A well-staffed shop is a successful shop. After all, your collision repair technicians help to keep your shop safe, provide great customer service, perform the best repairs and so much more. And when you consider that the actual dollar cost of turnover is about 20 percent of a given employee’s annual salary, you can start to see how retaining the best employees is vital to your business. Here are four ways to stop the turnover churn and build a company people want to be a part of.
1. Include employees in the business
One way to encourage employees to be part of your business is to, well, let them be part of your business. Ask for their input when you’re planning budgets for the next year, considering renovations or updating equipment. It’s much easier for someone to leave a company when they feel like an anonymous cog in the machine, but when they feel like they’ve helped to build that machine, they’re more invested in it’s success and more likely to stick around. The key here is that it can’t be lip service. Ask for their thoughts and input only when you can truly use their opinions and help.
2. Offer a path to promotions, improvements and growth
Few people want to work at a company where there’s no chance for promotions or a raise. (And on the flipside, do you really want unambitious people working at your shop?) Setting out a clear path to professional advancements will help techs see their future at your company. Offering ongoing training and the chance to take on more responsibility is a win-win. With training:
- Employees will feel more invested in your company
- You’ll have more capable technicians
- Your more capable employees will help your business grow
- That business growth will bring new opportunities for your employees
- Everybody wins!
3. Build a great work environment
This one could take some time and effort, but it’s worth it. Think about what you want your environment to be like and start working toward it. Along with the basics, like safety, make it a point to cultivate a team that’s respectful of each other and happy. (Think that last one is a little silly? Don’t scoff too loudly – research shows that happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity.)
To get started, take a realistic look at what needs to change. Is employee morale low? Is teamwork a problem? Whatever it may be, zero in on the issue and make a plan to tackle it.
4. Show you’re invested in their success
Along with adequate training, it also pays to make sure your techs have the tools and equipment they need to get the job done efficiently and safely. It really comes down to showing your employees that you respect them and are invested in helping them do their job well. Ignoring requests for updated and better equipment while expecting them to get jobs done quickly and well is a recipe for disaster (and turnover). So if, for example, you’re taking on more aluminum repair jobs, you’ll need to make sure they’re up-to-date on the best techniques, have the proper welding equipment and a safe working environment.
One thing is certain – the collision repair industry will always be changing, and in order to be successful, you’ll need smart, capable employees who can keep up. The tips here will help you both attract and retain the best techs, and help ensure your success now and into the future.
Time to set up a training plan? Our free checklist can help.