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Is this Nissan dealership Britain’s happiest workplace?

Time 7 years ago

76641nis1_small-1A FAMILY-RUN Nissan retailer in Northumbria could be the UK automotive industry’s happiest workplace.

Official statistics show the average UK business loses almost 12 per cent of its staff each year, with figures for the automotive retail sector thought to be even higher.

But Blackshaws Nissan in Alnwick is defying accepted convention with an average annual staff turnover rate of just 2.5 per cent.


Incredibly, more than 30 per cent of the business’s 41-strong team have worked at the dealership for more than 10 years.

At a recent long-service presentation, valeter John Fawcus (22 years), parts manager Steve Lowther (20 years) and sales executive Ronnie Black (31 years) all received 20-year long service awards.

Meanwhile, 10-year service awards were presented to branch manager Mark Livingstone (18 years), accountant Sue Makin (17 years), sales executive Richard Blackshaw (15 years), sales administrator Jayne Imeson (13 years), customer follow-up administrator Bev Jackson (11 years), aftersales manager John Elliott, (15 years), senior master technician Gary Aitken (12 years) bodyshop foreman David Lightfoot (13 years) and valeter Billy Appleby (12 years).

A number of other staff will qualify for long-service awards next year.

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Dealer principal William Blackshaw, who has himself been with the family firm for more than a decade, believes the dealership’s long-standing commitment to staff development and mutual co-operation and respect is behind its staff retention success.

He said: ‘Any business is only as good as its staff and we’re always mindful of that. We’re always approachable, we operate an open-door policy, hold annual appraisals and are committed to continuous training.

‘Our business is run in partnership with our staff and we’re very lucky to have them.’

Exclusive interview: William Blackshaw

Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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