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Springfield, MO

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Rick Hughlett, founder
Rick Hughlett, founder

2010 Choice Employers, 25 to 100 Employees No. 5: Rick's Automotive

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The 32 employees at Rick’s Automotive have no waiting period to participate in the company’s retirement plan, and they are fully vested in that plan in six months or less. The company pays 100 percent of employees’ health insurance premiums, and all staff members have the potential to earn annual bonuses. Staff meetings are held every other Tuesday, with the company buying lunch. These meetings are a venue for employees to be updated on company information and direction, to discuss any workplace issues and to celebrate achievements or staff anniversaries. In addition to tuition reimbursement for job-related training, Rick’s Automotive also will pay for related travel, meals and lodging.

Founder Rick Hughlett answers SBJ’s questions:

How would you describe your company’s culture?
We really have a family atmosphere Our (employees) genuinely like each other. They often spend time together outside of work, going to ballgames or fishing. Internally, we encourage growth and development. We always try to promote from within. As a member of the Ozarks Technical Community College Advisory Board, I keep my eye out for the best and brightest to hire, then partner a new employee with an experienced team member for training. We have several employees who have been with us more than 20 years.

When employees ask for raises, what factors do you weigh?
I’ve never had an employee ask for a raise. That’s a good sign, right? We’ve always expressed to our team that we’ll take care of them if they take care of us and our customers. We’ve been fortunate that has always been true.

Beyond financial compensation, what benefits are most important to your staff?
Our team really values their weekends and holidays off. We also have a very comprehensive benefit package and 401(k) matching. And the employee discount on service is a nice perk, too.

What methods do you use to involve employees in benefits decisions?
Every other Tuesday, I treat our employees to lunch (to) discuss any timely topics. When we are planning to discuss benefits information at our lunch meetings, we invite spouses to attend. We want everyone to be informed and have a chance to ask questions.

How do you reward employee accomplishments?
We’re especially proud of our Catch Them Doing Something Right program. Employees nominate each other for good deeds, then we have a monthly drawing for a cash prize. Another reward I’ve enjoyed recently is offering a dream vacation to each employee who celebrates 20 years at Rick’s Automotive.  

Just for Fun
If there were no limitations – budget or otherwise – what benefits would you begin offering employees tomorrow?
I would love to help each employee accomplish the first three things on their “bucket lists.” It’s so rewarding to help make dreams come true – I would love to make that happen.[[In-content Ad]]

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