Any shop’s success runs on the weight of their employees’ shoulders. It works like a domino effect; the happier your employees are, the happier your customers are … and the happier you are! From your techs to your service writer and administrative staff, your attention to employee needs and satisfaction is vital. But how can you, the shop owner, start this domino effect? Just like employers measure employee satisfaction rates, you can measure incentives and make it a habit to engage and motivate your employees.
Eager and happy employees leave the best first impressions. When your customers walk into your shop, they want to be greeted with a smile. For this to always be the case, you need to positively impact your shop’s morale and the general environment. The bottom line is, you want to be sure your shop’s jobs are not only getting done, but that they are getting done well. And, as any business owner knows, a happy team is a productive team.
Communication is Key. Ask questions, listen and take action. You can execute weekly or monthly employee meetings depending on the size of your staff, or do this one-on-one. Either way, you’re giving your employee something to look forward to. In these conversations, you can ask questions like: “How do you feel you’re performing in the shop?” or “Is there anything hindering you from accomplishing tasks?” If you establish daily communication as a habit, your staff will feel comfortable to ask questions and offer suggestions.
What is “effective communication”? Well, it’s definitely not blowing your fuse over a mistake. Effective communication is visualizing the solution and remembering the goal. If something does go wrong, it’s important to remind yourself that your employees are just like you – they’re human and they make mistakes. Try to use this as an opportunity for a teaching moment and talk through the steps that caused the issue and help them discover the correct path so that mistakes are never repeated. If you can help turn your employee’s attention back to fixing the problem for your customer, that’s the first step in providing a positive work environment that allows for quick solutions.
If your shop is operational and you are not on-site often, you might put a service manager in place to help motivate your techs and staff. In this case, your service manager should check in daily with employees and implement any incentives you put into place. Some suggestions to increase morale: Hold a high-energy, weekly staff meeting or designate a monthly donut day or a staff lunch. Try to remember the little perks that once motivated you and pay it forward to your own staff.