A leading trade magazine tapped Baker Motor Company with something of a double honor this summer for how well the dealership treats its associates.
Not only did the Charleston business repeat on the list of Automotive News Best Dealerships to Work for in 2014, the company also made it two years in a row as the only dealership chosen from South Carolina.
"A happy employee equals a happy client," said Tommy Baker, Owner and President of Baker Motor Company in Charleston and Mount Pleasant and of Baker Buick GMC Cadillac in Charleston.
"We care immensely about all of our employees and we learn from them every day," he said. "We listen to their wants and needs and strive to make the working experience at Baker Motor Company the best around."
Automotive News released its list of 101 top dealerships to work for in the U.S. and Canada last month. The compilation was alphabetical and broken out by geographical region. The magazine doesn't disclose its rankings until fall. Last year, Baker Motor Company placed 23rd nationwide.
The award singles out dealerships in the two countries that have "excelled in creating quality workplaces for employees," according to the metro Charleston dealership, formed in 1988.
Baker Motor Company said every employee filled out a survey earlier this year that detailed the employee experience at the dealership. Based on the survey results, Baker Motor Company "surpassed thousands of dealerships in North America to make the list."
According to Tommy Baker, "We listen and we learn." He wants to know the employees' wishes so he can continue to elevate the working environment.
"After hearing our employees' wants and needs from the surveys last year, we provided more upgraded equipment and more break rooms throughout the complex," Baker said.
"But what Baker Motor Company employees really taught us is that they genuinely care about being a part of what is happening in the company, and that makes me very proud," he said.
Examples of the Baker Motor Company working environment include:
. Every quarter, Tommy Baker hosts a company luncheon at Baker Motor Company and Baker Buick GMC Cadillac where he honors the "Employees of the Quarter" by recognizing them for their hard work and determination.
. Baker Motor Company encourages and supports every employee to receive the highest level of training and certification in their field. Just last August, three Porsche technicians were honored with the highest level of Certified Porsche Technical training, receiving their Gold Certification by Porsche Cars North America. Baker Motor Company is the only dealership in the region to have all of its Porsche technicians "gold certified."
. Tommy Baker founded the "Tommy B. Baker Scholarship," in which he awards two scholarships a year to a spouse or child of a Baker Motor Company employee to further their education.
. He has started a "Baker Fit" program to keep employees physically active and healthy.
. A nurse and a wellness coach come to the dealership every morning to assist employees and answer questions about their health concerns.
. Several scenic outdoor break and lunch areas are dispersed throughout the Baker complex. A staff beautification committee was put into place to pick out the desired break locations and furniture.
"The employees are the heart and soul of Baker Motor Company. It is an honor to have such an incredible staff that is dedicated to providing our customers with the best experience when they walk through our doors," Baker said. "Providing Baker Motor Company employees with a work environment that is geared towards their success and benefits is what I strive for every day."
Automotive News will honor the dealerships at an awards gala Oct. 15 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. On Oct. 20, the publication will feature a special section that includes the list ranking along with summaries of each dealership, including Baker Motor Company.
The company has three locations including Baker Motor Company of Charleston and Baker Buick GMC Cadillac, both on Savannah Highway; and Baker Motor Company of Mount Pleasant.
To learn more about Tommy Baker or the company, visit www.bakermotorcompany.com or call 843-852-4000.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Baker Motor Company employee Matt Rainey wins “employee of the quarter” award, presented by Tommy Baker (Provided).×
Baker Porsche technicians were honored last year by Porsche North America. Shown from left are Eric Gustafson, director of fixed operations; Tommy Baker; Victor Salgado, service manager; Porsche technician Michael Shattuck; Stan Amerson, Porsche North America regional aftersales manager; and Rolf Seiderfeld, national aftersales manager for Porsche North America (Provided).×
Automotive News has a special logo for its Best Dealership to Work for competition (Provided).×