Boating Industry

January 2017

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TOP 100 January 2017 | Boating Industry | 51 BEST TRAINING & BENEFITS IRWIN MARINE LACONIA, N.H. During the recession, everyone had to scale back to stay alive. This meant making very diffi cult cuts within the business, and in many cases those cuts included benefi ts. However, the boating industry is now at a point where it has reasonably bounced back, and the benefi ts once provided to employees should return. Irwin Marine has exemplifi ed what it means to reward employees when the business has the ca- pacity to do so. Irwin Marine began giving its employees a discretionary year-end bonus fi ve years ago, based on net profi t for the company. All employ- ees who have been with the company for more than a year are eligible, and the bonus is the same amount for everyone. "We look forward to growing with our long- term staff and appropriately rewarding them as a team. Our view is that every employee is key to our future success," says John J. Irwin, vice president and partner of Irwin Marine. In the service department, the dealership pays technicians a straight hourly basis to help provide a stable environment for techs. "In short, our philosophy is that a technician's hourly wage is a function of their skill level and effi ciency," says Irwin. In addition to its monetary benefi ts, the dealership offers its em- ployees an aggressive benefi ts package that includes medical and den- tal insurance, short-term disability benefi ts, life insurance, bereavement leave, severance pay, vacation benefi ts, maximum difference cancer in- surance, and more. Irwin Marine prioritizes recognizing its employees for their hard work, frequently hosting appreciation parties and lunches. In 2015, management hosted an end of the season employee party for all full-time staff. Staff members and a guest were invited to a pre-party celebration at Meadowbrook's Private Partner Lounge for beverages and appetizers, followed by a Little Big Town concert at the Bank of NH Pavilion. "It was a really nice way to enjoy each other's company outside of work," says Irwin. "Most of all to let the employees have some fun and show them how much they are appreciated after a busy boating season." In addition to its benefi ts offerings, Irwin Marine focuses a signifi - cant portion of time to training. All employees in the dealership are actively trained in PCI and RED Flag Compliance per the company's corporate policy and procedures. The dealership attends all statewide New Hampshire Marine Trades Association sponsored trainings and educational offerings, as well as participating actively in educational opportunities offered by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, the Young Leaders Advisory Council and the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. All departments also receive rigorous product knowledge training. Because of all the pieces of Irwin Marine's appreciation for its employees, the dealership is staffed with many employees who have been staff members for 18 or more years. The techs, service writers, parts/accessories and yard crew at Irwin Marine add up to hundreds of total years of service. "The stability and experience of our dedicated staff is unmatched among our competitors. Our customers recognize the strength of our organization and its employees. It is not uncommon to see a customer bring in lunch for the entire crew as recognition of their efforts on behalf of the customer. Referrals abound, not only for our sales team, but also for our service and parts teams," says Irwin. "In the end, it is truly our employees that set Irwin Marine apart from our competition."

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