Kunes Country Auto Group
Kunes Country Ford-Lincoln
Delavan , WI
Overall Rank for 2012: 57
Every Monday two Christian chaplains visit Kunes Country Ford-Lincoln to offer spiritual counsel and guidance to employees. Scattered around the store are prayer boxes where employees can deposit their written thoughts and concerns about their lives and work. Only the chaplains have the keys to those boxes.
The chaplains, who are paid by Kunes Country, are just part of the Christian culture at the dealership, in the heart of southeast Wisconsin's Lake Geneva tourism playground between Chicago and Milwaukee.
Every Wednesday morning a Bible study group convenes at the dealership. It's open to employees and members of the community. The dealership also hosts a monthly meeting of all the pastors in the county in its conference room.
Christian music is frequently playing in the store, and there is a wooden cross on the roof -- as there is at each of the group's four dealerships.
"It's the golden rule: treat others as you'd like to be treated," says Scott Kunes (pronounced KEW'-ness), used-car director and son of Gregg Kunes, owner of Kunes Country Auto Group. "If a technician is going through a hard time, one of the managers is right there praying through it with him."
Gregg Kunes sets the tone by offering a prayer before every weekly management meeting.
While Christian values are the cornerstone of the dealership's culture, there's no faith litmus test for employees. Those who might not share the faith nevertheless understand the culture, says Scott Kunes.
And the work environment is anything but solemn. Sales staffers with the most referrals can win trips to Hawaii. There are staff outings to the company's suite at Milwaukee Brewers baseball games.
General Manager Dennis Kramer says it's not complicated: Treat good people fairly and the business will prosper. "If you have the people with the empathy, the talent, the compassion, we'll do well. We just know it."
-- Bradford Wernle