Lyon-Waugh Auto Group
Porsche-Audi of Nashua
Nashua , NH
Overall Rank for 2012: 74
Larry Bedell loves all the morale-building trappings of the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group, from the solid medical-dental insurance right down to the fishing trips and Red Sox box seats.
The goodies help him boost productivity as general manager of Porsche-Audi of Nashua, N.H. But on a deeper level, he feels his employees respond even more to the Lyon-Waugh policy of promoting from within.
Bedell started as a service adviser 17 years ago and has run the Nashua store the past seven years.
"It makes people feel appreciated," he says. "I'm the poster child of promote-from-within. People can look at me and know that I did what they're doing now."
Recruiting and retaining good employees are priorities for the six-store dealership group. Managing Partner Warren Waugh gives priority consideration to recruits from current workers.
"Employee referrals are our greatest tool," he says.
The group pays attention to employees' bellies, sponsoring summer barbecues and ice cream "Sundaes on Friday" events at all dealerships.
Bedell supplements that with monthly pizza parties after closing on Fridays. He made 30-minute lunch breaks mandatory to keep employees from working through mealtimes.
With Nashua only 40 miles from the group's headquarters in Peabody, Mass., north of Boston, Waugh frequently is on site. When he hears of employees doing something special for customers, he hands out prime pairs of baseball or football tickets -- overlooking first base at Fenway Park for the Red Sox or midfield for New England Patriot games.
There are monthly cash bonuses for sales and service, but annually the two best performers join Waugh in a deep-sea fishing tournament. And each year, the group picks one employee for the Lyon Award. As a service adviser, Bedell won it in 1998.
"We've had winners go to French wine country or to Hawaii" for the NFL Pro Bowl, he says "With three kids, we won a five-star trip to Disney World. It was pretty cool."
-- Jesse Snyder