Quick facts

About Swansway Group

AN INFESTATION OF insects has helped to improve fitness levels at Crewe-based Swansway Garages. All 887 employees were offered a “fit bug” wristband, to track their levels of activity, as part of a healthy-living initiative.

The devices have resulted in the fit bug interdepartmental challenge, with teams competing to see which can walk 5,892 miles — the distance from company headquarters to Tokyo — first. Such an original approach to management is typical of Swansway, which represents 13 car brands, including Jaguar and Audi, across 20 locations.

Despite being spread across sites from Birmingham to Preston, employees still feel cared for as individuals (a 78% positive score). There is also a strong sense of team (76%), with regular events such as go-karting and horseracing.

Pamper days and days off for birthdays are also the norm, which helps explain why staff love working here (79%). Founder and chairman Michael Smyth remains the company’s heartbeat after 48 years at the helm, and his three sons have followed him into the business.

www.swanswaygarages.com


What is it like to work for Swansway Group

Leadership
Leadership
The creation and evolution of the Swansway Company values 'Caring, Honest & Proud' have become truly ingrained in the company's culture. This has only been possible through employee buy-in and this involves all Senior Management within the Company. The values are used as a 'sensor check' for all decision making within the organisation, the results of which filter down from board level to Senior Managers and beyond. This has promoted trust, confidence and engagement within all practices of the organisation. Michael Smyth is not only the Chairman of Swansway Group, but also the founder. He has been in the motor retail business for 48 years and is incredibly passionate about what he does. With the gritty training of life as a door to door salesman for Hoover, Michael built the business from scratch, always with the drive and determination to be the best. Through the years Michael has embraced change, always been open to new ideas and ways of doing things and is happy to share his knowledge with his staff. Everyone knows that Michael is happy to roll his sleeves up and lead the way. He is honest, expects honesty in return and is rightly proud of the business he has built and of the people who have helped him to build it.
My Company
My Company
In relation to the Company's values, Swansway’s staff have worked with the company during a 'definitions day' to determine and define their values. The values were rolled out to all staff by way of a dedicated 'roadshow' at each of Swansway’s sites. The effort put in to the evolution of these values means that although they were only made ‘official’ 4.5 years ago, they are already completely embedded in the company’s culture. Everyone uses the caring, honest and proud filter when making any business decision, be it one which affects a customer or a colleague. This has definitely led to an increased feeling of family and wellbeing across the business. Employees know that it is Swansway’s aim to delight customers and also to grow, whilst remaining family owned and keeping the family feeling and values. Much of the communication takes the form of colleagues leading by example in their day to day living and breathing of the values.
Fair Deal
Fair Deal
In many businesses the contributions of 'backroom staff' can be forgotten; however at Swansway they do things differently. On a regular basis the company celebrate the 'backroom staff' by asking the Managers to nominate a colleague who they believe has made an outstanding contribution to the business, is not expecting an extra reward and who is a shining example of company culture and values. The awards are given every quarter and the number of winners is not limited. Wherever there is a nomination and the Unsung Hero board considers it be valid, the nominee will receive a trophy to keep, is treated to afternoon tea and even a £50 voucher to treat themselves to a gift.

Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here

Company Statistics

  • Earning £35,000+:

    18%

  • Staff Turnover:

    20%

  • UK sites:

    22

  • Average Age:

    35

  • Male : Female:

    75% / 25%

  • Staff:

    887

Accreditation

Want to get on the list or be accredited?

Start your engagement journey today and find out what you need to do to earn a Best Companies accreditation or a place on the Best Companies lists.