Finding the right guy

Vince Technical Support Specialist Commack, New York Posted   Latest  

Hey Guys, I am sure all of the owners and service writers out there can appreciate this scenario. You have a great flow going in the shop. Numbers are good, atmosphere is good and moral is just where you need it....…. POW, One of you key techs gives you his 2 week notice. Its a grenade that just ripped through you and you want to revenge. STOP, BREATHE and DO NOT REACT! What if he has no choice since the civil service job in NYC just called after he took a test 4 years ago? Can you match the vacation, the pension, the money after 3 years? Why didnt you see it coming?

The fact of the matter, in some cases there is nothing you can do except find a replacement. One of the hardest things we face as shop owners is to find a replacement for a good tech. A word of advice. Be prepared for the day before it happens. While things are going well, that is the time to start the help wanted ad. Look around. Take notes. Whats good about this one or that one? Being prepared for the day is half of the battle. As shop owners we are sometimes get preoccupied in the day to day and so fixated on the moment that the one part of the future that can effect us the most, we arent ready for.

So make a list of qualities and weaknesses of your current people. Keeping adding to it as the days go on. Within a week, you will have a great ad ready to fly. Who knows, maybe let it fly now to see what comes back. You may end up with a good thing that you didnt know was out there.

Chris Diagnostician
Commack, New York

Great post Vince. I Like what you've said here. I would love to hear more of what you have to say about the subject. 

I have a question for you. Since you are a conscious shop owner, how do you handle tech retention? This specific situation, there is nothing you can do about it. Your tech made the correct call for him and his family. 

How do you keep a good tech? How do you keep a tech interested in the day to day? What do you do to grow a tech from a wrench to a top diagnostician. Is this even your responsibility? 

When a great tech gives their notice (and doesn't have a prime city job lined up), do you view this as a failure as a boss/owner or a tech issue?

I would love hearing your thoughts on this issue

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Vince Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York

Chris, This is an excerpt from a page from the course I have developed on shop management: Offer A package better than the next guy Provide Opportunity For Growth Conduct Stay Interviews on a quarterly basis Make Employees Feel Like They really make a difference.

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Michael Diagnostician
Holt, Michigan

You hit the nail on the head. Keep them happy and find out what or if they have something they are not necessarily happy with and maybe get input on how too change it. Shops need to understand this and implement what you have stated. 

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Cliff Diagnostician
Santa Maria, California

Let's not forget all employees may not be motivated by money.

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Corey Owner/Technician
Staten Island, New York

Hey Vince. I'm one of those guys with the civil service job in NYC. 25+ years with NYCTA and 33 in the field. I doubled down with a brick and mortar repair shop for 15+ and as a mobile tech for the last 6. It's a common problem here around for shops. A fare amount of techs become tired of picking up the slack for the other guys in the shop while being, what they consider to be, underpaid. The grass on the other side of the fence has benefits, paid vacations and a pension, which around here, is unheard of in the private sector. Some thing you may want to consider, depending on where you are, is hiring the guy (or gal) back once they're settled in at the civil service job. I did it many times and had great success with it. They no longer need benefits, pension, etc. and they're much less likely to do anything that might jeopardize their city job (drugs, license, etc) which benefits you as well. Productivity is sometimes better when you can do something that you WANT to do rather than HAVE to do. All the best.

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Vince Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York

Hey Corey,

Agreed. Good point and have done the exact in my shop in the past. I've both lost em to civil service and gained them.

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