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Constant cell phone problems.

 

Whenever there seems to be a null. Its first choice for a tech or advisor to pull out there phone and start updating Facebook or texting or whatever.

 

The focus isn't on the job, research, cleaning, app development.. Its on the phone.

 

Wearing Bluetooth headphones to listen the radio from there phone as well.

 

What do you and your guys do?

 

Sent from my SM-N900P using Tapatalk

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Cell phones are one of the worst inventions ever. I hate mine. Employees think I'm infringing on their constitutional rights if I even mention it. One employee broke his. Thought it was gonna be a productive day. He spent two hours fiddling with it trying to get a connection. I'm implementing a leave it in your car or find another job policy. I don't like paying people to Facebook and text.

 

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

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We're lucky to not have that problem here currently but we have had technicians in the past that do exactly what you all have mentioned above. We follow the 3 strike rule so first I talk to them about our policy. When it happens again I write them up and have them sign acknowledgement, Third, I fire them. By the time it happens twice, I already have an ad out and am already looking for another technician. You can teach technical skills and process but you cannot change work ethic and personality. If you have already spoken to that individual more than once then your gut instinct is correct, he/she is not the right person for your organization and it's time to start looking for a new hire!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am a tech and I have to split my shop-topping hours with these no-mobile-phobia people. It would be nice if management required phones to be left in cars or lockers. We also have no internet controls, so ESPN and YouTube erode my paycheck on a daily basis.

 

If it wasn't work they wouldn't call it 'work', they'd call it 'super-happy-fun-time' or 'skippidy-doo'.

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We allow radios, with easy rules -- have no problems.

We allow phones -- as long as they arent hands on a car its ok and within reason - no problems.

 

It seems to me maybe you guys dont have the ability to control your people, how come you cant lay down some rules and allow it.

 

Do you ever take a phone call from your wife while at work? Why cant they? Ever made a phone call that was non business? Why cant they?

 

Do as you wish, its your business but it appears to be a management problem to me, not the employees.

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Our policy regarding the possession and use of cell phones by employees in the bays is very clear, and is drafted on a form given to all employees that they must read, agree to, and sign as a condition of employment. Anyone refusing to do so is not offered a position with us, it's just that simple.

 

First of all, our handbook acknowledges that we are a family owned & operated company. A company that despite demands from customers to the contrary, is NOT open on Saturdays or Sundays because we feel strongly about offering our staff a generous opportunity to share time with their own families, and have a regular, 5-day work schedule.

 

With that disclosed, our empoyees are told (in this memorandum about phone & computer use) that they're encouraged to give the shop number to anyone in their family that needs it, in order to get a hold of them during work hours in the event of a family emergency. Furthermore, my emlloyees are promised that at NO time when a family member calls in such a case, will we hesitate to immediately contact the employee, stopping their work, in order to put them in contact with their loved one.

 

Our promise, essentially, is that although work hours are for working...they can rest assured that if their family needs to reach them in an emergency, they can do so anytime.

 

On the other hand, the policy specifically states that cell phones, tablets, computers, etc. are NOT permitted to be used on company property unless the employee is on a scheduled break. The single most pressing point in the policy is that since they are only allowed to use those devices during a scheduled break, the techs are encouraged to leaves them in their car, or "put away" in the toolbox. Any tech seen with device in hand, especially while standing anywhere NEAR a customer's vehicle, is given a verbal warning. The normal procedure is used for any employee violating this company policy, just like any other policy.

 

So now you know our policy. Would you like to understand how we make it work?

 

Our staff is encouraged from the moment we hire them, and they begin their training, to understand that when we enter the building and begin our work day, that everyone from the newest general service tech or porter, on up the the Service Manager must approcah the day with an attitude of SERVICE. We are here to help the people who come to us, and that's why we clocked in this morning. As I said in previous posts, we don't refer to the "Blue Ford Taurus" that needs spark plugs. We refer to "Mr. Smith's car" that's running rough, and he needs to get to work on time.

 

When my staff is in uniform, and working in the bay - I expect them to keep that attitude. I've encouraged them to imagine that Mr. Smith was standing right next to them while they worked. Is it fair to Mr. Smith that your attention is divided between the installation of his ball joint, and the "ding" of your cell phone going off because your buddy sent you a text message?

 

If they MUST somehow communicate with their wife or family via a cell phone call during work hours, I've taught them to come to the office and make the call. They've stepped away from their work area, they've concluded their call, usually in rapid fashion, and then they return to giving Mr. Smith 100% of their attention.

