By Elite Worldwide Inc.
By Bob Cooper
When it comes to keeping your employees operating at peak performance, I am sure you will agree that training is critical. Accordingly, I felt it would be appropriate for me to provide you with what Elite feels to be the most important considerations when it comes to training your team.
First of all, here in the U.S. both physicians and attorneys are required to participate in continued education, and I feel your team members should be required as well. It is for this reason that I would strongly encourage you to have a policy in place that mandates that as a condition of ongoing employment, each year your technicians will need to complete (as an example) at least 40 hours of training, and your advisors will need to complete at least 8 hours of training. In all cases, the training will need to be company approved.
Secondly, as we all know, there is no one right answer for who pays for the training, but you may want to consider this. As soon as the employee has completed their training, they have benefited, because they are now more knowledgeable. On the other hand, as the owner of the shop, you will not benefit (economically) until your employee has applied their new-found knowledge, and the application has increased their productivity. I am sure you will agree, these two reasons alone suggest that an employee should invest in their own training. Additionally, when someone has their own dollars invested in any type of training, they will take it much more seriously.
Accordingly, you may want to consider having the employee pay a percentage of the cost of the training, and letting them know that if they are still employed with you XX months later, you will then reimburse them for their contribution. If they are cash strapped, you can always do a payroll deduction spread out over 2-3 pay periods.
If you find you have to sell your employees on participating in such classes, you will ultimately discover it’s due to one of two reasons. One, they don’t see the value in such courses, and if you discover this to be the case, you may find that they have taken courses in the past that were sub-par, and they lost interest. In such cases you need to sell them on how you select the courses, and/or have them participate in the selection process. On the other hand, if you find you have an employee that has little or no interest, or if they suggest there is nothing left that they can learn, then clearly you have the wrong employee.
Whether or not they are paid for their time taking the courses is subject to state laws, and to your discretion. Just bear in mind that the only thing worse than training an employee and having them leave, is not training them, and having them stay.
Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite (www.EliteWorldwide.com), a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers the industry’s #1 peer group of 90 successful shop owners, training and coaching from top shop owners, service advisor training, along with online and in-class sales, marketing and shop management courses. You can contact Elite at [email protected], or by calling 800-204-3548.
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Hope everyone is having good week with great sales. I am in the process of renegotiating my employee’s uniform contract. It is sorta the same old thing start low then get higher. Could I get some feedback on how you guys are handling this. I have looked at buying uni’s for my guys. In my area it is expensive and they do not want to update my guys. Just lchecking some ideas . Thanks guys. David
I just felt I had a reason to tell this story if it helps 1 person in here. I was a frequent user of Auto shop Owner 2 years ago, I have been absent for a while dealing with another issue for the first time in my 40 years. I have been in the situation with a 16-year assistant manager who I would have trusted with my last dollar. I thought i ran a pretty tight organization, I am fortunate enough to have a brother who spent 25 years in the business do a lot of the hard CPA type stuff and works very closely with our CPA. Anyway, some issues came up on Quickbooks at the year-end my CPA was not ok with. He called my brother and looked at some of the data issues, my brother in turned told me we need to come back up here tonight and look at a few things. After doing audits for 1 year, long story short my trusted employee thought he had figured out a way to beat the system until it all collapsed on him. It has been the most trying 1.5 years of my life. After a 1 year investigation, they arrested him last week, 2 felony counts with more to come. Trusted employee, friend, church-going guy. Not a drinker or druggie, Law Enforcement says it is a disease, guys it is rampant in today's business world. What are people thinking today, the computer will catch you. If I could prevent just 1 guy from going through this it is worth my time to write this. It is hard to catch a guy that you trust like family, in a way it was bittersweet although the scheme and coverup is what just gets in my craw. I was not my computer program " Quickbooks" or anything like that it was just a good guy who turned bad. I beg you guys to watch everything and run the business like a big corporation. As we all know and here the trusting guy or gal is always the one to get you. It happened to me, we turning the page now. See ya
I have a new employee that needs to get some tires & asked if he was able to get them at cost or a discounted rate. We don't put much profit on the tires so not a lot of room to offer a discount. I do have other employee's that get for the cost, but they are also family members & in management. I'm curious what do other shops do or offer the employee's.
We currently pay our techs by the hour until business starts to pick up on mechanic jobs. Techs normally get a 1 hr lunch break (no paid). However, we have noticed that techs are leaving early and showing up late. As an off site owner, I find it difficult to keep track of hours, and would not like to pay for hours techs are not there. We have tried to use the honor system; however, may times techs are "forgetting" to note time in an out on the calendar.
Any suggestions? Do you use an electronic clocking in an out system? Have the manager in charge do it?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.