What makes a dealership one of the best? Pursuit of happiness

Kolibar also takes time to listen, addresses any problems quickly and makes sure staff are rewarded.

“People need to know that they’re valued, that somebody is listening to them, that they’re important; and if they work hard, they will get promoted,” she said. “They have to feel good at their job.”

South Trail Chrysler has raised salaries to stay competitive through the tough operating environment of the past couple of years and is also adding a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) program, a perk that is becoming more common among Alberta dealerships, Kolibar said.


The Calgary store is not alone among the 25 winning dealerships that focus on retirement benefits.

Eastgate Ford in Hamilton, Ont., recently implemented a defined-contribution pension plan as part of an effort to improve employee retention.

Retirement plans are increasingly becoming a basic benefit among the industry’s leaders, Bloom said, and another element of creating a long-term sense of belonging for staff.

According to the 2022 Best Dealerships To Work For survey results, just 24 per cent of the top 25 dealerships did not offer an RRSP or pension. In contrast, 88 per cent of dealerships that did not make the list offered no retirement plan.

A retirement plan is not so much a selling feature but a necessity for a dealership in the competitive environment of suburban Montreal, said Philippe Venne, general manager of HGrégoire Infiniti Laval, which made the list of 25 Best Dealerships.

“It has a reverse effect if you don’t have it,” Venne said, “so definitely this is a must if you want to make sure people consider you when they apply.”


Venne said his staff at the Infiniti store are being solicited “more and more” by competitors, but the dealership has managed to keep turnover to a minimum.

“Obviously the market is verycompetitive….Itisabit harder to keep [employees], so the trick is really to make sure you keep a good line of communication,” he said. “That’s always the best way to keep your staff close to you and to make sure that they’re happy.”

Managers in every department at the Laval store are focused on staying close to their staff, Venne said.

“When a person feels like they belong in your team and they feel appreciated, that’s really the secret,” he said, adding that acting quickly on any potential problems is also vital.

Competitive pay plans help ensure that staff are not tempted by competitors attempting to lure them away, Venne said.

In addition to competitive pay that helps with staff retention, being a part of the HGrégoire dealership group, which operates newand usedcar dealerships across Quebec, means employees also have access to a series of advancement opportunities both at the Laval dealership and beyond, Venne said.

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