• June 23, 2019 at 9:09 am#90512

    Many management trainers will say if you want to increase the productivity of your techs, it’s not difficult at all. They’ll go on to say all that you need to do is buy a whiteboard, put it up where all your employees can see it, and then at the end of each day post the hours flagged by each tech. By using this approach, at the end of the week all of your techs can see how they did, and their competitive nature will make them work that much harder.

    Will this process work? It certainly will. The shops that follow this path will always report that it creates a fire in each of their employees, and their overall productivity skyrockets. Unfortunately, within just a few months these same shop owners see their productivity, and the morale of their employees, go into a freefall. Although their intentions were good, they overlooked two key components in human behavior. One; no two people are ever exactly alike, and two; no one likes to lose. Consider this….

    Since your techs are all going to have different talents, different skill-sets, and different levels of experience, it’s safe to say that going into the contest you are going to have some techs who are more than likely going to win. Not because of their ambition, but because they have more experience. Accordingly, at the end of the first week the winner will more than likely be the tech who you expected to win, and the one with the lowest score will more than likely be the one you expected to fill that slot as well. What you will more than likely then see occur over the next few weeks is a pattern develop where you will see one or two techs that are consistently at the top. That in itself is really bad news, and here’s why.

    When you have one or two techs who are consistently at the top week after week, what you really have is one or two “winners”, and the rest of your techs will feel like losers. This is when their morale evaporates, they give up, and your productivity tanks. The solution? Create an environment where each and every one of your techs can be winners, (or losers if they don’t try). Here’s how you do it….

    Instead of having your techs compete against one another, you need to have them compete against themselves. You can do this by setting individual productivity goals for each tech based on their skill-set, their experience, etc. For example, you may set an efficiency goal for one tech at 100% because they are still developing their skills, while setting an efficiency goal of 130% for your more experienced techs. By taking this approach each of your technicians will be competing against themselves, and at the end of the day/week/month they may all have won by reaching their goals, rather than having just one winner, and the others feeling like their hard work and effort never pays off. With this approach you can still post the whiteboard for all to see, and all your techs will know the only thing that can prevent them from being successful during the upcoming pay period, is themselves. This really is a “win/win” for all.

    Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite (www.EliteWorldwide.com), a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers the industry’s #1 peer group of 90 successful shop owners, training and coaching from top shop owners, service advisor training, along with online and in-class sales, marketing and shop management courses. You can contact Elite at [email protected], or by calling 800-204-3548.

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    July 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm#91086
    Sherman Bird
    Participant

    ABSOLUTELY NEVER! I worked for a guy at a mega Chevy dealer years ago who did that! Talk about creating hostility in the ranks, the end result being a morale killer! The idea that it creates more production by fostering friendly competition among the techs is best left to a wet dream. Truth is; the guys get into a big hurry, cut corners trying to outrun the next fellow, they point fingers and accuse management for feeding certain techs and so forth, and CSI goes into the toilet!

    I always paid my people a salary and gave bonuses based upon attendance, personal hygiene, a clean, neat work space, necessary up-sells, and what total profit was for the quarter. That worked best for my operation as it was back then.

    July 16, 2019 at 3:49 pm#91345
    Larry Bloodworth
    Participant

    I think shop culture will determine whether this will work or not.  In our shop, everybody is paid by the clock hour although they do flag labor time hours.  We had weekly 60-90 minute shop meeting every Tuesday.  We had a makeshift (with pinstriping tape)  spreadsheet up on one corner of our 8-foot wide whiteboard where we posted weekly flagged hours total.  Remember, these numbers had nothing to do with their paychecks.  It was always a friendly ‘battle’ to see who would be #1 for the week.  There wasn’t any animosity or loss of shop morale as pointed out by Sherman.

    I never voiced this, nor was it in our employee manual, but I cut the top producers a lot more slack than I did the lower producers.  Because we are a transmission specialty shop doing the same repairs/rebuilds/replacements on a daily basis, nobody was below 100%.  125%-200% was the average range when we had enough work to go around.  Below 100% wasn’t normally a technician problem.  Below 100% was usually MY problems because I was in charge of marketing, advertising, and selling.  Not enough work is not a technician problem and in my view, most shops simply shrug their shoulders and accept it.

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