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Keeping a Clean Workspace


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Hello all, I have a issue that I'd like to see how other shops handle. Currently I have not been able to find someone to hire for shop cleaning/maintenance but I am actively pursuing one. In the meantime my one master tech has not been very helpful in cleaning up his own area. He is a very good tech and amazing at what he does but works very dirty and I am becoming concerned with someone slipping and getting hurt. I completely understand that is getting paid flag hour and does not get paid for the time to clean his area, but I feel if he would just take the time to grab a catch pan and make sure the fluid falls into it instead of just sliding it under car and not looking at where the fluid goes he'd save himself a lot of hassle. Most of the time he'll just leave the coolant to run all over. I want my techs to be productive and I know the need for a cleanup person of which I do intend to hire, but would most shop owners request more responsibility of a tech to at least help keep a mess to a minimum? When the tech was hired he was told and he agreed that he was to wash and vacuum his two bays at the end of every Friday, of which lately he hasn't been doing.

 

Every time I see him cleaning something I make sure I immediately show appreciation and tell him thank you, doing a good job etc.. But I guess it hasn't caught on because he still isn't working cleaner. I really do not want to search for another master tech, but I know I can't afford tech who feels the shop revolves around him.

 

Any ideas or advice on how other shops handle cleaning and these types of issues?

 

Hope this was posted in the correct section

 

Thanks,

 

Jon

Edited by Jon
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I had the same problem about two months ago, my clean up guy at night quit on payday because we had some unfavorable word the day before, we clean the shop floor every night, I am really anal about being clean and organized, my tech didn't have any problem staying after work and helping me clean up because he was getting time and a half, some nights I cleaned up on my own which meant working 70 hours per week, I went through three guys in two months, I let all three go because they were so worthless, two nights ago I called my clean up guy (57 year old with a handicap ) and apologized to him, telling him what an asset he was to the business. I could leave work at night and this guy would clean all of the bay floors, put tools away, lock up cars, wipe down equipment and racks, clean the office and restroom, three hours a night five nights a week, I didn't realize what an asset he was until he quit. It's really hard to find the right person to do that job. He is coming back on Monday and sure will let him know this time how much he is appreciated.

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Hello all, I have a issue that I'd like to see how other shops handle. Currently I have not been able to find someone to hire for shop cleaning/maintenance but I am actively pursuing one. In the meantime my one master tech has not been very helpful in cleaning up his own area. He is a very good tech and amazing at what he does but works very dirty and I am becoming concerned with someone slipping and getting hurt. I completely understand that is getting paid flag hour and does not get paid for the time to clean his area, but I feel if he would just take the time to grab a catch pan and make sure the fluid falls into it instead of just sliding it under car and not looking at where the fluid goes he'd save himself a lot of hassle. Most of the time he'll just leave the coolant to run all over. I want my techs to be productive and I know the need for a cleanup person of which I do intend to hire, but would most shop owners request more responsibility of a tech to at least help keep a mess to a minimum? When the tech was hired he was told and he agreed that he was to wash and vacuum his two bays at the end of every Friday, of which lately he hasn't been doing.

 

Every time I see him cleaning something I make sure I immediately show appreciation and tell him thank you, doing a good job etc.. But I guess it hasn't caught on because he still isn't working cleaner. I really do not want to search for another master tech, but I know I can't afford tech who feels the shop revolves around him.

 

Any ideas or advice on how other shops handle cleaning and these types of issues?

 

Hope this was posted in the correct section

 

Thanks,

 

Jon

 

Have you had more then one talk with him about it?

 

Do you conduct shop meetings? If so how often?

 

I have brought up with our guys that the shop policy is to wipe up fluid off the floor as soon as possible. One of the reasons is the tracking of it around the shop... Getting it on the souls of your shoes and then it finds its way into a customers car. This is not how a professional should work is how I out it.

 

Keeping their area clean is put on their shoulders and they know it. I don't pay 100% flat rate but We also pay .5 hours a day for clean up and 1.0 on Friday. The shop must be cleaned up before they leave. If it is clean before the .5 or 1.0 they still get the time credit. It's an incentive to have it clean rather then stay longer to get it done.

 

Just some thoughts I have about it

 

Spence

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This is a constant battle in most shops, I know I struggle with it too. Some techs are so clean, you never have to tell them to keep thier bay clean. Others, are natural pigs. I asked my manager, who was once my lead tech, why some techs are such pigs. He told me that honestly when we are working and busy we never think of it. It's not like they WANT to be pigs, they just are not wired that way.

 

I think you've got a good point there Joe.

 

Create a shop layout where each tech has easy acess to drain pan, oil drain buckets, oil absorb, brooms and plenty of garbage pails. When there is a little down time, have the crew as a team clean the shop and give praise to anyone that cleans anything on thier own. We have a clean-up person too, but his job is mostly to keep the bathrooms clean, the customer waiting area and the exterior. I think, if possible, the tech should be accountable for his/her own bay. By that, I mean, stop throwing the oil filter boxes or the water pump boxes on the floor, be more carful when draining oil, get a drain pan when bleeding brakes, etc. A lot can be done, it just needs to be a concerted effort.

 

Hope this helps, it is an on-going issue for most....

 

 

Good post Joe

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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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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