The management at Premier Ford listen to staff, implement their suggestions and make changes where appropriate, which is one of the aspects most appreciated by employees at this dealership, which trades at Newport on the Isle of Wight.
They also love the Christmas dinner and dance, held free for them and their partners, and the ability to take some holiday as ‘duvet days’ with no notice. Flexible working is available, and the minimum hours an individual must work to be considered full-time is 20.
A sign of Premier Ford being a Best UK Dealership To Work For is that it values ageing workers. In the past five years, it has had 10 long-standing members of staff reach pensionable age while still employed. It takes employees’ wellbeing seriously, and has brought in an occupational nurse to provide free individual health screenings for those who desire them. Three quarters of the workforce took part, and received advice on health and fitness.
Employees undertake an average of 40 training hours a year. Sales, aftersales and bodyshop personnel attend regular manufacturer and ATA (Automotive Technician Accreditation) training, and the dealership uses the Ford College for the diploma in retail management. In addition, mentoring, job shadowing and attendance at leadership workshops are all encouraged, and job vacancies are advertised internally to encourage staff to apply.
The business holds annual staff recognition awards and long-service presentations, and 95% of employees receive a monthly bonus based on customer satisfaction and/or department profitability. Technicians have a two-part bonus scheme, which rewards them for attainment of CSI objectives and for individual efficiency. Valeters/drivers are rewarded monthly if sales and service CSI objectives are met, and team leaders can significantly boost their income monthly and quarterly when their department’s performance exceeds budget.
Staff perks include discounted car offers and services, retail discounts, death-in-service benefit and optional private medical insurance. An annual staff satisfaction survey, including ratings of managers, other departments and the directors, leads to six-monthly follow-up meetings with the entire workforce, where managing director David Rye shares feedback and progress. Premier Ford also has a staff suggestions box, and has implemented several good ideas as a result.