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How to Build Shop Stability and Good Retention Rates

When hiring, show candidates job negatives first, then positives for them to really consider the position and what to expect

Mount Horeb, Wis.—Robert Auer, fleet manager for UPS, provided insight during a recent WrenchWay podcast that covered several topics, including how to build stability in a shop, employee retention, managing different personalities and the hiring process.

Robert Auer of UPS

The full episode can be viewed here. The following are highlights and takeaways:

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 toward 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.

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.

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.

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.

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