Celebrating Excellence

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Canadian AutoWorld has shared a lot of stories.

For 27 years, this magazine has crossed the country time and time again looking for news and information our dealer readers can use to help their business and improve profitability.

It has been nearly three decades of best practices from stores both big and small. We have had hundreds of industry experts share their opinions on every corner of your business. Still, after all the issues and all articles, we are finding there are still new things to learn. Business evolves. It doesn’t sit still.

But for all the changes this industry has seen over the last 10 years, we can still be reminded that basic building blocks of a successful store a generation ago – employee satisfaction, transparency, communication, positive culture – remain the same today.

Recent proof of this comes with our third annual Canadian AutoWorld Dealership Employer of Choice awards (CAWEOC).

This year we are recognizing five operations that made the grade. Collectively, they represent a near perfect cross section of the ownership landscape: single point operator, small group, mid-size group and large dealers group.

The winners are:

The Humberview Group
Dale Wurful Chrysler
Pfaff Automotive Partners
NewRoads Automotive Group
Williamson Chrysler

The winners listed here offered some great new insights on how important it is to appreciate your staff. They also prove that, as so often the case, the front line workers often provided the best solutions to tailor a customer centric-environment.

But before we delve too far into the winners, let’s review the journey that got us here.

The Process
This journey started last summer with our partner Corporate Culture + Employer of Choice Recognition (CCEOC). We launched a dedicated web portal to accept online applications from dealers around the country. The process was simple, and free. Participating dealerships had to fill out a Company Profile. That document was used to collect detailed information on leadership attributes and human resource policies, practices and procedures. The Company Profile accounted for 50 per cent of the overall evaluation score.

The next step was completion of the Employee Commitment Survey. Created and managed by CCEOC, the survey section was an anonymous online survey that measured employee opinions – both positive and negative – about their workplace.

Completion of the employee survey section accounted for the remaining 50 per cent used to determine final scores.

“I couldn’t have been more excited with the results,” explained CCEOC president Jeff Doran.

“The CADEOC Award is the industry’s first and only made-in-Canada recognition for the country’s automobile dealers and the response has been tremendous.”

Doran says the CADEOC Award creates leading employer brand recognition opportunities and unique competitive advantages for those that take part.

“Not only were we after supporting our applicants build a more engaged workforce, the trickledown effects of happy staff have been well documented – better customer experiences, better referrals, improved process, efficiencies, stronger customer loyalty and increased revenues.

“By tapping into the detailed reporting and survey data, dealers were also able to benchmark against the industry average and build their own best practices,” Doran adds.

On The Horizon
As we said, the response was amazing. As too are our winners, whom you can read all about over the next few pages.

Those stores that did not participate or found out too late are in luck. The feedback from the dozens of franchise dealerships that entered was so positive we are mere months away from starting work on our fourth installment of the CADEOC program.

Canada’s car dealers and their teams are some of the hardest-working people in our country today. While this publication has been telling their stories for nearly 30 years, there is always another great idea or original best practice helping shape the future of automotive retail.

CADEOC is our way of showing how we admire the innovative owners and their visionary leadership.

“Being recognized as an Employer of Choice proves they are great places to work and validates the employee efforts put forth every single day to create great customer experiences,” Doran adds.

“It will also help dealerships attract, retain, and engage the best and brightest talent to grow their businesses.”