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How to keep your tech happy?


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I have a 4 bay shop with 2 techs, stay very busy most of the time, I have a tech that has been with me for 20 years, He can pretty mutch fix anything i put in front of him, I pay by the hour 27$, Full medical with 2500$ deductable and 115 a month life ins, I have not given any raises i a few years, He is starting to question what more i can do, I do not want to loose him, but i do not know how i am paying compared to other shops, Anyone have any creative ideas? what are shops offering for benifits, retirement, Thanks David

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It’s a little complicated, but I will do the best I can to explain.

 

When a tech is hired we track the techs labor hours sold and compare those hours against the hours worked. In other words if a tech books 20 hours in a 40 hour work week, that tech is 50% productive. If the tech books 40 hours in the same week, then that equates to 100%.

 

What we do for all new techs for the first 6 weeks is to find what their average potential is and after 6 weeks we will give them a bonus (based on the hourly rate) for every hour they book over their average. The average potential becomes their minimum level of performance expectation.

 

So, let say a new tech averaged 35 hours in a 40 hour week for the first 6 weeks of employment; the 35 hours becomes his goal to beat. Anything above that, he will receive a bonus. If he books 39 hours for a 40 hour week, he get 4 extra paid hours.

 

Now the goal is get that tech to 100% level. Each month we raise the bar and within 6 months the tech has to achieve 100% in order to get any bonus.

We feel that this is fair because it allows the tech to compete against himself and not other techs.

 

With that said, there is a lot that goes into maintaining high productivity levels: wasted time with comebacks, wasted time with waiting for parts, the wrong parts, defective parts, not selling enough labor hours, giving away diagnostic time, slow service advisors not selling the work quick enough, shop layout, tool truck time, cigarette breaks, late back from lunch…..you get the idea. The only way to truly get shop production up is to do a complete shop analysis of where the bottle necks are and track every minute of the tech’s time.

 

I hope this helps.

Thank you, Very helpfull, Wish i found this site sooner, Its nice to be able to see what other shops are doing, hopefully i can help also.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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