Finding talented employees is one of the biggest challenges facing shop owners today. Keeping great employees is just as important. The cost of turnover is very high. The question becomes, “How do we attract and keep the best superstars?” We must ask ourselves, “Why would a high functioning and talented individual want to work at our shop?” The total package you offer must be significantly better than the competition. While pay does matter, it is not the only consideration. The good quality people you want are looking for a career, not just a job. They want to progress and grow with a great organization that is always improving and working toward a shared vision. These are the people you can develop a mutually successful relationship with that will drive your success. Here are some of the things they are looking for in a great employment opportunity.
APPRECIATION AND RESPECT
As a manager or owner, you should engage with everyone on your team every day. A morning huddle/production meeting is important to set the work for the day. It is just as important to take a few minutes to visit with everyone on your team. Connect with them on a personal level. Think about what is important to them. Share with each as a person. Always look for a reason to compliment them when they do something great. Keep it sincere and let them know how much you appreciate what they do to make things happen. Sincere appreciation for a job well done means more to your team than you can imagine. Respect and appreciation for all of your team will help retention, morale, and production. This will develop a bond of loyalty between yourself and your team. Think about someone you have worked for who treated you well and you felt loyalty toward. You would do anything for them because you knew they appreciated it and it mattered. Be that guy for your whole team.
HAVE A GREAT CULTURE
Great technicians and service advisors want to be part of a great team. The culture in your shop helps determine the type of people you attract and retain. Culture is driven by the leaders’ attitudes and behaviors. Your leaders must have a positive attitude. Trust and respect will make for a culture that will attract the type of people you want in your organization. Promote family values. Always put your team and your customers before profit. Talk about your positive shop culture with your team. Reward good behavior and correct things that need to be addressed. Hold everyone to the same standard, your longest employee and your newest hire. There can be no favoritism in a great culture. Be fair, firm, and consistent in your vision and your actions. Notice when your team gets it right and compliment them on a job well done. You must be the living example of a positive culture. A positive culture radiates out from the leader and makes a positive impact on the team and your customers.
PROFESSIONAL WORK ENVIRONMENT
The way your shop looks says a lot to the people you want to attract. Good owners invest in the business and it shows. Up to date equipment tells the story of an up and coming shop that has plans for the future. You need to have modern scan tools with current subscriptions. You also need easy access to service information and online resources to make things quick and efficient. A clean shop is very important. Cleanliness and organization say you have good structure in how the shop operates. Climate controlled shops may be a bit too expensive to do, but swamp coolers and portable heaters can really add a lot of comfort at a reasonable cost. A nice break room with coffee, soft drinks, refrigerator, and microwave is a real quality of life item for your team. Your facility should look so good that you want to show it off to everyone. A modern facility that is well lit and nicely organized sends the message of a progressive, professional organization that has a great future.
Many shop owners say they cannot afford to provide benefits. It is time to re-think what providing benefits can do for your shop. Top shelf technicians, service advisors, and managers want benefits. These are the people who consider their work a career, not just a job. These professionals produce a higher volume of work and better quality work. This will make your shop much more professional and profitable. There are dealerships and other independent shops that offer benefits. If you do not have a competitive offer that also includes benefits; like paid time off, healthcare, vision and dental, you will not attract the best employees. You might be surprised to find out how inexpensive it could be to provide the benefits that will make your shop much more competitive. Many owners say they want to provide benefits once they can afford to pay for them. I say, consider the cost and raise your labor rate a few dollars per hour. Set the additional money aside and use it to put a benefits package in place. Doing this will not only be a retention tool for your existing staff, it’s a great recruiting tool to attract high level talent that will drive your success to new levels.
STRUCTURED BUSINESS AND CAREER PATH
Too many shops live day to day. There is no vision for the future. They work hard all day and hope there is enough money to pay the bills and meet payroll by the end of the week. Talented people who are interested in a career see this as a bleak road to nowhere. To attract the best, your shop must have policies and procedures in writing that are followed every day. Good people want structure and a clear understanding of what is expected and what they can expect. This provides a smooth work environment with less stress. A clear career path is just as important. Create a system that has training requirements and standards that guide employees’ career paths. Complete regular written performance reviews that provide leadership and direction so your employees always have goals.
The superstars want to be part of something bigger. They also want to be developing and growing professionally. Being the preferred shop to work for will bring the talent that ACCELERATES YOUR SUCCESS, as well as your team’s success!