Penske Automotive Group
Honda of Danbury
Danbury , CT
Overall Rank for 2012: 65
Honda of Danbury puts its money where its mouth is to keep employees healthy.
The dealership pays the first $1,000 of costs for any medical preventive care such as cholesterol tests, cancer screenings and physicals.
"That's part of our medical plan since we promote healthy lifestyle and encourage healthy living," says Carole Fitzgerald, Honda of Danbury's human resources manager. "A lot of employees take advantage of it," she says, because it could prevent "some major health issues."
It has worked, Fitzgerald says. The policy has been in place for three years, and no employee has had a serious illness in that time.
The dealership also offers three medical plans and pays 70 percent of the premium for an employee under one plan and 60 percent on the other two. Fitzgerald credits the generous plans to the dealership's ability to negotiate better deals because it's part of Penske Automotive Group Inc.
Honda of Danbury also is a good place to work because the facilities are practically new, says Brian Beanland, general manager.
Penske spent at least $10 million to improve the dealership three years ago, Beanland says. The store is kept in mint condition to make sure employees have everything they need to succeed. For example, Beanland supplies all the service mechanics with their own "state-of-the-art" toolboxes.
"All their equipment is brand new and kept up weekly and monthly," Beanland says.
He credits an open-door policy for the dealership's strong morale. That policy encourages employee feedback right to the very top -- the corporate boss, who visits at least twice a year.
"If Roger Penske walks in the store, he wants to talk to the technicians and the valets and those on the ground," Beanland says. "He has 170 stores in this country, yet he knows specific employees, knows all about this store and talks to all the employees. He wants to know what's going on."
-- Jamie LaReau