Snr VP Business Dev
You might not like this article at all! Then again, you might love it.
Go ahead and read it anyway because I am going to lay it on the line right here, right now.
When repair shop owner say, “I can’t find good employees.”
Here is what they are REALLY saying. “I don’t know how to help employees.”
How’s that for a 180 degree shot right in the nose?
Ugly isn’t it?
But it’s fact.
When a business person is in the process of recruiting and hiring what they are really looking for is Potentially Great Employees. Trying to hire Great Employees who are already top notch technicians who are trained in all the procedures of the business and never needs to be told what to do because they just magically know exactly what the owner wants all the time is very difficult, there is just not that many of them in the pool!
This is not just a fact a shop owner has to “deal with”. This is about survival. It is something a shop owner needs to know all about. Otherwise that shop is going nowhere, and the owner finds him or herself stuck in the paint booth, or pounding on a fender from dusk till dawn.
If the shop owner knows how to take willing new employees and turn them into real help, well then the shop owner knows how to help a new employee.
It is as simple as that.
You have to know how to deliver the goods (real help) to the employee.
That is not backwards management. You are there FOR THEM. That is a head on, direct, “the-way-it-is” kind of truth.
Too many owners and managers get this in reverse then step on the accelerator and wonder why they are not moving forward. They think the employee is there to serve the owner, which is backwards. You want them there (A) serving the customer and (B) serving the business and then (C) the gold will flow to you.
There is a 500 pound gorilla in front of the treasure. This is it: The employee needs help actually getting squarely ONTO THEIR JOB.
And just when it is looking nice and smooth and profitable a 1,000 pound gorilla shows up. Here it is: Often the employee needs help getting BACK ONTO THEIR JOB when they have slipped.
This is not a pitch about “oh you poor, helpless, victimized technician let me help you get to work on time at least once this week”, or “I am so sorry I looked at you crosswise last Thursday when you completely botched those four procedures in a row and blew all the monthly profits but will you please be my best friend forever.” No, that is not the point here at all.
If you can bring a person UP TO THE LEVEL of doing consistent quality work then you have really helped that person. And all the while THEY are helping you. And they know it. And they are proud of it. And that helps them more than anyone may ever know. That is world-class help. There is not much better actually.
You think teaching is a saintly job? You’re right it is. It requires a high ability to tolerate stupidity! But what about taking all that teaching and focusing it on the real world so the person does something useful, valuable and beneficial with it? I think you would agree that would be real teaching. It is an even tougher job to do right – the job of bringing out the very best in a person so they routinely get exceptional results with whatever they set their mind to. And that would be a greater gift to the person than just textbook teaching.
Far too few shop owners know how to offer it.
Most shop owners sincerely want to help their team. But they do not know how.
It is tough to fess up that the real problem is not having the ability and know-how to help an employee – real help – getting them actually ON THE JOB and KEEPING THEM FOCUSED AND PRODUCTIVE ON THE JOB.
Some owners (not the most responsible ones) might spit out some tough sounding drivel like “Well the technician works for me”. Or “That estimator ought to know who butters their bread.” Maybe they will say something like “Don’t they know who cuts the checks around here? If they cross me I’ll send them packing.” It can be any such foolishness, and those comments are all pretty much the same shade of black and blue.
Here’s the straight scoop:
First you hire potential help and then you have to help them help you.
It really is not any more complicated than that.
But wow, does it get flipped-flopped upside down and around.
Technicians work with cars. Managers work with people.
Cars are cars and people are people. Not the same thing. But some of the concepts are a bit similar.
For example, take care of a car and it takes care of you. Do not properly maintain a car and it will eat you alive.
You get an employee to take care of you by showing them how to do their job and by getting them to do it!
That’s helping them.
Show them, teach them, push them, make demands, don’t accept “no”, teach them more, but all the time you are actually HELPING them.
They will be stronger for it. And so will you.
So the next time you hear a shop owner say “There isn’t any good help out there anymore…”
What can you say to s person who says that?
“Get some help. Get trained in employee management and learn how to recruit and hire the right potential employees and how to turn them into a winning team that can really get the work done!”
Then your team will get you your pot of gold, and they will get theirs. Wishing you nothing but success!