."
Zinn said a policy of hiring only employees with no previous dealership experience helped the culture take hold. He says car-business newbies bring an energetic, fresh perspective. They're a blank canvas, making it easy to train on how to do business Zinn's way and in line with the dealership's culture from the start.
"When you haven't sold cars before or you haven't been in the business, you have no bad habits," Zinn said. "If you give these people a proper process map and training, they don't know any better to do it the opposite way. It's been very successful for us."