Well-compensated employees are happier, more productive and will contribute even more to your bottom line. That’s what the owners of McMahon’s Best-One Tire believe.
They’re putting that theory into practice - with positive results.
Kim McMahon, Bubba McMahon and Randy Geyer, owners of the 11-location, Fort Wayne, Indiana-based dealership, recently rolled out significant wage hikes and benefit upgrades for nearly 40 employees who joined the company through an acquisition.
The compensation improvements have been “life-changing” for many, says Kim.
When informed of McMahon’s Best-One Tire’s medical insurance plan, one new employee, who had been working a second job to afford her previous insurance premium, “started crying. She quit her (other) job immediately.”
Another employee, upon joining McMahon’s Best-One Tire, received what amounted to a 50% raise. “She didn’t believe it at first,” says Kim.
More money, shorter week
The enhancements are the latest in a line of decisions made by McMahon’ Best-One Tire to show appreciation to employees and create an even more successful, attractive business.
In 2021, the dealership raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour. The increase was well-received by existing McMahon’s Best-One Tire employees. “And it helped a lot with recruiting new people,” says Kim.
“We saw a sizable increase in our number of new applicants. Since then, a lot of (employers) in our area have followed suit” by implementing their own wage hikes. “But we were the first around here to do it.
“If you’ve been out and have changed a tire or worked on a vehicle, you know it’s not easy work,” she says. “And not just physically, but also making sure you get the right oil, the right filter, the right brake parts – there are so many things that can go wrong.
“If a wheel comes off a vehicle, someone can die. If you’re paying someone $10 an hour to work on cars, you’re just asking for trouble.”
The dealership also has adjusted its days of operation.
Earlier this year, it switched to a Monday-through-Friday schedule at its seven retail stores and wholesale distribution center. (The company’s three commercial locations are still open on Saturday.)
Kim was inspired by another tire dealer, Aaron Telle, president and CEO of Webster Groves, Mo-based Telle Tire & Auto Service, who was on 2022 SEMA Show panel discussion with her.
“He discussed why (his company was) closed out Saturday and how it made the company run better,” says Kim. “So we came back and began asking our employees, ‘What do you think of this? Would this be good?’ And across the board, everyone was excited about it.”
The decision to close on Saturday was not made without some trepidation, according to Kim, who says she initially worried about losing revenue. “So I went back and looked at our sales on Saturdays. I saw a lot of tire repairs and rotations, but there wasn’t a lot of revenue generated on that day, as a whole.”
Kim says McMahon’s Best-One Tire’s newest employees “literally cheered” when she told them they don’t have to work on weekends.
“I was a little concerned because so many people are used to working on Saturdays, especially technicians, who can get a lot done that day. A few of them said, ‘I’ve always worked from eight until noon on Saturdays. This is part of my life.’ Well, it took about two weeks before they told us, ‘This is the best thing ever!’”
'A world of difference'
Compensation improvements and a shorter work week come with greater expectations by the owners of McMahon’s Best-One Tire, according to Kim.
“It’s a trade-off. You have to have the right people in place. We’re paying them more, but our expectations are higher. But quality employees bring in customers and happier employees are more invested” in the business' success.
“It all comes from our employees liking where they work and feeling appreciated. I’m firmly convinced of that.”