This episode of WrenchWay Weekly discusses immediate priorities for tackling the technician shortage. Watch the full episode, or review the episode highlights below.

What Holds Young People Back From Joining The Industry?

A recent WrenchWay Insiders poll asked, “What is the first thing that needs to be fixed to start addressing the technician shortage?” Let’s look at the survey results:

  • Pay structure: 40%
  • Pay rate: 28%
  • Lack of respect: 20%
  • Other: 12%

While pay is an important topic for technicians, the interesting takeaway from this poll reveals that how technicians are paid can be more important than what they are paid. Technician satisfaction involves a dialogue between workers and management on how to calculate fair wages best.

Who Advocates For Careers as a Technician?

One survey respondent offered an insightful comment about technician recruitment saying pay issues are not keeping new technicians away. Instead, a lack of industry advocates means few people are helping to attract new talent. This shortfall includes parents, teachers, and counselors not encouraging students to explore a technical career. The technician added, “If you want to attract people to our industry, you have to make the industry attractive.”

3 Simple Approaches to Attract and Retain Technicians

Savvy shop owners and managers can use some cost-effective ideas for helping today’s and tomorrow’s technicians.

  1. Pay and Benefits Review: Consider a comprehensive, honest look at how your technicians are paid. Does it line up with the work they are doing? Perhaps a change from the current hourly or flat rate structure would not affect your bottom line, but provide greater technician satisfaction. Testing a hybrid hourly/flat-rate scenario may be worth consideration as well.
  2. Retention Strategies: Respect goes a long way to keep people happy. Of course, it’s a two-way street. Showing regard for your technicians can go hand-in-hand with an upfront conversation about your expectations.
  3. Involvement with Schools: Shop involvement with school technician programs is at the heart of the industry’s future. These activities don’t have involve cash outlays, but can include being an industry advocate and serving as a resource for future technicians.

Twenty-eight percent of technicians are considering leaving the industry altogether (WrenchWay Insiders). The efforts to get more students into the industry and less technicians leaving the industry cannot be delayed any longer.

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