“You’re either going or growing.” That’s the mantra of Michael Basso, vice president of Hawthorne-based Leros Point to Point, one of the largest limousine companies in the country, covering upwards of 700 trips per day.
And that “going or growing” mantra is, from the start, instilled in employees, who all have the opportunity to switch departments during the onboarding process, getting the chance to find their niche. “People get bored and stuck in a job,” says Basso. “Once a person is here for six months, I sit down with them and say, ‘What interests you? What area would you like to focus on?’”
“People who don’t grow with the company tend to look elsewhere,” Basso says. “I’ve always looked for ways to promote people or create new sectors of a division to have people manage something—let them have tangible goals.” And that’s no hyperbole. Take for example six years ago, when two employees who Basso felt needed more responsibility were given the opportunity to create their own division within the company—for weddings and special occasions. “When I see someone excelling here, I look to give them more responsibilities. A lot of employers shy away from that because it comes with more money,” says Basso. “They’re penny wise but dollar foolish. You waste more money looking for employees. You’re better off paying more—you’ll save over the long run.”
That’s certainly not lost on employees, either. “Michael makes employees feel like it’s their own company,” says Kelcy Peterson, one of Basso’s employees. “He empowers their entrepreneurial spirit.”
Says Basso: “You have to empower your staff. A lot of managers overreact if someone doesn’t do things exactly like them. You have to learn to live with their mistakes, too—we all had an opportunity to make those mistakes, and that’s why we’re in this position.”