 

As for the "lulls" in the work flow, we've also built into the system a set of expectations that are imparted to all our employees from the beginning. For example - if the repair job is finished, the road test is done, the paperwork & keyes are returned to the office, they have "steps" to take before the job is REALLY done. They check their board for the next job. If that's empty, they go to completed their cleaning list where their bays are swept, oil dry buckets changed or filled, trash taken out, scrap put in the bins, etc.

 

Again...if they DON'T follow these procedures, then enforcing the cell phone rules is as simple as enforcing ANY of our policies.

 

Simply put: Encourage your staff to understand, agree to, and EMBRACE what your goals are, and why your policies are so important. Let them know you DO care about them, and tell them you'll spend all the time they need discussing it, as soon as the work is done.

 

 

Just one man who hasn't had any turnover in over a year.

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Personally I can't stand cell phones during work. I get to work place mine in my toolbox, I will check it periodically if I happen to go into my top draw for something that is all. What kills me the most is the other two guys there are always on them even when working on cars. There is no way you are paying attention to what you are doing while on the phone. Not to mention the one guy as soon as a car comes in he is googleing or youtubeing what is wrong with the car or how to fix it.. Drives me up a wall. just what i want to do, go to the doctors office he asks me a few questions then is on webmd figuring out what is wrong with me or what meds to give me. Really makes the shop look good. People drop/bring their cars in under the assumption that the staff knows what they are doing. I kills me . Of course the guy looking everything up on the internet should not be working on cars anyway, he has no schooling or training what so ever knows nothing about cars. Sure he can slaps some rotors and pads on a car so can my 12 year old neighbor if I show him a couple of times, that does not make you a mechanic . I am afraid that if something is not implemented as far as people needing to be certified to work on cars this field is going to be in really really bad shape very soon. People don't realize you can't fix a car over the phone or by using what you see on the internet.

Edited by skm
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If an employee is on Facebook at work he's stealing your money, plain and simple. I am very fair with paid time off for any reason, with that comes some commitment to the company, from 8-5 excepting lunch I expect 100% involvement in the job. I wear a uniform as well, when my uniform is on I'm working.

 

These kids that think life is all personal time need to grow up. I'm closed weekends, I'm closed holidays, I'm closed at 5:30pm. There's plenty of time left for Spacebook.

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I'm pretty easy going on cell phones. I tell my guys this. I would much rather have your wife text you about something then have her call here and tie your time up even more on the phone then it would by sending you a text. My guys have shown me a lot of respect on this and I have not had to talk them about their cell phone use at all.

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I'm not big enough yet to have this problem. I'm sure I'll get there. Interesting viewpoint you gentlemen share on the phone use.

 

Do any of you incorporate cell phones into your daily activity? Say forward direct lines to a SW cell phone in case he is away from his station. or use cell phones for things like photos, or to reach out to a customer?

 

I'm obviously a very small operation, and communicate at times with customers via text. Many of my customers are business professionals and stuck in the poisonous web churned out by corporate America. A text or email is highly appreciated by them. I had one guy that was so grateful I emailed him an invoice (he was in the middle of a meeting when I did) that he told me to do additional services I had tried to sell to him initially, but he decided to do at a future date. He promised to bring me his car from now on. He has, and I always email and text him the invoice, and he usually will come through at the end of the day and take his vehicle.

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Seems all of this would be resolved by having everybody on a performance-based pay system. My guys, from advisors to techs, are trying to bust as many hours a week as they can and hate distractions. Besides, I feel stupid if I give them a hard time about it and find out they were doing a Google serach about the car they are working on. It's a fact of life. Learn how to deal with it.

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Besides, I feel stupid if I give them a hard time about it and find out they were doing a Google serach about the car they are working on. It's a fact of life. Learn how to deal with it.

 

I don't believe it's one of those things that we just have to learn to deal with. We've had our share of issues arise over the yearrs regarding staff "stealing" time and not being as productive as they could, but it's never cause to begin accepting that it's just a fact of life.

 

We put in a tech center in the bay that has a computer setup and is already logged into the various technical databases we use for diagrams and troubleshooting. A guy that is using his cell phone to Google how to fix a car has no place on our team. With so many dynamic, thorough, and credible sources of information that's available on the web for service professionals, I felt that a tech center was warranted.

 

Of course...it won't surf to Facebook or any of those other time-wasting sites. It's not a toy, and the time just isn't free.

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I don't believe it's one of those things that we just have to learn to deal with. We've had our share of issues arise over the yearrs regarding staff "stealing" time and not being as productive as they could, but it's never cause to begin accepting that it's just a fact of life.

