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Employees who dont clean up

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I need advice! We only have 3 employees and they treat the ground like a huge dumpster can. I have reminded them to clean up so many times and they will clean up once I tell them to, but they wont do it unless its gotten to the point that I HAVE to tell them to. Should there be some sort of discipline? What do you guys do?

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You lead by example. Start with yourself, if they don't follow your lead either they haven't shown the proper way or they need to be replaced.


I have the senior guys show the new guys how to work organized and tidy.


Messy guys leave strains on customers' cars.


They know my pet peeves.

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Do you pay them to clean? I understand keeping my work area clean, but if your asking them to take out the trash and clean the crapper, I'd have a hard time with that especially if I'm flat rape.


If your paying me hourly, then I'll do it. To an extent. It's costing the shop take me off a car to take out the trash. I can promise you it's going to cost you more than if you hired a scut worker for $8-9/ hr to clean up.


I have one that mops, emptying trash, fills up washer fluid and brake clean jugs, empties the waste oil, ect because I crunched the numbers and the lost productivity was way more expensive that his salary.


Food for thought.

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They guys are resonsible for their work areas, they have to clean up the major messes. The gs tech takes out the trash, scrubs the floors etc. When I was still turning wrenches, I cleaned up at the end of the day, put my tools away so I could start fresh. I worked with a tech that always showed up 30-45 minutes early to clean up, put tools away etc.


As long as it gets done, I dont care when they do it. HOWEVER if it is a trackable ( foot print leaving mess) it MUST BE CLEANED UP IMMEDIATELY. If it dosent, it invarabily ends up missing the floormat in the customers car...

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Then fire them. Or send one home for the day. If up you have to keep repeating yourself, then it sure sounds like you don't have the guys respect.


Like I said, I have no problem keeping my area clean and I don't like working in a pig s pile. That's just basic life. But if the boss tells me to clean the darn bay, you know what? I'm going to clean it.



Maybe they don't value working for you and you need to pull the choke chain a little to remind them. But again are your guys flat rate or being paid to clean? Was it told to them when they were hired they'd have to play maid? ( I ask when I interviewed at my previously places a lifetime ago). What does it say in the employee handbook? You have one of those .....right?

Edited by SMMotors
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I used to have a tech that once he emptied a quart of oil into the engine, he would throw the empty quart bottle on the ground. If he ever spilled oil, he would continue working, sometimes even lay down on the ground IN IT :blink: . Yeah, talk about a mess....


It's safe to say that he is no longer with me anymore.

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  • 3 months later...

1) Be clean yourself. Me and my significant other (owner) keep the shop and office immaculate. This means customers get amazed by it. Which also means the techs feel like they need to be clean as well because if it gets even a tad bit dirty, it will stand out. When customers bring up the fact that the shop is so clean and the employees hear this often, they will feel like wow, I work for a shop that impresses people....this will give them more reason to be clean.


2) For messes shared like the bathroom, we take turns and have a schedule. This is still hard and a work in progress because people forget or get stuck on cars.


3) For pay, they are paid hourly plus bonus for completed jobs. So even though they are not working on a car, they will still be paid for their time there in which they can use to clean or research, etc.

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Great topic.. Where I work for now, we have a guy I would not call him a tech all he does is engines and trans swaps, a butcher at best. His bay is a disaster even his tool box is a mess on top and in the drawers. There is no organization at all. All wrenches thrown in one draw, all sockets in another etc.. no racks or anything like that. His cart is always full of tools. (most tools cheap no name tools) His bay always covered in oil etc. He will come in and decide to clean the way he does this is gets the oil absorbent (kitty litter) and throw it all over the shop like some sort of religious ritual and leave it there never sweeping it up. Not to mention he relives himself on the floor in the corner, in antifreeze drain pans, in the parking lot next to cars, or in a coffee cup and pours it into the used antifreeze container (55 gallon drum) I have mentioned this to the owner numerous times he has seen it himself, but continues to employ this guy ! This guy is there about 2-3 hours of the work day most of the time he is gone doing side jobs somewhere I am sure. He also has his "student" a guy that he pays to work two days a week who knows nothing about cars at all . also something I have brought up with the owner on almost a daily basis being it is a liability to him. I tell him all the time customers would be more willing to have their cars worked on if they see a clean tidy shop, they will get the impression that we care about their cars since we care about our appearance . This is a daily battle for me that is why I am looking for my own shop to open . sorry got a little off topic.

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It does come from the top. Fortunately, 3 of our guys are neat freaks and every tool is put away in their toolbox at the end of every night. We have only one problem child who is about to be the guest of honor at a blanket party. (Just kidding, but it is the owner's son so he can't be fired. The owner is going the have a serious sit down with him.)


Something my wise father taught me - A job is not complete until everything to put away. Maybe not assign the next job till the area is clean?


We spent the end of the day yesterday (Friday) doing the little extra cleaning; corners, trash, etc. This happens on the evenings when everything is done and it's not quitting time.

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My best tech cleans and puts away his tools before the car is backed out. Drives me nuts. I heap my tools on my cart and put them away at the end of the day. Everyone's different. If I caught a guy relieving himself on my floor I'd be mopping it up with his last paycheck.

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In my opinion you're never to busy to clean up your work area. The more organized/clean you are the faster you can crank out work.. I was once a tech and I made it a point to clean up after myself.


I also have that problem at the shop. I implemented a policy and designated work areas and trash cans for my techs.


The policy states-

If you're area isn't clean, you will not receive your bonus on Monday. If it doesn't hurt their pocket, they won't change.


I also told them that I provide them with a clean restroom, they should provide me with a clean work area!!

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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