Voted by Ingram's 2012 Best Companies to Work For
Midway Ford Truck Center
Maybe it’s just a coincidence that Midway Ford Truck Center is just down the street from Worlds of Fun, but people sure seem to be enjoying themselves in that neighborhood. While other businesses continued to struggle in 2011, Midway’s staff growth set a record, and of its 240 employees, nearly 40 percent have at least
15 years on the job there. Fully one in four workers has at least 25 years on the job.
As much as an engaging work environment, the pride of ownership also plays a critical role in that kind of staff retention—Midway was the first Ford dealer in the United States to implement an employee stock-ownership plan, giving everyone in it a sense of responsibility and owner’s pride.
“The 30-year success of our Employee Stock Ownership Plan has exceeded even its founder’s expectations,” company president Trey Meyer said, referring to Midway CEO Don Ahnger. “Over the past 10 years, our ESOP has paid out cash benefits to participants averaging $1 million per year, yet our ESOP’s trust continues to grow impressively.” Even with no employee contributions, he said, the plan now owns 40.8 percent of all company stock, “and, most importantly, we have over 200 ESOP partners who act and think like owners of our business,” Meyer said. They are thus authorized to take action to meet customer needs.
A 401(k) plan layered over that, plus training programs, multiple health-insurance options, plus life and disability coverage, referral bonuses, health fair and wellness programming—in short, the ownership takes care of its employees, because it’s made up of the employees. Beyond the compensation side, the company strives to incorporate fun into the work flow, including bowling and fishing tournaments, picnics with departmental cook-offs, a golf league and tournament and holiday parties.
Those benefits, Meyer said, were foundational elements for the company upon its launch in 1961. “Midway focused on hiring and developing exceptional people who would both create customer satisfaction and share in the responsibility for company success,” he said. “Dean Edward (the founder) strongly believed in providing an employment environment that would maximize personnel continuity as well as mutually beneficial long-term customer relationships.”
Thus, living by the Golden Rule, Meyer said, and focusing on customer satisfaction are the primary principles that have motivated Midway to become one of the Best Companies to Work For in Kansas City.