Sault Ste. Marie, , ON
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Dealer principal: Darren Smyl
Dealership group: Smill Holdings
Number of employees: 53
2017 new-vehicle sales: 500, up 19%
2017 used-vehicle sales: 150, down 25%
Dealer Principal Darren Smyl on staff diversification and attracting more women to the workplace: I have been very focused on the female customers. I understand that 80 per cent of all buying decisions are influenced by women. We made a point of having at least 50 per cent of our showroom and front-line staff made up of women. It makes a huge difference. I knew we were on the right track when former Ford Canada CEO Dianne Craig visited, and the first thing she said was "it's nice to see this many ladies in the showroom. It makes ladies feel more comfortable."
Smyl on unusual methods developed to reward employees and show them they are valued: We have the most insane Christmas parties. The only traditional one was the first year — formal. After that, they have included casinos, bowling, private concerts, comedians, golf simulators, heavy equipment simulators, and more.
Smyl on helping employees develop a career path: We identify high performers early on in their employment. We then discuss openly where their future lies within the organization. Then we train the hell out of them.
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