What does it take to be a great employer where employees actually enjoy coming to work and where job seekers want to apply for open positions?
Tire Business wanted to find out with its inaugural "Tire Business' Best Places to Work," which surveyed participating tire dealerships and their employees about benefits, leadership, culture and employee engagement.
A number of tire retail, commercial, OTR, retread and wholesale tire dealerships, with at least 15 employees in the U.S., applied to participate in the free survey process.
Best Companies Group (BCG), an independent workplace excellence research firm, managed the registration process, conducted the two-part survey with employers and employees, tallied the scores and ranked the companies.
Six tire companies have been named finalists, with the winner to be announced by Tire Business at a later date.
The finalists are, in alphabetical order:
- Chapel Hill Tire, a Chapel Hill, N.C.-based tire dealership with 100-plus employees;
- Porter's Tire Store, a Russellville, Tenn.-based tire retailer with 98 employees;
- St. Louis Wholesale Tire, a St. Louis-based specialty tire distributor with 18 employees;
- Service Tire Truck Centers, a Bethlehem, Pa.-based commercial tire dealership with 921 employees;
- SimpleTire L.L.C., a Trevose, Pa.-based online tire retailer with nearly 100 employees; and
- Telle Tire & Auto Centers, a St. Louis-based dealership with 70-plus employees.
The scores were tallied based on responses about benefits, policies, practices and other factors, as well as responses from employees who answered questions about their experiences with the company and leadership.
The Tire Business staff interviewed the finalists to highlight what these companies do to make their workplaces a positive environment for their employees.
While the finalists vary in size and services, they all seem to have at least one thing in common, which probably contributed to their being ranked as a best place to work: They make employee engagement a priority.
The six finalists as a group generated 89% positive responses from employees that their leadership cares about their well-being versus 75% for participating companies that didn't make the list.
A majority (67%) of the finalists paid 75%-99% of their employees' medical insurance premium, compared with 44% of the others. Half of the finalists pay 75% to 99% of the dental insurance premium while 56% of other companies pay less than 25% of the premium. When it comes to vision insurance, 67% of all the participants said they paid less than 25% of the premium.
About 67% of the finalists offer paid time off (PTO) as one bank of time while 60% of the other participants offered vacation/sick/personal days as separate banks of time off.
All participants offered employee bonuses or incentive programs and some type of retirement plan.
About 83% of finalists said they don't have overtime or they keep it to a minimum, versus 30% of other participating employers.
Interestingly, fewer finalists offered tuition reimbursement/assistance than the rest of the participants.
About 89% of non-finalists versus 67% of finalists offered to reimburse for certifications; all the non-finalists said they pay for business education workshops versus 67% of finalists; and 56% of non-finalists reimbursed for advanced or post-graduate degree versus 17% of the finalists.
The finalists were asked what employees in the tire industry request most. The answers included: a chance for promotion; better/additional benefits; increased pay; and flexible work hours.
Telle Tire added: "The opportunity to learn and feel appreciated. Often interview candidates are seeking new roles to learn and obtain certifications to do more with their career."