In this episode of WrenchWay Weekly, we discuss how job burnout affects technicians. Watch the full episode, or review the episode highlights below.

A recent WrenchWay Insiders poll asked technicians, “Do you think you’re experiencing some level of job burnout?” Let’s look at the results.

  • Yes: 69%
  • No: 31%

It’s not unusual for everyone to feel some degree of burnout sometime during their career. For technicians, this can involve physical job burnout, mental job burnout, and just stress in general.

As part of this discussion, we posted a challenge describing symptoms of job burnout. The majority of responding technicians indicated they experience six out of eight of these different symptoms with the most commonly experienced symptom “being cynical or critical at work.”

As the poll results show, living with weariness in the workplace is commonplace for technicians. “Burnout is how I operate,” remarks one respondent.

Another adds, “I can see why it happens. Every single day we are bombarded with data that means a lot to management but not too much to the tech turning the wrench. Our service manager and most that I have worked within recent years are all in their head. What they know of what happens in a shop is how much the equipment cost.”

Learn More About What’s Happening in the Shop

The revealing comments mean that some managers focus on the numbers side of the business, but unintentionally keep technicians uninformed about the bigger picture at the shop or dealership. This is the ideal chance for the curious technician to find out more. Rather than being grumpy or a “bull in the china shop,” a technician should ask for a quick sit-down with the manager. Use this opportunity to learn more about the business and see if an increase in business will open the doors for higher pay and career growth. Uncertainty causes stress. Knowing what’s going on can help dial back the anxiety.

Managers also have the responsibility to understand what leads to job burnout. One technician comments, “I have job burnout about every two months. I work from 7 am to 6 pm six days a week. Most shops lack qualified additional help, so days off are tough to come by. There’s no weekend off rotations, you’re expected to work every Saturday yearly. I get mentally burnt out to the point where I get up at 6 am, work till 6 pm, eat and fall asleep on the couch at 7 pm, sometimes not waking up till the next morning.”

Steps to Reduce Job Burnout

Shop managers and owners can be proactive in helping reduce job burnout. A few steps can help technicians reduce workplace unease and enhance productivity.

  1. Recognize Burnout Signs: This can include irritability, lower productivity, difficulty concentrating, lack of enjoyment with the job, and unexplained health issues.
  2. Hold Regular Technician Meetings: Use this opportunity for staff to discuss any issues or worries. Address these concerns and take steps to fix them accordingly. If not action is being taken on a particular issue, inform the technicians why.
  3. Show Appreciation: Recognize each technician’s hard work by celebrating individual and shop-wide successes. This can be done through one-on-one talks, informal stand-up meetings, or shop-wide events.
  4. Identify Motivators: Take the time to learn what motivates each employee. Is it pay, time off, a flexible schedule, or something else? Providing on-target motivators not only rewards the individual technician but shows you’re taking a personal approach to keeping each staff person happy.