 

We put in a tech center in the bay that has a computer setup and is already logged into the various technical databases we use for diagrams and troubleshooting. A guy that is using his cell phone to Google how to fix a car has no place on our team. With so many dynamic, thorough, and credible sources of information that's available on the web for service professionals, I felt that a tech center was warranted.

 

Of course...it won't surf to Facebook or any of those other time-wasting sites. It's not a toy, and the time just isn't free.

I could not of said it better myself. If you are using google to figure out how to fix a car, I think that it is just showing that you do not know what you are doing. I mean I use shopkey pro but only for looking up diagrams etc.. A scanner my brain and experience is all I need. Google and youtube are for the DIY people and let me tell you some of the stuff I have seen on there is way off base and very butchery.

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I wouldn't knock Google as a place to start. Its free and takes 2 seconds, it might give some insight on common issues and it definitely will give you a laugh. Example - I was having trouble getting a half shaft out of a newer w211 Benz. There's no sense why it didn't pop out like every other one, and I must have changed a hundred on the w210's which are basically the same. So Google resulted in diy advice to drop front subframe and use a 3 jaw puller, pictures to prove it,, we laughed so hard it hurt. 8+ hours work to do a 30 minute job, while the forum expert is bragging about his expertise. Needless to say I didn't employ the take complete car apart to remove axle on bench method. Conclusion in my case came from a 36" air chisel to give the inner joint a hard tap. The last guy put an aftermarket axle in bone dry and peened over the clip so it was just stuck.

 

My point being is before I start hammering I make sure I'm not just being dumb and overlooking something.

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Well put, alfredauto. We've been given instant access to the entire body of knowledge and experience of mankind accessible through a small device we wear on our belt. Are you really going to limit yourself and your tech to looking only at a few select "pro" websites? We work on anything that comes through the door and I'm going to use every resource available to get the info I need to succeed. Is there a lot of crap out there/? Sure. It's like panning for gold - you sift through a lot of mud and sand and fool's gold, but when you find a nugget, it makes it all worthwhile. There are a lot of dedicated generous techs and shop owners out there posting valuable info to personal blogs and obscure forums. Google lets you find them. We specialize in hybrids and I'm very thankful for sites like artsautomotive.com and priuschat. Yes, on priuschat your have to weed out the BS and idle chatter, but sometimes I feel like that's what I have been doing in daily life for 66 years. There's a YouTube video out there for everything. I want my techs to be hungry for faster easier, safer, more efficient ways to get things done, rather than simply following in the footsteps of old dogs like me.

 

For those who interpreted my earlier statements as thinking my techs need Google to learn their job, my real point is that when I walk through the shop and see one of them staring into that little glowing screen, maybe, just maybe, they are learning something new and doing something beneficial for both me and them. But it doesn't really matter because I don't judge their performance by what I see them doing moment to moment in the bay, I measure their performance by productivity numbers and labor margins and how they assist with team building and improving our company culture and mentoring junior techs and hanging in on Friday evening to finish that last minute job. I mostly like to see them making a ton of money, because under our tech pay plan that means I made a ton of money.

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Well put, alfredauto. We've been given instant access to the entire body of knowledge and experience of mankind accessible through a small device we wear on our belt. Are you really going to limit yourself and your tech to looking only at a few select "pro" websites?

 

Well, offering full disclosure, I certainly couldn't honestly say that my staff has never used "the devil" for a quick lookup on something. I sat in on a meeting with some of the execs from Mitchell1 when I learned that ProDemand offers data/answers from sources outside of OEM data sources. The general line of thinking is that it shouldn't matter where the information comes from...if it helps to fix a car right the first time, then I'd sure like access to that information.

 

On the other hand, however, the times that I know our guys are reading anything & everything they can on a lookup for a head-scratching issue we run into, I can assure you that w're not using Google's response as anything but a 2nd or 3rd confirmation of answers found from much more credible sources. I used to consult with other automtive professionals before I opened my own shop, and had the responsibility to dealing with a customer who had recently had a wheel bearing installed on his vehicle, where the tech used Google to lookup the axle nut torque spec. It was incorrect, and they ended up having to warranty the work, and rent a car for the customer. That was an expensive enough lesson, that I decided if I was ever in charge, I would avoid those easy mistakes.

 

So - I respect you guys too much to make it seem like I never peruse Google. I guess a better statement would be that we need to "consider the source", especially if it can't be corroborated.

 

BTW.....have any of you ever watched Eric the Car Guy? I find his videos to be both entertaining and educational at times.

 

Best wishes, guys!

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      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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