“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.” – Lawrence Bossidy, Former COO of GE and author
Have you been experiencing troubles with hiring and/or keeping the right technicians? I am sure you have because otherwise you would not be reading this article. If you are, don’t feel bad, more than half of the amount of owners that we speak to are having the same problem. The problem is that most employees that you hire have already worked in another establishment, so they are used to doing things their way and not your way.
So what is the most effective way of growing as a company with the correct employees you ask? By following these 4 steps that will help you increase employee efficiency in your shop.
1. Define Systems and Procedure
You must define how your shop works and what is expected of the employee from the moment they get there. Once this is clearly defined, your tech will know what your expectations are and what it is that they need to do in order to match them. Otherwise, if you do not define them, they will be working without knowing exactly what you expect from them and without a clear set vision. When it comes to this step, please be as detailed as possible; make sure you tell them exactly what is needed on a day to day basis, and what the monthly and yearly goals are.
2. Hire Carefully
Make sure that you have a selective hiring process. Interview them, check their backgrounds, and even call their ex-employers. If they do not offer a way to contact their ex-employers then you will never know what kind of employees they were in the past. Make sure you hire someone based on character and someone that fits in with your company and team. I even heard of companies that hire someone for two weeks to see if they fit with the company culture, and after those two weeks, if they have not fit in with everyone, then they thank them for coming in and part as friends. No need to have someone in there who will get into arguments with your current employees and be a hindrance instead of a valuable asset.
3. Train them correctly
Training is probably the most difficult but most important aspect of all these steps not only because you have to make sure you do a stellar job, but because training never stops. Even the most experienced technician in your shop should always receive training. The correct training procedure that you should have is by first, training your employee by telling them what to do and how to do it. Then you have to have them shadow a more experienced tech to show them the way they do things your way, to your high standards. After that, you can mentor the new employee by having them work under the supervision of that more experienced tech. And finally, you can coach that new tech by having them work side by side their mentor to improve and grow. One of the side benefits of this whole process is one, you will train and gain a great new employee and you will develop the more experienced employee because the easiest way to master a particular field is by having that person teach what they know. This will always refine their skills.
4. Hold them accountable
The last key is to hold your employees accountable to the expectations that you have as an owner and like I had mentioned in step #1, the goals and expectations must be clearly defined from the beginning. So make sure that they are rewarded every time their goals are met and surpassed and also hold them accountable for their mistakes. If they continue to commit the same mistake, then you must decide whether to part ways or invest more time in training. Whatever decision you make, make sure it is the correct one and that you weight out all the variables and options that you may have.
Follow these 4 steps and you will always have great employees working for you. Do you have any other tips that have worked for you in creating and keeping great employees?