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  • What I can do when my workers don’t want to?

    Posted by sofiq-ahsan on December 4, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Basically I am an automobile engineer. I started a job on a small automobile workshop as Manager very recently. This workshop owner is a illiterate person (though expert on practical work) and most of the workers (technician & mechanics) are also experienced but not educated. But my workshop owner is a visionary person & wants to update this as a modern workshop and only that’s why he appointed me!

    But problem is, some workers thinking- it’s a destructive project for them! Because when this workshop will updated completely they will totally useless as they are uneducated…! They are feeling useless themselves for a modern workshop and that’s why feeling insecure with their job!
    So, they don’t want we update it & some of them also disliking me for this project!

    Now, how I could handle this situation? Do you have any idea or suggestion for me?
    Tom replied 10 years, 6 months ago 7 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Curtis Andrew Massoll

    December 5, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I think that your best angle would be to make the rest of the staff that updating the shop is needed by necessity, not by your individual choice. Their employer is the individual that has put you in the position of making this happen. It is in the entire staff’s best interest for this to happen. Even though we are fortunate to be in a service business that can not be taken completely away from customer interaction and will never solely become a commodity; none the less we are still competing in a World Market. Literacy and understanding technology is a necessity moving forward, the other option is to perish.

    Here is a link to a short video celebrating Bosch’s Car Service program’s 90 year anniversary. It gives an example of the level of professionalism in our industry on a “World” scale. Maybe this will help them realize that it is not just you.
    Good luck!

  • Frank

    December 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

    No one likes change. The only constant we have in life is change. Lay out the goals, and how they will benefit from any changes. Don’t change too much at once. Will they be able to work on better, newer cars? will they be able to earn more money? How will the customer benefit?

    Have them read (or listen to) the book “Who Moved My Cheese” Its a great way to look at how to handle change in life.

    With employees we have 4 choices when dealing with them:

    Can they be retrained? Yes or No

    Can they be transferred? yes or No?

    Can you tolerate the behavior? Yes or No

    Will you terminate if answer no to all of the above.

    This is a good time to start recruiting (recruiting is having future employees ready to fill spots as you grow and people leave)

    Frank Scandura III
    President Scandura’s European Service DBA Frank’s European Service

    Formally Frank’s Mercedes Service
    Editorial Advisory Board Member, ImportCar magazine
    Advisory Board Member, College of Southern Nevada (Automotive program)
    Independent Business Coach, Elite. http://www.eliteworldwidestore.com/

  • jbrenn77

    December 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I agree with all that Frank has said.  The type of person who is usually a good technician will absolutely hate change.  Unfortunately, it’s necessary.  Better that the owner hired you to implement the necessary changes than to go out of business and have everyone looking for a job.  Don’t forget to remind the techs that it’s not up to you or them to decide that the automotive world can just stop changing, it’s just happening. 

      Getting the employees to “buy in” on your/the new owners plan for the business will be a test of your leadership capability.  You need not to just tell them, but get them to believe that these changes are god for them.  This needs to be done tactfully and the right way.  It may take some time as well, and you need to be prepared to lose people in the process.  It sounds like it will be a big change and you may or may not have the luxury of slowly changing things a little at a time.  In my shop recently I needed to implement a few big changes that I should have done a long time ago.  I wasn’t sure how the employees would react and I was afraid that implementing changes slowly over time would cause my employees to lose faith in my plan as it would take too long to see the end result, so I decided the best thing to do was to just “rip the band-aid off” so to speak and see what happened.  I lost  a tech, fired an advisor, and implemented the changes.  I’m still implementing the smaller and finer detailed ones but the major ones were done right away.  We are seeing the benefits in the bottom line and are making progress in the right direction, and I’ve replace the tech I lost with a better one. 

    Just be prepared for the place to turn upside down if you decide to handle it this way.  It will be like living in a tornado for a while, but it will be worth it when all the garbage blows away and the good things are left standing. 

    Always recruiting is also very good advice.  You never know when you may need people.  You may also be surprised at the effect it has on your current staffs’ attitude. 

  • ifeanyi

    December 7, 2013 at 7:46 am

    I am a new member and I am not a technician or a mechanic but love to own an auto repair shop which has come on stream for over six months now. My biggest headache has been managing the mechanics and technicians. I have a well equiped workshop in a very attractive and accessible location. What do I do to at least begin to recoup my investment and break-even?


  • sofiq-ahsan

    December 8, 2013 at 10:21 am

    thank you all for your kind advice & suggestions…
    I hope it will work.

  • martin-zimmerman-us-bosch-com

    December 9, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Technicians are best when they like and enjoy the technical challenges of vehicles.  It does not matter if the vehicle is a car, tractor, school bus, etc.  They need to want to get into the new technical changes that happen.  I work for a very technically oriented Corporation, but the changes in vehicles not limited.  Electronics, mechanical, drive types, etc. have happened already and will continue to happen.  The best reponse for a technician is “Cool, look what they did this time!”  as opposed to “Rats! why did they change this? The old way always worked!”.   You, as the owner, need to find and develop this.   Learning is a necessity in any business.

  • Tom

    December 15, 2013 at 5:17 am

    What about improving their literacy/education? Provide some classes right at your shop. Everyone wins. The employee, their families, you, the owner and the customers. 

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