03 November 2015

Jaguar Land Rover retailers have captured the top two spots in the prestigious 2015 Automotive News list of the '100 Best ...


Jaguar Land Rover retailers have captured the top two spots in the prestigious 2015 Automotive News list of the '100 Best Dealerships To Work For.'

Baker Motor Co. of Charleston, SC, which includes Jaguar Land Rover West Ashley among its portfolio of stores, was both #1 in the large dealership category, and #1 overall.

Tommy Baker, Owner and President of Baker Motor Company

Over in Corte Madera, Calif., Jaguar Land Rover Marin was rated #2 overall in the Automotive News survey, and #1 among medium-sized dealerships. Also making the 100 Best Dealerships To Work For’ list are four other Jaguar and Land Rover retailers: Land Rover North Dade, FL, ranked #30; Land Rover South Dade, ranked #40; Land Rover Fort Lauderdale, ranked #58; and Warren Henry Jaguar in Miami ranked.

Ranking of the dealerships is based off a simple, yet thorough dealership assessment conducted by Best Companies Group. The assessment is a two-part process designed to gather detailed data about each participating dealer. In part one, the employer completes a questionnaire and in part two, employees of the dealership complete an employee survey which consists of 78 statements that employees respond to on a five point scale. The collected information from the two instruments is combined to produce a detailed set of data enabling the analysts to determine the strengths and opportunities of the participating dealerships.

"With over 16,000 dealerships in the U.S., just to be named in the top 100 is quite an accomplishment and shows a commitment to being a great place to work," says Joe Eberhardt, President and CEO, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC.

Joe Lynch, General Manager at Jaguar Land Rover West Ashley

Joe Lynch, General Manager at Jaguar Land Rover West Ashley, on the outskirts of Charleston, attributes the leadership of Baker Motor Co. owner and President Tommy B. Baker for keeping employees happy and productive.

"We just held our quarterly meeting with employees," explains Lynch. "Mr. Baker spent about 20 percent of the time talking about where we were year-to-date with sales and customer satisfaction scores. The other 80 percent was spent encouraging employees to invest for retirement and explaining how the company could help with financial planning."

Among the services Baker Motor Co. offers to employees is access to financial experts who will give advice on everything from checking credit scores, to buying a home, to saving for the future.

To promote healthier living, a nurse practitioner visits the stores each month to give 'flu shots, check for high blood pressure and give advice on eating right. The dealership also has a gym on premise, and the company's Baker Fit Challenge has employees competing in groups to shed pounds, with prizes for teams recording the most weight lost.

Baker Motor Co. company gym

"I think this survey was the employees' way of thanking the management for running a company that cares about them and their families. Technically, people work for us, but in reality they work with us. This is truly a team effort," adds Joe Lynch.

Nick Price, General Manager at Jaguar Land Rover Volvo Marin

Nick Price at Jaguar Land Rover Marin, says he lives by the mantra that happy employees mean happy customers, and everything else follows.

What's his secret for keeping his workforce smiling? “Lots of little things really as I try to check-in with every employee every day. I want to hear their ideas, hear their concerns. We’re lucky to have great people working with us, people who have been here a while, so we know each other and trust each other.”

"We also have a strong family-first policy, so we make sure we balance work time with family time. If someone needs an afternoon off to go see their kid’s soccer game, we don't make it a big deal. We try to make sure everyone is home with their families by 7.30 p.m.”

Price also empowers managers to reward staff who take the initiative in helping customers or improving efficiency including flights on Southwest Airlines to gift certificates to Peet's Coffee.

There are also monthly food truck visits providing free lunch for employees. This past Friday's food truck visit had a Halloween theme, with employees encouraged to dress-up. Prizes were handed out for the best costumes.

Jaguar Land Rover Marin employees 

The dealership also invests heavily in training and building the skill-sets of its employees. Four members of the Jaguar Land Rover Marin team are about to take part in a multi-day leadership program.

"We have a great team of people here, and to rank #1 in our category and second overall is a great achievement. We are thrilled that our employees enjoy coming to work every day."