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End of Year Bonus?


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The last shop I owned I would give a weeks average pay to each employee 2 weeks before Christmas as the bonus. This included overtime, actual weekly pay divided by 52 equaled their bonus. If we had a great year I explained through their hard work, attention to detail, looking out for the waste and not having any damage, they got a Bonus on the bonus and got 2 weeks average pay. It did not happen every year, but many. The years it didn't happen they all knew why, someone screwed up and it cost everyone. It helped me as they as a group wanted to keep eyes on anyone that might cause them to loose the added bonus. It came out of the net from the company profits, but I figured it kept turnover to a minimum, I hated to train new people. They made more money with me than any of the competition and actually made it easy for me when I needed to add personnel. Explaining the pay and the bonus program let them know how we paid up front and what they could expect. Worked for me. I had 6 employees and that shop 10 years when i sold it. My oldest employee had 9.7 years with me, and the newest hire full time had 6.5 years. The 2 part time employees were the ones that changed out every so often over those years, not the full time guys. This pay was on top of their vacation pay that was based on 40 hours base pay per week.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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