Driver's Seat: Celebrating Shops That Walk the Walk

March 1, 2023
FenderBender's 2023 Best Workplaces honorees show loyalty to their employees through action. 

Early in my career I worked as a copy editor for a small publishing company. The work was less than enriching, but such are the entry-level opportunities for those of us who have chosen this field. Line-by-line proofreads of phone directories were not really my idea of a good time, but it was honest, if low-paying, work. 

It was a weird little business. On Mondays, male employees were required to wear ties to work. This was a small, niche publisher in an office park. We didn’t entertain clients; we didn’t even have visitors. The ties were a show for nobody at all, I assume to satisfy the owner in some way about what sort of business he ran.  

A quirky choice of dress code could be excused in a business that was otherwise rock solid. But at this company, employees by and large felt overworked, underappreciated and unhappy. The owner certainly had high expectations for his business. He just didn’t see investing in his employees as the way to get there. 

The point is, I don’t think you can fake your way into being a great place to work. You can dress it up and talk it up but actions matter. The businesses we’ve selected as FenderBender Best Workplaces for 2023 all demonstrate with action how employees are the underpinning of a successful shop. 

You’ll read about Lone Peak Collision, our small shop winner, where a small but dedicated group of seven employees work together as a team but also like a family. Our medium shop winner is Don’s Body Shop, where “Whiskey Fridays” are just one small way team members bond and blow off some steam. And finally there is our large shop winner, Dave’s Auto Body, where employees receive whatever they need to make whatever kind of career they desire in collision repair. 

Of course, in the rest of this month’s issue of FenderBender you’ll find more of the strategies and news you’ve come to count on. Maybe you’ll even pick up a tip or two to help land your shop a mention in our 2024 Best Workplaces awards. Thank you for your continued support of FenderBender.