Keep Your Best Employees

It’s no secret, the cost of losing and replacing talented and skilled employees has always been high, but now that shop owners are starting to see a greater influx of mechanics representing Generation Y a.k.a. Millennials (born after the early 1980’s), keeping their employees has become even more of an issue than in the past. Studies are proving that it’s tough to keep Millennials in one place for long. The average worker under 30 will change jobs every 2 years, compared to the 5 year job hopper rate of Gen X-ers, and 7 year average change rate of Baby Boomers. Shop owners now have to develop different tactics to fight increasing turnover rates. Gallup Inc. has been the leading force in the study of how employee satisfaction can affect turnover and business. With nearly 30 years’ worth of extensive data, they have found that having satisfied employees will result in gains for your business. James K. Harter (Gallup’s Chief Scientist of Workplace Management and Wellness) found that companies whose employees were shown to have high levels of employee satisfaction saw not only higher retention rates, but also an increase in customer loyalty, productivity increased by 16%, the business saw 2.4% greater profitability.

Harter gives some simple tips on what business owners and their managers can do to boost employee happiness:
• Offer non-traditional benefits: Millennials find more value in perks like gym memberships, office picnics, Gatorade on a hot day or even flexibility in time to drop off or pick up their children from school than in more traditional forms of compensation like annual bonuses, for example. Also, as a result of changing tax laws these perks can be a good way to prevent paycheck deductions. Speak to your accountant before starting any new compensation plans/packages so that these perks can still fall under the “business expense”.

• Choose leaders not bosses:  This is the foundation needed for improving employee attitudes, so be sure to choose your leaders wisely. Harter has found that the most effective managers are those who are empathetic and have the personality to bring workers together in collaboration. The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, “Go!” a leader says, “Let’s go!”

• Regular Communication: Define not only what an employee’s job is but what SUCCESS on the job looks like. When employees don’t know what is expected of them it can cause enormous frustration. Setting clear goals and checking in once every 6 months on the progress of these goals has proven to create a sense of security and accomplishment among employees of the happiest companies. AutoBiz can help you track mechanic efficiency to determine if goals  are being met through its built in “mechanic tracking” report, for help setting this up call our office.

• Give people what they need to do their job: Employees who become disengaged often times become so because they feel that their organization isn’t paying attention to their basic needs. Checking in to ensure employees have what they need in either equipment, support or access to information, so that they can do their jobs effectively, can make them feel that their job and that they personally are valued.

The cost of refilling positions is expected to climb as Millennials move up the ranks and gain a bigger share of the workforce, employers estimate that on average it will cost them $15,000 - $25,000 to replace each employee that leaves. When you add in the time and money for training, interviewing, advertising etc., it is imperative that shops start to make the changes to lower turnover rates and avoid the high cost of replacing good staff. What ideas are you putting into place to keep your best employees?

Adam Irby