For over 16 years, Saturn of St. Paul has been focused on keeping employees and customers happy and growing their business.
Saturn of St. Paul had been conducting employee satisfaction surveys for 17 years, but they struggled with answers to some key questions: How could they create advocates of their dealership, not merely passive employees? What would it take to help good people encourage others to work there or buy a car? Saturn wanted stakeholders, not merely employees.
Wipfli helped three St. Paul dealerships with an employee engagement index (EEI), consisting of open-ended questions to solicit opinions and ideas. The feedback provided specific input in areas such as communication, organizational structure, promotions, and more.
The EEI is born out of the philosophy that employees who are engaged drive higher profits because customers are more loyal to an engaged employee than simply a satisfied one.
In the process, some roles and responsibilities changed, but all employees understood that in the end, the right person would be in the right job so the dealership could move from good to great to extraordinary.
The connection between employee engagement and profitable growth at Saturn is clear. The three Saturn stores in the St. Paul market total half the size of the Minneapolis market, yet they sell 25% more than their Minneapolis competitor. Employee turnover is less than before, too.
Wipfli measures employee engagement at the dealership on a quarterly basis. Policies and procedures are refined based on what has been learned.