New Minas , NS
Location: New Minas, N.S.
Dealer principal: Justin Barker
Dealership group: Bruce Auto Group
Number of employees: 47
*2018 new-vehicle sales: 335
*2018 used-vehicles sales: 357 (*Dealership purchased in March 2017,
Manager of People Culture JP Martel on how the image of working at a dealership has changed in the last five years: I think the main challenge is that most people don’t think about the auto industry when looking for a rewarding job or planning a career. We’re like a hidden gem and it’s our job to make people aware. With our marketing efforts we are attracting more and more young workers. Although often inexperienced, those with a desire to learn and grow are groomed into tomorrow’s leaders and often end up moving up the ladder quickly. So the image of working at a dealership is slowly but surely changing for the better.
Martel on unusual methods developed to reward employees and show them they are valued: We gather all staff quarterly for a potluck and recognition presentation in which every single individual is recognized for their achievements and for what makes them special. There’s a lot of laughter and bonding during those events and it really helps align everyone.
General Manager Darren Boates on making work schedules more flexible than the bell-to-bell schedule for which dealerships are known: We work flexible hours for staff who want a day off during the week. We let them pick within reason, a day in lieu of them working a Saturday. We try to cater as much as possible to each individual’s needs. For example, we have a technician who wants to work only four days a week, and he is scheduled Wednesday to Saturdays. Time off is usually granted and requests are taken seriously and rarely denied, which builds trust with staff.