By Mary DellaValle
Money talks. But it’s not the only incentive to work at full capacity and peak efficiency. Employees can also be motivated to perform job responsibilities well with other incentives, particularly those that relate to their personal well-being and sense of self-worth.
In a recent survey of IMPORTCAR magazine readers, we asked the question: “What incentives do you have for your technicians to work at their best (beyond a paycheck)?” Only a small number of responses had some tie-in to money (for example, an end of month bonus, productivity bonus or profit sharing), while a majority of responses fell into three other non-monetary categories: personal; value-added; and time.
The personal category responses dealt with enrichment and respect factors things that increase morale and foster a team spirit. Comments from survey respondents included: giving them praise, thanking them for a job well done, giving personal recognition, providing an excellent work environment, in-stilling pride in the quality of the work being performed, appreciating their time and effort, listening to them, providing a low-stress work atmosphere, exhibiting kindness and giving them a sense of control over their work position.The time category involved more tangible rewards like flexible work schedules, time off and four-day work weeks.
The value-added category covered “extras” given as a way to reward outstanding efforts. Survey responses included training/education, a trip to SEMA in the fall and permission to work on their own vehicle in the shop.
Whether you typically think about employee incentives or not, realize that technicians are your most valuable assets. Your shop’s ability to provide quality repairs on imports, deliver optimal customer service and build a solid reputation for expert service hinges on the people who are making it happen every day. By making sure your employees know they are appreciated, you will foster a sense of pride in their work and a commitment to achieve and excel. Sometimes just saying “thanks for a job well done” lets them know their efforts to make a difference are noticed and valued.
As you begin the new year, get in the habit of letting your technicians know you value their contributions and applaud their professionalism. And listen to what they have to say. You’ll discover important nuggets of information about what matters most to them. The productivity and profitability gains will be very measureable. You’ll be able to count the ways.