The Luther Automotive Group

‘Smiles campaign’ seeks to bring out best in employees

Keeping employees engaged in their jobs with an understanding of the common purpose and importance of their work is the goal of the “Smiles Campaign,” a fun-filled series of events that’s becoming a tradition at Brookdale Chevrolet and Brookdale Buick GMC.

“The big hits are anything that involves food,” said General Manger Curt Johnson. “Smiling is the number one thing we want employees doing.”

Brookdale pie eating

It was face down for Brookdale Buick GMC pie eating competitors. From left, salesmen Ryan Snaza and Scott Dorenbush take on technician Eric Dickson, lot attendant Nate Lutgen, technician Jeremy Erickson and service runner Gerry Haus.

Much of this involves getting to know staff members who are not regular contacts. One written exercise involved 15 less visible employees who were asked for their favorite movie and dream job. These were scrambled in a puzzle and members were then asked to match the answers with the right people for a prize. Sumo wrestling, a pie eating contest, potato sack races and a water balloon fight were some more active examples. Operations assistant Kristal Bechtold and receptionist Taylor Johnson have been the key organizers. And, they’ve included GM zone and field managers in the activities.

Through the years, Johnson said he’s become more convinced that happy internal customers (employees) truly lead to happy external customers. Translation: employees who enjoy coming to work perform much better and give the customer a much better experience.

If the numbers mean anything, this store appears be firing on all cylinders. It earned GM “Mark of Excellence” awards for all its divisions based on customer satisfaction and sales objectives. Johnson wants staff to know they work for a solid organization, with 60 years experience and a solid employee and customer focus.

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