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Six tips for making technicians feel appreciated and recognized

What can shop owners and managers do to show technicians appreciation and recognition? Here are a few ideas.

Mount Horeb, Wis.—What can shop owners and managers do to show technicians appreciation and recognition? WrenchWay has a few ideas.

1. Promote loyalty with milestone awards

The most common way we see shops recognize employees is through milestone awards. Milestone or service awards recognize employees who have been with the shop for a certain tenure. Celebrating larger anniversaries is obvious, but make sure to celebrate smaller anniversaries as well with shop swag or money for tools. This type of recognition promotes loyalty and longevity in your employees.

2. Offer team incentives

When talking about employee recognition, we often think about it on an individual level. However, a great place to start is by looking at your team as a whole. Offering a team incentive for meeting shop goals keeps everyone focused on a common objective while promoting teamwork.

Craig’s Car Care recently posted a video on Shop Talk outlining the incentives their technicians received for meeting their monthly goals. The shop catered several lunches, paid for all the snacks/drinks for the team, and gave them all $200 to use toward tools (or a $200 bonus for front office staff). This is the perfect example of simple things you can do to keep your team working together to meet shop goals.

3. Do regular walk-arounds

The easiest, yet most often overlooked way to show technicians you care and appreciate them, is by doing regular walk-arounds in the shop. Ask technicians about their weekends and their families. Gauge their mood and satisfaction levels. Find out where they can use additional support. These casual encounters help build trust and loyalty, and it won’t go unnoticed by your team.

4. Personalize rewards and incentives

When you’re doing walk-arounds, make a mental note of the small things about your technicians. Do they have a tool they need to replace? Have their work boots seen better days? Do their kids have a school activity coming up that you could offer an afternoon off for? Recognizing the individual needs of your technicians shows you care about them as individuals and want to see them thrive.

A more formal way to gain some insight into your employees’ personal preferences is by having them fill out a quick questionnaire during their onboarding. You can ask for all their personal preferences, including:

  • Favorite restaurants
  • How they take their coffee
  • Hobbies and passions

Knowing these things about your employees can make it easy to personalize your recognition efforts later.

5. Keep it fun

Research suggests that having fun at work has a positive impact on engagement, creativity, and purpose — increasing employee retention and reducing turnover. Try hosting a barbeque with outdoor games during the summer. Take the team to an outing to watch a local race. These are great opportunities for technicians to build comradery, which makes them less likely to leave.

6. It doesn’t have to be costly

It’s more important for recognition and appreciation to be thoughtful and authentic than it is for it to be costly. There are a lot of ways to show appreciation without spending any money at all. A simple, “Thank you. You’re doing an amazing job,” goes a long way.

Another idea is if you have an employee relocating to the area, put together a list of all your employees’ recommendations for local restaurants, coffee shops, things to do in the area, hair salons, healthcare providers, gyms, etc. This costs you nothing, and will leave a lasting impression on your new employee.

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