Old-fashioned Southern hospitality coupled with a genuine focus on employee satisfaction helps to lure a large number of second-generation employees to Long-Lewis Ford-Lincoln of the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and Long-Lewis Volkswagen-Mitsubishi in Florence, Ala., Dustin Box believes.
He's in a position to know. His official title at Long-Lewis Auto Group: customer & employee hospitality manager.
"My job is to make sure our customers and our employees feel at home," Box explains. "Employees spend a lot of time here, so we want them to be comfortable."
The dealership group's two stores employ approximately 300 people, 12 of whom are second-generation staffers. Until recently, the group could even lay claim to employing three generations of one family. General Sales Manager Ritchie Dewberry's mother, Myrna Cain, works for the business as a sales administrator.
So did his daughter, Bailey, before her recent return to school.
Both dealerships made this year's list of the 100 Best Dealerships To Work For, reaffirming what Long-Lewis employees already knew: The stores treat their employees so well that those employees urge their children to apply for jobs there.
Box notes that, for the most part, the parent-child teams work in different departments and sometimes different locations.
"As a few examples, our payroll clerk's son is a service technician; our office manager's son works in detailing; our service director's daughter works in accounting; and a sales manager's mom is a sales administrator at a different location," Box says.
The family ties take place at all levels, starting at the top. Owner Todd Ouellette's son, Christopher, currently works in the service department. General Manager Eric Ware's son, Ryan, works as a sales assistant.
Fathers, sons, mothers and daughters -- the combinations are many, and Box thinks he knows why.