The Automotive Management Network recently ran a survey asking for input in what quality employees really want. We asked shop owners and managers to survey their own valued employees and then, based on their responses, choose from the list that followed ten things that were most important about a job.
Since the results of this survey could prove valuable in your searches for quality employees, let’s examine the ten most popular choices.
Clean shop (60%)
Correct equipment and tools (60%)
These first three are interesting in that a clean shop and correct equipment and tools tie with appreciation for the most important job requirements. Appreciation is understandable; everyone wants to work in a situation where hard work is recognized. The other two would seem to indicate that industry wide, the basics of cleanliness and correct equipment are perhaps not universal in auto repair shops.
Comprehensive, up-to-date service information (58%)
Having the necessary information to complete the job would also seem to be a basic requirement. Is the implied lack the result of bad software or a failure to invest in necessary computer equipment or upgrades?
Enough cars to service (57%)
Fair pay system (55%)
Both of the above imply the ability to earn enough money doing the job. It’s interesting that neither of these were in the top four responses. Appreciation topped financial gain as a desired feature of a work environment, but quality employees still need to pay their bills, so the shops they work for have to guarantee that fulfill their end of the deal with both fair pay and attracting adequate traffic to the shop.
Well managed operation (47%)
Quality management can mean different things to different people. For some, good management means mentoring and support. For others it means no micromanaging and giving employees the freedom necessary to do their jobs without interference. At a minimum, however, a well managed operation minimizes chaos and discord. It means organization, lack of conflict, and financial health.
Rounding out the bottom three, one of these is a parallel to the previously mentioned “Appreciation.” Again, making employees feel valued and valuable would seem to be a necessary quality in a manager and employer.
Easy-to-access service information (42%)
Service information comes up again, but this time in reference to how easy it is to access, as opposed to how comprehensive. If your shop has subpar software or equipment, it will frustrate your employees.
Accurate estimating (42%)
Finally, there’s accurate estimating, which again comes down to making sure that an employee’s work will be appropriately compensated and he will not be penalized for anyone else’s mistakes.
Of the above ten things, are there any you disagree with? Do you think any of these are redundant? Would you make other choices from the original list? Weigh in on our forums to let other managers know what you think is critical to attract good employees to the auto repair industry and your shop in particular.