Thursday, May 21, 2015

Execution & Engagement

An interviewee recently asked me what I’m most proud of about GWC.  I instinctively reached for two charts.

I have always believed that the truth is in the numbers.  Having worked with many people over the years who do everything they can to talk around and even avoid the facts, I’ve taken the opposite approach:  Transparency.  In fact, I like to tell people that I should be judged on more than my effervescent personality ;)   Instead, I believe that any individual or company should be primarily evaluated on the points they put on the scoreboard. 

To that end, the GWC profitability story since the current leadership team took charge at the end of 2009 is pretty spectacular:  In summary, GWC’s profitability grew by 127% between 2009 and 2014.  This is very exciting as it means that the team exceeded its stated goal of doubling profitability every five years.  And its even more impressive considering that Independent dealer vehicle sales, GWC’s industry benchmark, rose by only 19% during the same period.

Achieving those results coincided with an intense effort to define and establish specific cultural values at GWC.  Those values have helped us create a company that demands a lot of its people while rewarding performance.  So, when we had the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) conduct our first-ever Employee Engagement Survey at the end of last year, I had some well-founded anxiety.  I wondered if we were succeeding in creating a thriving company that was also a great place to work.

The results of the survey left no doubt:  GWC’s top-line score (88% of GWC employees “Satisfied” with their jobs versus 70% in other companies) was very gratifying.  Taking a deeper dive into the survey, GWC’s results on particular aspects of Job Satisfaction were even more impressive, garnering scores as much as 33% higher than those of average employers. I took particular satisfaction from the many verbatim comments that our employees shared with us.  To wit:

“This place isn’t for everyone (and I think that’s a good thing.)"