Life and business are always changing.
In spite of this, as humans we always resist change. I am sure all of you have tried to bring something new to your business or make a change of some sort and find resistance to the change by your employees.
People do not change because they have the facts or understand the logic. People will only change if they have the desire to change. This desire is created when the change lines up with their values and concerns about their reputation.
Currently, there is a dire shortage of qualified automotive technicians, and many repair shops are beginning to find it difficult to find either qualified service advisors or people who are willing to learn what it takes to be one.
On top of that, experts are predicting that in 2019 Canada will begin losing a net of 100,000 people available to work per year. The number of people retiring, along with the growing economy, means that not enough people will be entering the workforce.
Nervous about making a change?
Because shop owners are so afraid of losing current employees, and knowing how difficult it is to replace them, they are nervous to make changes in the business and rock the boat. Research has shown that employees care deeply about their reputation. But what most business owners don’t understand is the hierarchy of this caring. Employees care most about what their co-workers think of them, and then they care about what the customers think of them, and then last—they worry about what the boss thinks of them.
Knowing and understanding this concept then helps you understand how to bring about change.
As an owner, leader, and manager, you need to be able to answer these questions before you bring about any changes. First of all; ask yourself why you want to make the change, and be able to answer that verbally and in writing. Secondly, ask yourself what is the benefit of the change to 1) the customers, 2) the technicians, 3) the service advisors, 4) any other employees, and 5) the business. These are the five stakeholders. The next step is to identify whether the change is primarily a new initiative intended to take advantage of an opportunity, or whether it is intended to try to solve a you are clear about this. Then think about some of the stresses that your different employees have expressed to you or each other in the past.
Many times when owners or managers want to bring about a change, they can see how it can benefit them and assume it will benefit everyone; and that everyone will see this. As you all know by experience, that is not usually the case.
Reducing employee stress
By thinking about stresses your employees have expressed in the past, and looking to see how the new change could address one or two of them, present the change as a way to remove their stress rather than just the benefit to the owner or the business. When you can show the value of the change to each of the stakeholders, and when they understand how this will make them look better to their coworkers and the customers, you will create a desire to change.