Holland , MI
Overall Rank for 2012: 63
There are times when working at Crown Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Holland, Mich., means racing go-karts or taking the family to the movies.
"We try to have some fun while we're working," says owner Craig Wierda. But mostly, Wierda's philosophy is that treating his employees right brings its own rewards.
"We try to treat everybody the same, and we try to give them an environment where they can grow and thrive," Wierda says. "For us, the responsibility is, if they like their job, they go home and the kids see that mom or dad like their job, and that makes an impact."
Each summer, the dealership sponsors an employee outing at a local amusement center with go-kart racing and bumper cars, and makes sure that the employees bring their spouses and families.
The dealership also hosts monthly employee lunches, and Family Night at the Movies, renting a theater so its employees can see a movie with their families.
In each case, the outings are exercises in character-building for employees, Wierda explains. The films that are screened are those with a positive message that are family-friendly and emphasize traits important for dealership employees such as honesty, integrity and determination.
Wierda says business decisions should be about more than how something might impact the bottom line.
Says Wierda: "If you do something for financial reasons only, people can see through that. But if you do it because you believe in it, then you do the right thing all the time."
-- Larry P. Vellequette