Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, we are joined by Robert Auer, Fleet Manager, UPS. Robert gives us great insight as we cover many topics including: How to build stability in a shop, employee retention, managing different personalities, hiring process, and much more!

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How to Build Stability and Stay on Top of Hiring

  • When hiring new employees, you want them to go into it as a lifetime job.
  • People will not leave companies if they are treated well, and have good pay and benefits.
  • Even when you aren’t hiring, you should be collecting resumes from employees and contacts.
  • Proactively collecting resumes allows you to be picky in your hire, and ensure you found the perfect candidate.
  • Always be looking towards the future, and think, if a need arises, how will I fill it? You need to be proactive.
  • When hiring, show them the negatives of the job first and then the positives. It will prompt candidates to really consider the position and what to expect.
  • Be transparent; nobody wants to be blind-sided.

“Good technicians are hard to find. That’s why I take a proactive approach. We have to do better at getting the right people in the right places.”

Robert Auer, Fleet Manager, UPS

Building a Good Retention Rate

  • Don’t go into hiring only trying to build a team, but look at it as building a family.
  • You want technicians to work with each other for a long time, and foster the relationships they build.
  • Show your employees you appreciate them. This can be taking them out to lunch, giving them a t- shirt, or providing them with water bottles in the summer.
  • If you genuinely care about your employees, it will show in the work they do.
  • Communication should be often enough so it is not perceived as a negative.
  • Technicians want a clear path of the future in a company.

“I need to make sure these new individuals can come in and be part of our team. I want it to be a good fit for not only us as a company, but also the individual.”

Robert Auer, Fleet Manager, UPS

Managing Different Personalities

  • All technicians are different. You need to learn how to speak to each of them.
  • Not everyone wants to be appreciated through public recognition. You need to figure out what works for each technician.
  • When looking to promote, look at employees who are natural leaders, and put them in a leadership role.
  • Creating a relationship with technicians is crucial. You have to talk with your employees and learn about their interests, families, and hobbies.
  • It’s all about communication, learning everyone’s language, and how they want to be spoken to.

“The relationship— that’s the biggest part. If you know your employees, their name, their wife’s [spouse’s] name, that their kids are fixing to graduate high school or whatever it is, knowing that information is super helpful.”

Robert Auer, Fleet Manager, UPS

Organizing Training

  • Give technicians as much training as you possibly can.
  • Pay for training, and allow technicians to do it on the clock.
  • If you have a technician struggling, pair them with someone who knows it like the back of their hand so they can learn.
  • Have online learning courses everyone is required to take. This shows you care about their growth in the shop.

Patience in Management

  • Patience and honesty go hand-n-hand.
  • If you’re not honest, it makes it difficult to have the patience to work through a situation or problem.
  • It’s important to remember, everyone makes mistakes, and nobody is perfect.
  • Ask your technicians, “What could you have done better?”, and have positive interactions on how they can improve.
  • The technicians on the floor will either make or break the business.
  • It’s all about a relationship. You want them to have just as much passion as you do.

Fostering Technician Relationships in Shops

Show Notes


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About Our Host:

Jay Goninen
Co- Founder & President, WrenchWay
jayg@wrenchway.com | 608.716.2122

About Our Guest:

Robert Auer,
Fleet Manager, UPS

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