March was ‘Respect’, focused on respect for colleagues, themselves and their working environment.
April was ‘Communication’ – with general managers tasked with ensuring all members of staff were informed of the Q1 performance. May was ‘Passion’ – with employees sharing why they were passionate about the company and their role within it.
“When people believe in the values of the business it’s like one big family. We’re trying to change the culture of the business to be a bit less of a Victorian mill owner mentality.
"Our staff can see they have to work hard, but they can enjoy what they do. We do have a strong work ethic, but the work hard play hard ethic brings everyone together.”
Family ownership helps engender this feeling.
The people who own the business are in it daily, running it.
Even Tordoff’s father Jack, the son of founder Edward, remains as chairman and still calls into the dealerships and was in the headquarters on the morning of AM’s visit.
Tordoff believes the thin tier of management means issues can be considered and acted upon quickly. Frequent visits to the dealerships, the most enjoyable and important part of his role, he said, allow him to speak to employees and keep abreast of the issues.
This has enabled the company to spot opportunities to make small, but noticable differences to help staff deliver a ‘wow’ experience overall.
One example was giving every sales executive and service adviser two umbrellas for when they’re discussing a car with a customer or walking them back to their car after service.