Ever felt the weight of a disrupted workflow when a new team member can't seem to respect time? It's that unsettling moment when the clock ticks past the start time and the bay or desk remains empty…again. The workload piles up, customers get restless, and the rhythm of the day gets thrown off. Not to mention the blow to team morale. Before things escalate, it's critical to approach the situation head-on. Having a candid conversation can clear the air and set expectations quickly. Here’s how to do it… This excellent 7-step framework for having a tough conversation is shared in the book “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott. 1. Name the issue. 2. Select a specific example that illustrates the behavior or situation you want to change. 3. Describe your emotions about this issue. 4. Clarify what is at stake. 5. Identify your contribution to this problem. 6. Indicate your wish to resolve the issue. 7. Invite your partner to respond. You have sixty seconds to do it all. This powerful opening statement will set the stage for an open and honest discussion about work expectations. A smooth-running shop relies on everyone being on time so don’t shy away from potentially difficult conversations like this.
Here's a great way to build culture in your shop and honor the Veterans who work for you. To thank Veterans for their service, @Eddie Lawrence and his wife Holly over at Mobile Transport Repair (MTR) have created a Veterans Day voucher that is good for 8.0 hours towards their PTO to use as they need. Eddie was kind enough to share his voucher if you would like to do something like this for your team (see attached PDF). I love this idea because it does so many cool things: 1. It shows appreciation and respect for your employees 2. It builds team culture around valuing honor and service 3. It shows that they took the time to learn more about their employees lives outside of the shop and that they care 4. It is a commitment to supporting a cause greater than the business
Stings doesn’t it? Everything is going along fine in the shop (or so you thought) and one Friday afternoon, out of the blue, they drop the bad news on you. Buddy, that’s one loooong weekend! Here's the hard truth… In this tight labor market, if a tech feels stagnant or under-appreciated, they can easily jump ship. It's not just about the next paycheck; it’s about feeling respected and valued. Let’s put it into perspective: Imagine your best technician. Now imagine them with improved life skills, navigating both their professional and personal challenges with ease. How much more invested would they be in their job? But here’s the kicker… Professional training alone won't seal the deal. Life skills make the difference. This dual toolset can be the game changer for technician loyalty and job satisfaction. So, what’s the solution? My good friend and diesel repair shop owner, Eddie Lawrence recognized this gap in his own life and the lives of his team. That’s why he created the 'Life Calibration' - a hands-on workshop aimed at helping shop owners and their employees gain more fulfillment, clarity and perspective in life. Big corporations have long recognized the importance of holistic employee development. They know it's not just about the job; it's about creating well-rounded individuals. Take a page from their playbook: Invest in a program like 'Life Calibration' for your entire team and show them that you care that their life works inside and outside of the shop.
Ever wondered why your best technicians keep leaving your auto repair shop? In this Ratchet + Wrench podcast episode Chris navigates a revealing Statistica survey and decodes the top eight reasons behind this industry conundrum. From career development to job satisfaction, work-life balance, and trust, he unpacks critical factors that impact employee retention in the auto repair industry. In this deep-dive into the role of shop owners, discover how you can use perks, social justice initiatives, and meaningful work to inspire your team. Delve into the importance of creating clear position outlines, implementing open-door policies, and providing life skills training to foster a supportive work environment. Employee wellness is also at the forefront of the conversation, underscoring the value of offering full health benefits, mental health resources, and even financial support to build stronger bonds with your team. Chris talks candidly about the importance of competitive benefits packages in the industry. And he spotlights how the power of recognition and the development of a positive, collaborative work culture can go a long way in establishing loyalty within your workforce. Get ready for a thought-provoking discussion that promises to not only challenge the industry norms but also offers actionable insights to elevate your shop's work environment. Ready to learn more? Listen to the full podcast here: 8 Reasons Why Techs Quit Auto Repair Shops
Ever had that sinking feeling? You've just hired someone new, and within a week, you're like, "Damn, did I just invite a tornado into my shop?" It's that sneaky worry gnawing at you. "What if this new hire turns my whole team upside down and all that camaraderie... poof... gone?" I feel you. The dread of ruining your shop's groove is REAL. But hold up! Before you let another sleepless night roll by, let’s nip this in the bud. Ready? It’s all about mastering the art of figuring out culture fit during interviews. Sounds complicated? Not really. Start with this simple tip: Ask open-ended questions about their past team experiences. Instead of the generic "Tell me about a time when...", dig deeper. Like, "Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a team member. How did you handle it? What was the outcome?" Their answers? They'll reveal a lot about their values, work ethic, and whether they'll jive with your shop's vibe or not. Imagine this: Your shop, buzzing with a team that’s more like family. No clashes, just good vibes and even better work. That dream where you take that well-deserved vacation without your phone buzzing with shop dramas? Totally possible. Ready to transform your hiring game? Dive deep during those interviews and ensure your shop remains the well-oiled, drama-free machine it's meant to be.
Bill DeBoer at DeBoer's Auto has a great way to show appreciation for his staff and communicate shop culture. He sets each employee up with their own page on the shop site and then sends out an email introducing them. Here's a bit of the email that Bill send's out. He keeps the email brief and then gets them to the website with the Read More call to action. Shows how a great shop culture organically leads to more marketing opportunities. What do you think? Is this a project you will take on? Chris Mazzawy By Bill DeBoer, Sep 12, 2023 3:22:29 PM Introducing Chris Mazzawy Born and raised in the heart of New Jersey, Chris Mazzawy has that Jersey spirit and knows the ins and outs of our beloved Garden State. Work History As an Apprentice, Chris brings knowledge, experience, and a can-do attitude to our car repair dream team. From fixing those Read more »
Technician retention is the foundation of a thriving and successful auto repair shop. Yet, you may find it challenging to keep your techs happy and committed to your shop's vision. But here's the exciting part - we have the secret to creating a dream team of loyal technicians! When we write ads for independent repair shops, we invite technicians into a story about the shop where they are the hero, and your shop is the guide. These expertly crafted ads are so successful because they talk about what is important to the technician, THEM! So, here’s the secret, this process never ends. As long as a technician is working for you, you need to be continually retelling this story by communicating their important role in your compelling vision for a bigger future, removing obstacles to their success both personally and professionally and giving them the tools they need to win. When does this happen? During your regular 1-on-1 meetings, quarterly and annual performance reviews. Imagine the joy of building lasting relationships with your techs, leading to increased efficiency and customer satisfaction. Are you ready to embrace technician retention and foster a team that's in it for the long haul? Let's embark on this journey together!