“My shop needs techs!” …Seems like this is something every shop owner and/or manager is saying these days.
Turnover rates for the industry are unsustainably high. The automotive industry has a mechanic turnover rate of 46%. According to Forbes, this is just the beginning of the rise in employee turnover. A “Turnover Tsunami” is on the way due to pandemic burnout. People are overwhelmed with the uncertainty of the world, feel undervalued, and are tired of working long hours. Additionally, vaccinations, stimulus checks, and unemployment benefits are all paving the way for many to reevaluate their career choice.
As shop owners and managers, what can you do?
First and foremost, retain the technicians you currently have. It is far more cost-effective to retain good techs than to bring on new hires. Costs grow when your shop has to recruit, interview, train, and onboard new technicians. Not to mention, let’s say a technician that has been with your shop for years, quits. Hiring their replacement could have your shop suffer a loss in skills, experience, and relationships.
Retaining technicians is easier said than done. Wondering where to start? Here are some ways your shop can keep the technicians you currently have.
5 Ways to Help Prevent Technician Turnover at Your Shop
Invest in Your Technicians
Show technicians you care about their future, their lives, and their careers. Take the time to learn their goals, and help develop them into the future technician/service manager/shop owner they want to be. If you take the time to invest in them, they will invest in you and your shop.
Listen to Your Technicians
Don’t assume; just ask! Listen to what your technicians have to say. For example, are they comfortable in their shop uniforms through all seasons? Adjusting small things, like shop uniforms, can be a small step to improving overall shop conditions for technicians.
Share Shop Vision
When you share your shop’s vision with your technicians, it makes them feel valued and invested in the business’ growth. Tell them how you see the shop growing, they can envision how they’re going to fit into the future of the shop.
Job Description = Role?
Make sure you are hiring the right person for the right position! If you are having a lot of turnover with the same role, it might be time to re-evaluate the job description. Look at what skills were lacking from individuals in that role in the past, and make sure to add those to the job description. For example, if the last few technicians you had were not good at interacting with customers, make sure you add that you are looking for someone with excellent communication skills or someone who has worked in customer service.
Make Sure Salary and Benefits are Competitive
How does your shop compare to the others in your city? County? State? Make sure you are paying technicians what they deserve, offering competitive benefits, and investing in your techs’ future so that they aren’t tempted to relocate to the shop down the street.