by Amanda Grappone Osmer, Grappone Automotive
At Grappone Automotive, my family’s 92-year-old business, our mission is the thing that tells us who to hire. It’s the thing that guides our coaching and mentoring. Grappone’s mission is the silent partner who either nods in approval or shakes a concerned head when we hold our decisions up to it. Our mission is, we truly and deeply believe, what leads to happy, engaged, creative team members who wake up wanting to serve not their own interests, but something greater. So let’s get to the mission:
The mission of Grappone Automotive is dedication to building lifelong relationships by serving our team members, guests, and community with integrity, kindness, and respect.
This mission statement, you might guess, goes back to the good old days when there were Ford Galaxies on the lot (pictured here), but the truth is that it is less than five years old. The truth is, we were so focused on sales, service, parts, and collision repair for so long that quite frankly we weren’t doing as well as we could have by the team.
Yes, we were good. And I am very proud of the work done by the generations who came before. But, as Jim Collins tells us in Good to Great, good is the enemy of great, and our team knows in its bones that if there is a better way to do business, a way that is more honoring of the team, and more effective in supporting families and the communities in which we live, we must do whatever it takes to carry out the better way.
And so we came up with a mission statement that silently prods us ever onward, through service to others. Service to our team members (they are most intentionally listed first in the mission statement): this is where wellness programs, family friendly policies, company-wide team building events, our volunteer program and other activities come into play. Service to our guests: by continuously seeking out better ways to meet their needs while providing superior service by truly happy people. Service to our community: by partnering with sports teams, non-profits, vendor partners, and serving on boards and advisory groups to offer whatever resources we can to make NH a better place to work, live, and raise a family.
So does it work, all this mission stuff? I think it does. No, I feel that it does.
I feel it when I give a tour of our LEED certified Toyota/HQ building and outsiders say “Everyone here is so nice!” I feel it when new team members, during their onboarding, meet with me and say things like, “I can’t believe how helpful everyone is. I have never worked in a place like this! It’s like Lake Wobegon.” I feel it when a team member who has served my family for three decades asks if he can talk to me, then says “I just needed to tell you how much this place has meant to my family and me over the years. You have always been there for us.” I feel it when I read the statistic that the national average for turnover in car sales is almost three times what it is at Grappone, and that the number of women working in car sales is just 10%, compared to Grappone’s 40%. And I feel it when I read the online reviews and take random phone calls from people who heard me on the radio and just wanted to call and say what a great thing we’re doing down there at Grappone.
What do you feel when you go to work? Do you feel that the service you provide is making a positive difference in someone’s life, no matter how minor it might be? Do you feel you are part of something much larger than yourself? Do you feel inspired to be creative in the name of problem solving? Do you feel valued? If you are reading this, and you work at Grappone Automotive, I passionately hope that you can answer yes to all of those questions. If not, please call or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I can hear your story.
And if you are reading this and you don’t work at Grappone, we’re hiring.
Photos: 1) Ford Galaxy, 2) Boat to work event, 3) Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event team