Properly managing the employees at your auto repair shop is crucial for business success. Previously we’ve discussed focusing on employee safety and reducing employee turnover, and while it’s important to make sure your workers are safe and keep their skill sets and expertise available to you, it’s also vital that they use their time wisely and productively. What are some ways of ensuring they do this?
The key to any strategy for improving employee performance is providing proper incentives. Many governments learned this lesson the hard way in the twentieth century: people will not work hard unless they see a benefit for themselves somehow. This does not have to be money. People will also work harder because of love, loyalty, desire for recognition, community feeling, personal pride, and moral or religious beliefs. Different people will respond to incentives differently, however. Determining which of these works best for your group of employees is the challenge. Let’s go through them.
Love and loyalty – Few bosses inspire actual love from their workers, but inspiring loyalty is easier. When you invest time and money into your employees by encouraging them, allowing them access to further training, and treating them as you would like to be treated, this develops the relationship with them, and people are loath to leave good relationships.
Recognition – For some people being praised to others publically is more important than anything else. This will not be true for all of your employees. Some will much prefer a quiet acknowledgement of their hard work. For the ones that crave recognition, though, giving them the incentive they need to work harder is fairly simple and inexpensive.
Community feeling – Creating a working environment that encourages mutual support and friendly competition can be a great way to motivate your employees. Sometimes people respond to pressure better when it’s from coworkers than when it’s from the boss. Also, keeping track of group goals and rewarding them is often easier and cheaper than trying to harness individual motivation.
Personal pride or beliefs – This is not something that you as a boss will be able to influence directly. In certain situations bosses can appeal to common values or beliefs, but getting workers who will share your values is something that can only be done at the time of hire. Pay attention to your worker’s employment histories and personal values during interviews then.
Money – While financial incentives won’t work on some people, they work on most. Tying pay to performance as directly as possible is a proven way to increasing productivity, whether it’s done through wages, bonuses, or on-the-spot rewards.
The most important step to getting better performance from your employees is taking the time to get to know them. If you do not learn their personalities and the incentives that motivate them, choosing any of the above will have spotty results at best. You may find that forming a positive employer/employee relationship will be a much better motivator than you expected and you will not have to spend a great deal more money or implement complicated reward strategies at all.