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Today's Workforce different from What I remember

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Joe, being one of your kids generation (I was born in the last 70's) I agree with you. My generation and for that matter my kids generation does seem to value their free time more. Maybe its a lack of work ethic or laziness or maybe its the fact that jobs today pay better and kids don't need to work as hard for the same money. I like you had two jobs all of my adult life and now that I "only" have one job (which takes most of my waking hours) so I have no idea what free time even is.


I do know that if you as a shop owner don't bridge the gap between you and the next generations your business will suffer. You have to be able as a business owner to adjust to your customers this also applies to the people you hire. The same ideas, thoughts and expectations apply just in different roles.

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Being fairly young myself (age 26), I can give an account on my growing up experience. First off, I grew up on a small farm, my dad worked and mom stayed at home. I began work at age 14 giving banjo lessons at a music store after school to start saving for a car. My buddies wanted me to hang out but I instead went to work. I then took a job turning wrenches at a John Deere dealer at 16 to learn mechanical basics. My grandpa told me before he died when I was 15 to pick a trade, become skilled in it, and I wouldn't go hungry. So I tried to follow his advice and planned my high school and vocational school career in the automotive field. The guys I went to high school with goofed off, performed poorly in whatever class they could just get by in, and took jobs doing something they could maintain a party lifestyle in. The females had a tendancy to take the more academic classes and did really well in school, not to offend anyone by saying this, but it seemed as though the school system pushed them harder and most females I know from school ended up in really good careers with nice paychecks to go with it. In trade school, the population was 95% male. Most of the students were unruly, didn't put an effort into the training, and were allowed to pass their classes with poor grades. How did this happen? They had an entitlement attitude and felt because they had paid to go to school there, they should be allowed to get the degree, thus making the guys who worked to accomplish, not look any more spectactular than the general population of attendees. But, the root of the problem started way before trade school. I'll go as far back as elementary school being a problem. Kids in class would act up, get in trouble and the parents would be notified. Instead of the parents enforcing some disipline (mine was in the form of a 2" wide piece of leather), they instead go to the school and yell at administrators saying that their perfect little snowflake did nothing wrong and nobody gets in trouble. Teenage years come up, they recieve a new car. The first speeding ticket gets issued and mom and dad pay an attorney to get them out of it. Now, the guy is 25 years old, living at home, no job, no rules, and no work ethic or life lessons have been gained. I can think of the guys that are my own age that I've worked with in the industry who wonder why they don't make money. They squeaked by in trade school and thought they knew it all, never investing in additional training or taking ASE tests because it interefered with the draft specials at the local bars on that night. Just look at IATN, it's a bank of knowledge for a small fee, and the amount of folks in my age group that visit the site are few. I guess Jersey Shore is more interesting than Right to Repair or learning about changing technology? The young guys I worked with at the dealer would get mad when they rolled into work at 8:05 and didn't have a work order because I got there at 7:30 and hoarded them up. Maybe if dad would have given them chores on a Saturday instead of letting them play soccer in a league where EVERY kid got a trophy for just showing up to the game, they would have known that the REAL world isn't fair and you have to put forth an effort to get ahead. I'm not knocking sports, because learning teamwork is important, but maybe if the players who performed the best were the only ones to get the trophy, the weaker ones would have learned to practice and get better and that not everyone wins. I'm not trying to say I'm better than these folks. I was just fortunate enough to be raised differently. I am thankful for what my parents believed and taught me and that I can see the faults of my generation. That is why I register on trade forums, instead of occupying some movement.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      A recent study, done by Harvard Business School, concluded that the real problem with attracting and retaining employees has more to do with the workplace environment, not pay or benefits. While the study did find that an adequate pay plan and offering an attractive benefits package did help with recruiting and retention, it’s not enough to satisfy the needs of employees, especially those of front-line workers.
      The study also stated that in 2021, many companies were convinced that giving raises, sign-on bonuses, and other perks would solve the worker shortage problem and prevent people from quitting. However, this strategy did not work. So, what does work regarding attracting quality people and keeping them employed?
      Essentially, it all comes down to the culture of your company.  Management: do all it can to consider the individual needs of your employees. Your employees want to feel that they have a voice, that their opinion counts, and that their role in your company is both respected and recognized. Yes, pay and a great benefits package will go a long way toward making your employees feel secure, but that’s only financial security. People want more than money.
      To attract and keep top talent requires creating a company that people feel proud to work for. You need to reach the hearts and minds of your employees. Become a leader that people are enthusiastic about working for. You want your employees bragging to their friends and family that your shop is a great place to work!
      Step one to attracting and retaining quality employees: Create an amazing workplace environment for your employees!  Trust me, happy employees make happy shop owners too!
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