The auto industry is undergoing one of the greatest labor shortages in modern history. In fact, the United States will be 642,000 auto, collision, and diesel technicians short by the year 2024.
That’s why it’s critical that your auto shop takes conscious efforts to keep your technicians engaged and involved—here are four ways to do just that.
1. Conduct Ongoing Training
Ongoing training is a foundational component in any field. This is especially true for the auto industry where new technology and tools are constantly emerging. Consider training in the form of internal or external classes to cover key areas like:
- Part Management- This includes the process of tracking and overseeing the life cycle of used parts. This is also a great way to benefit your shop–if done correctly, part core management can bring in additional revenue streams.
- Auto Shop Management- Hone on how to manage employees, inventory, and front-end operations. This could be life-changing for those employees who one day want to run their own shop.
- New Technology- Maybe there is new technology or new tools hitting that market that could make your techs more efficient and increase their hours.
As the leader of your auto shop, you could also take initiative and pay for classes for your technicians. These could take place at local trade schools, community colleges, or even online. What’s important is that your techs are getting critical training and education that will not only help them advance in their career but will also help them help you. It’s a positive feedback loop that generates value for everyone involved.
Moreover, consider setting up mentorship programs with veteran technicians. They know the ins and outs of your shop better than anyone else, making them prime candidates to help amateur technicians on their journeys.
2. Create an Incentive Compensation Program
Incentive compensation programs are unique ways to align your business goals with your employees, ultimately driving success and helping your auto shop meet objectives. It does this by tying an employee’s compensation, or earnings, to their performance. These programs can be structured in a variety of different ways, such as straight commissions, bonuses, prizes, or awards.
What’s important is that you find the style and structure that works best for your technicians and brings you closer to meeting your goals.
One way to structure this program would be to offer a bonus commission to the technician who completes work on the most cars each week. This would be on top of his or her regular wages and serves as a competitive framework that will motivate your technicians to work harder than their peers. Another possible structure could be to set individualized goals for each employee based on the specific kind of work they do. For your tire repair men, you could set a goal of changing 20 tires a week for a team bonus of x amount of extra pay. Find creative ways to incentivize the kind of behavior you want to see from your team.
3. Connect With Your Technicians
While productivity is certainly an important factor of a successful auto shop, the work doesn’t stop there. Building a vibrant company culture that makes your technicians feel like a family is a powerful way to keep them engaged. Help them feel like they’re a part of something bigger than just work—like they belong. Connecting with your technicians works to build better relationships within your team and with company leadership. Here are some ways to get started:
- Hold holiday parties
- Start a team dinner every week or every month
- Set up regular one-on-ones with your technicians
- Ask for—and implement—employee feedback
4. Keep Their Bay Busy
While training, employee incentives, and building connection are all great ways to empower your techs, it isn’t worth much if you can’t offer them consistent work. Without a steady stream of cars to repair, there isn’t any way for your techs to actually use the training they’ve learned.
For any competing business, including auto shops, marketing plays a central role in bringing in new customers. It’s your shop’s way of connecting with your audience and convincing them to do business with you. With that said, running daily operations and building out successful marketing efforts can get overwhelming, forcing shop owners or managers to choose between keeping their business running and helping it grow. That’s where BayIQ comes in.
BayIQ developed an industry-level marketing software that integrates with your auto shop’s current system to level up your game. Built by former auto shop owners, BayIQ understands the market and exactly how to attack it. The software automates everything from a dedicated customer loyalty program to digital marketing to online review solicitation.
Transform your auto shop’s marketing, get more cars in the door, and attract and retain techs with BayIQ.