010 – Increasing Employee Loyalty With Personal Development Programs | Steve Sanner

Steve Sanner, the President of Hoosier Automotive Services, has been an entrepreneur since 1983. Today, his company includes 48 Jiffy Lubes, six Tuffy Auto Repair shops, and four Mighty Auto Parts franchises. In addition to his successful automotive business, he has also held the self-appointed position of Chief Childraising Officer at Dad and Husband, Inc. for the past 28 years.

Through the “growing people through work” program, Steve has managed to create a company culture that focuses on and encourages personal development in all aspects of life. The majority of his blue collar workforce face similar life struggles and often share feelings of hopelessness. In identifying these patterns, Steve realized that building a successful company isn’t just about training good workers; it’s about developing good people.

Genuinely caring about the well-being of his workforce, he’s implemented several programs that have literally changed the lives of his employees. His onboarding process includes mandatory training programs aimed at developing positive attitudes, personal finance skills, goal setting skills, and healthy eating habits. In addition, he offers his employees tuition reimbursement, short-term interest-free loans, and much more. Steve’s success has come from showing his employees that he cares, not just with what he says, but by what he does.

Truth You Can Act On:

  1. Recognition or reward is best with a personal touch from the leader. When quality work is recognized by a leader, employees feel more validated and cared about. Make it a priority to schedule time for personally rewarding your employees. Simple acts of recognition and small unexpected rewards are surefire ways of boosting engagement.
  2. Innovation comes from listening. The best way to come up with creative ideas for increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty is by listening. Ask your employees questions, show genuine interest in their needs, and listen to what they have to say. Do this on a regular basis and you’re guaranteed to get some great ideas.
  3. Strict on-boarding predicts future sustainability. During the onboarding process, set clear guidelines for the type of person you’re looking to hire. Make it clear that your company is a serious place to work and that you’re looking for the best. The extra effort required to find the right person will always be worth it in the long run.
  4. The key to on-boarding engagement is trust. Many employees have the preconception that business owners and corporations are out to get them. Your job is to change that perception as quickly as possible. During the onboarding process, find ways to show each new hire that the company cares about them.

Nikki’s Book Recommendation:


  • Custom Concrete – Custom Concrete has been creating foundations for the finest homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities throughout Central Indiana since 1969. Builders, contractors, and homeowners rely on our expertise because so much depends on getting it right. Our knowledge and control of all aspects of the job, from excavation to waterproofing to backfill, means that extra value is built into every project. Codes don’t drive our business, excellence does.
  • LHD Benefits – LHD is a full-service employee benefits firm, that empowers their clients to make the best possible decisions for their employees — to define optimal objectives, monitor outcomes, improve health, and engage and advocate for employees and their loved ones.

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