Current Issue
Published on September 28, 1998

INVESTING IN EMPLOYEES PAYS OFF

What's your company's most valuable asset? Many successful tire dealers could and probably should reply to that question with one word—employees. Perhaps an even greater number would quickly point out that their No. 1 headache and challenge is recruiting, keeping and motivating good employees.

How they compensate their workers is usually at the heart of such efforts. Without attractive wages and benefits, no astute employer can hope to assemble a top-notch business team. Dealers are no exception.

Unfortunately, today's paper-thin profit margins on tires discourage some dealers from offering the kind of wages and benefits necessary to attract and retain good employees.

Dealers, especially, need to keep wages and benefits competitive in today's tight labor market.

``Help wanted'' signs are seen everywhere these days, from fast-food restaurants to heavy industrial operations. One news report recently noted even Burger King is offering quite lucrative ``signing bonuses'' in order to attract management trainees.

Little wonder, then, that many growth-minded tire dealers are frustrated in their expansion plans, limited by a scarcity of qualified workers to staff the additional planned outlets.

More than one tire dealer also has told how brassy competitors have ventured onto their store premises in an attempt to lure away experienced and hard-to-replace employees.

The results of Tire Business' dealership compensation and benefits survey presented in this issue point to two conclusions:

1) Tire dealers must look on the money they pay out for wages, benefits and employee training as a business investment rather than merely a cost. It's an investment that can and will yield a return in the form of additional profits.

2) Dealers also need to do more to make employees aware of the dollars-and-cents value of the benefits they enjoy.

Wages and benefits are not the only factors in employee job satisfaction, of course. However, they are the cornerstone around which the rest of the employer-employee relationship is built.

As one dealer told Tire Business, owners who provide little in the way of livable benefits will only attract low-quality workers and eventually go out of business.

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