Dealerships that apply for recognition as one of the 100 Best Dealerships To Work For are graded on a very steep curve.
Even those that apply and don't make it usually score very highly on the measures of employee engagement. But those that do make it score even higher.
To apply, dealerships' managers fill out a survey about their human resources policies and practices. That makes up only 25 percent of the dealership's score.
The employees themselves are then surveyed on how they feel about their dealership's leadership; its culture and communications; work environment; pay and benefits; their role satisfaction; training, development and resources; and overall employee engagement. That employee survey accounts for 75 percent of the final score.
Excluding the pay and benefits category, the percentage of positive responses from dealership staffs that applied but did not make the list ranges from 79 to 95 percent. But for this year's honorees, the positive responses average 95 to 99 percent. In fact, employees of this year's Best Dealerships gave 99 percent positive responses to 21 of the survey's 67 non-pay and benefit questions.
When it came to pay and benefits, both the Best Dealerships and the runners-up generally scored lower. For example, when asked about the statement "My pay is fair for the work I perform," 93 percent of Best Dealership employees responded positively, compared with 78 percent for the dealerships that did not make the list. And 96 percent of Best Dealership employees responded positively to "I'm satisfied with the life insurance benefits," compared with 83 percent of employees of dealerships not on the list.
In general, the size of a dealership did not matter in the surveys. There was no more than a 1 or 2 percentage-point difference in responses based on dealership size.
But that slim difference in responses is sometimes notable. For instance, 99 percent of employees at medium and large Best Dealerships responded positively to the statement, "I am willing to give extra effort to help this dealership succeed." At the small Best Dealerships, it was 100 percent.