Mar 20

Employee Turnover: An Auto Shop’s Nightmare

Posted by Katherine Darsie on Mar 20, 2017 9:53:21 AM

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For auto repair shops, simply recruiting employees is an extremely tough task. But once you finally hire that five-star employee, the hard work has just begun. Retaining employees should be a main focus for small business owners, yet for many auto repair shops this seems to be a major pain point.

It is important to understand what your employees want in a job, because in all honesty, you are dictating a large part of their life. Satisfied employees will produce quality work and most importantly will stick around instead of running away from your shop as fast as possible. To top it off, customers also gain a sense of trust when they visit your shop and have the option to ask for the mechanic that they’ve trusted for years.  

Don’t live a turnover nightmare! Take the following five ideas into consideration when focusing on reducing your employee turnover:

Hire the Best

Let’s take a step back to the interview process. When initially hiring an employee, make sure you ask questions that ensure the interviewee will fit in well with all aspects of your shop. Repair skills are important, but the right personality fit can matter just as much when it comes to hiring an employee. Look for employees that have a strong sense of personal core values that align with your auto shop’s core values. Aim for top-notch employees that will be team players and offer something to your business that others can’t.

Pay Your Employees Well

Money - the dreaded subject. But think of it this way, would you rather pay your longtime employees a little extra in their salary or spend money and time training new employees multiple times a year? You know as well as anyone that training employees isn’t free because it costs you time and energy to get them up to speed. When you compensate your employees well, they will most likely be more inspired to work harder for your shop. Offering end-of-year bonuses and raises will also create a competitive environment for your employees as they strive to get that bonus. While you may think that you don’t have extra money to spare, you will be surprised on the amount of return you get from your mechanics’ hard work and efficiency. This will allow you to offer those extra monetary incentives. 


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Offer Competitive Benefits

For many small businesses, it is difficult to offer a full benefits package that includes health, dental and vision plans. If you are able to afford this for your employees, that is great - they will be extremely thankful. But if you can’t offer these options, there are other things that you can offer to your employees that will satisfy their needs and wants.

On a day-to-day basis, we all have things that we need to do in life. Consider offering flexible hours to your employees so that they are able to do these things. Or maybe you can offer work-from-home hours for your employees to work on more clerical, business types of tasks. You could have them help out with things such as blogging for your auto repair shop’s website or posting on your social media accounts. Every little bit helps! While we know that your shop has specific processes and hours of operation, think creatively about things you can offer to your employees to boost their satisfaction.

Create a Fun Work Culture

Your employees spend a large amount of time working at your auto shop. Why not make it an enjoyable time for them? One of the worst things that can happen to your employees is for them to wake up every morning and dread the work day that is ahead of them. For this reason, it is important to create a work environment that your employees enjoy - and that potential employees want to be a part of!

Try things such as a monthly catered lunch for your employees or a quarterly team outing. This will give your employees something to look forward to while also building up your team’s morale. You could also introduce fun awards for employees that have done exceptional work for your business. Small tokens of appreciation can work huge wonders when it comes to employee happiness.

Invest in Your Employees

Employees are more likely to stay with you if they know that you actually care about them as a person. Remember that your employees work for you in order to make money to live a happy life. It is important to be a leader for your employees, not a boss. You can do this by checking in with your employees about both their personal and work lives. When an employee knows that their ideas and opinions are being heard, they will be more satisfied in their job.

As an auto shop owner, you can also invest in your mechanics’ knowledge and education. With the constant growth of technology, it is important for your employees to be updated on the latest trends in auto repair. Ultimately, by investing in your mechanics’ education, both your employees will benefit and your shop will benefit. Plus, without the employee turnover, you will have a less amount of inexperienced workers. Keep in mind that while you may be starting from the bottom, with the right amount of focus you can build a knowledgeable, experienced team of mechanics.

The Takeaway

By putting in even a small amount of effort when it comes to employee retention, you will be greatly rewarded. Think about your employees as humans instead of workers. By focusing both individually on employees and overall as a full team, the morale of your auto repair shop will be boosted. When other mechanics that don’t work for your shop see the effects of your efforts, they will also be drawn to want to work at your shop. (What a great recruiting strategy!) And when customers don’t see a new mechanic every time they visit your shop, they are more likely to trust your shop and return the next time they are having car troubles. 

Overall, your goal should be to create a happy lifestyle for your employees so they can live out their personal passions in life. The best part is that once you create an excellent workplace environment for employees, you will also be opening up the opportunity for yourself (the fearless leader) to live out your dreams and passions!

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Topics: Auto Repair


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