Mercedes-Benz USA's Turnaround: A 3-Step Prescription to Building a Great Workplace During Difficult Times
Reporting by Marcus Erb
“What we did was just common sense. Do you know what’s wrong with common sense these days? That it is unfortunately not very common.” — Ernst Lieb, President & CEO, Mercedes-Benz USA
How does a company go from low associate satisfaction to #15 on the FORTUNE “100 Best” list in the midst of a crippling recession? For Mercedes-Benz USA, the answer was a common sense approach done uncommonly well.
Mercedes-Benz USA is the sales and marketing arm of the German carmaker, comprising about 20% of total worldwide Mercedes Benz sales. Headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, the company’s 1,600 associates provide support to 352 independently owned and operated dealerships across the U.S.
This article outlines the three main components of Lieb's common sense plan that helped the sales and marketing arm of the automaker produce higher-than ever associate engagement, a 20% increase in internal organizational health metrics, placement on 100 Best Companies to Work for lists in 2010 and 2011, sales approaching pre-recession peak levels, and emulation by its competitors.