When you think about ways for your business to save money, employee retention may not jump to the front of your mind—even though it should. Holding on to your skilled and familiar employees is important for company growth and productivity, especially in the automotive industry.
Research from the Society for Human Resource Management states that it costs employers an average of $4,129—and takes an average of 42 days—to fill an open position. This high cost includes recruiters spending time and money looking through resumes, setting up both initial virtual and in-person interviews, and scheduling multiple interviews for your final candidate. This doesn’t even include salary fulfillments, sign-on bonuses, and benefits.
After an employee is hired, time and resources are required to train them. This, of course, takes time away from other employees, who are now struggling to keep up with their own workload.
Why it Matters in the Automotive Industry
According to a recent Forbes study, the current automotive technician turnover rate is 46%. Why is it so high, you may ask? Automotive techs are increasingly reporting that they feel overworked, undervalued, and experiencing pandemic burnout.
How can shops prevent these things and keep the skilled technicians they have?
Recognizing what motivates your employees is the first step. Competitive pay, recognition, and safe working environments are all important to workers. However, it’s also incumbent on your entire leadership team to ensure your culture supports employee retention.
Below, we outline several tips and best practices to ensure your automotive team stays consistent and happy.
What’s Important to Your Automotive Employees
- Support: Here’s where you and your shop foreman can make a profound difference. Technicians run into issues every day, and when they do, do they feel your leadership team is responsive and supportive? Does your team get them the needed feedback and direction in a timely and positive manner? Your technicians ultimately work to make money. However, they can only do this if they can get the issue diagnosed correctly and have the ability to fix it promptly. No favorites; everybody gets supported!
- Teach: Your team will feel more confident and empowered the more they know. Share the knowledge! Not just between leadership and the team, but also encourage knowledge sharing peer-to-peer within the team. The person sharing the knowledge will feel valued as a contributor, and the person learning will not only feel more confident, but valued as well.
- Don’t Avoid Issues: Issues are going to come up; Whether it’s pay, working conditions, personnel relations, or something else entirely. The key is to give everyone a seat at the table. Address the problem head-on and listen intently, and negotiate a solution everyone can respect. Ignoring or procrastinating will only cause the issue to fester and boil, giving frustrated team members a reason to complain and ultimately, leave for a competitor.
- Engaged Leadership: From the owner to the shop foreman, your entire leadership team needs to be rowing in the same direction. If just one of the leaders doesn’t fully support the culture you’re trying to build, it reflects on you; since you’re allowing it to exist. Sometimes, these leadership issues are harder to deal with, but they still need to be addressed. The leadership team needs to be united, consistent, and fully engaged in their decisions.
- Foster a Team Environment: The chain is only as strong as the weakest link. Cultivate working relationships that are fair, honest, and accessible. Talk openly about how working together benefits everyone. Then, most importantly, ensure your actions support your words. Don’t forget about the uniforms–they help build a cohesive, singularly focused team!
- Cheerlead: There are many studies concluding that people work as much for recognition as they do money. Therefore, when good things happen, celebrate them! Give consistent raises for good work. Celebrate employees’ birthdays with signed cards and tokens of appreciation.
However, these don’t have to be a huge celebration with cake and speeches, it can be simple attaboys, high-fives, and genuine thanks. Do it in front of their peers so that they feel inspired to do the same, and that the employee’s contributions don’t go unnoticed.
Building a positive, supporting culture takes some time. However, if your leadership team is doggedly consistent, your business will reap the rewards. It’ll make your life easier as a business owner, work a little more fun, and your dealership ultimately more profitable. Additionally, those happy techs may just advocate for others to join the team.
Ace Can Help Keep Your Automotive Team Happy
Whether they have been at your company for 10 years or 10 days, your employees and their morale are critical. Techs and others have work to do, and poor uniform service can be a frustrating distraction that contributes to morale issues.
At Ace ImageWear, we may not know how to perform a 20-point vehicle diagnosis. However, we do know how to provide quality uniform service—and have so for almost 90 years.
You’ll find our uniforms well-fitting, clean, and in excellent repair. Our deliveries are consistently complete, and we ensure that our billing is transparent and understandable. From online account access to our TrAce mobile app, everyone on your staff will be communicated with and treated as an important and valued member of the team.
There is no one easy solution to maintaining good company culture and retaining employees in the automotive industry. However, there are smaller, easier solutions that you can take care of now. Let us be the Ace up your sleeve–contact us today to order your team their customized automotive uniforms!