*Image courtesy of WrenchWay Top Shop – Silverdale Autoworks
Most shops think they have a good onboarding process in place for technicians. However, according to a WrenchWay Insiders poll, 92% of technicians said their shop’s onboarding process was average at best, with over half rating the process as below average or worse.
Here is why it’s important for shops to create a great onboarding experience for new technicians.
6 Reasons Shops Need to Focus on Technician Onboarding
First Impressions are Everything
When a technician walks into the shop, excited, and ready for their first day, they want to be impressed. Think about what day one of onboarding looks like at your shop and ask yourself:
- If roles were reversed, what would my impression be of the first day at the shop?
- Is the first day too overwhelming for the technician?
- Is it clear to the technician what is expected of them on the first day? The first week?
- Does the technician know who in the shop they can go to with questions?
Increase Technician Retention
In a study conducted by SHRM, they found that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. Furthermore, new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.
Every shop feels the pain of the technician shortage. The best way to avoid having to find new technicians is by keeping the ones you already have—and onboarding is an essential part of that technician retention strategy.
Build Shop Connections & Grow Culture
During a technician’s onboarding, shops should take time to introduce them to the shop’s staff. Consider allowing the technician to sit down or observe certain shop staff on a one-on-one level in order to get to know them and their role. This could provoke work friendships as well.
Most companies believe work friendships disrupt workflow and lowers productivity when, in fact, the exact opposite happens. A recent study by Steelcase found that staff who reported having a best friend at work were seven times more likely to be engaged at their jobs than the staff who didn’t.
Increase Technician Productivity & Long-Term Success
Shop owners and managers know how important it is to get a technician properly onboarded and trained as soon as possible in order to increase overall shop productivity. Studies have shown that without onboarding, it takes around 8 to 12 months for new employees to reach their full productivity.
So while it may be tempting to skip onboarding and get the technician out on the floor, having them go through a structured onboarding process will actually increase productivity in the long run.
Get Technicians Comfortable & Build Confidence
Starting at a new shop is stressful for a technician. They have to move their tools, meet new people, and get acclimated to a new work environment. Taking a step back and starting the tech’s onboarding process with simple things like filling out paperwork, having an informal chat over coffee, or giving them another shop tour can help reduce first-day nerves.
Hold the Manager Accountable
According to a WrenchWay Insiders poll, 65% of technicians said they have left or considered leaving a shop because of their manager. Managers have a huge responsibility in every day shop operations, but when there are new technicians, onboarding should take top priority. It’s important for managers to start building that relationship and rapport with new technicians from day one to ensure they’re getting everything they need to be successful in the shop.
Want to Learn More? Watch Our Roundtable Recording
A shop’s onboarding process can make or break a technician’s experience in a new shop. A good onboarding process should acclimate the technician to their new role, the shop’s culture, and set them up for long-term success in the shop.
In our recent roundtable, we discuss how shop owners/managers and HR can structure technician onboarding to create an experience for new technicians that will boost employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.