Get creative to hire and retain the best tire talent.
According to Payscale.com, the average hourly rate for a tire technician in Canada is $11.95 to $21.82, for an annual salary of between $25,154 and $50,742, depending on experience. It’s not an insubstantial gap, but the sky is clearly not the limit. Unlike, for example, sales, most “non-revenue producing” employees eventually face a pay ceiling, regardless of their experience or merit.
Especially when it comes to training and motivating your best technicians to efficiently work on high-end vehicles, it presents a problem for employers. You need employees who can be relied upon and who want to stick around, so you can confidently assure your clientele that your staff are well qualified to work on their cars. But how do you motivate them to be the best without paying through the nose? Here are seven ways to motivate beyond money.
Create and maintain a clean, safe and positive environment
You want to distinguish your shop from the competition not just for clients but for employees as well. It sounds simple enough, but working in a shop that is anything less is demotivating.
Ask and listen
Take the time to periodically ask your employees how they think you can improve the business, from working conditions to processes. One of the primary needs in all of our relationships—whether with a romantic partner, sibling, friend or employer— is to be understood. When employees do have suggestions, implement them whenever possible.
Give them the training they need
Don’t expect your employees to learn by osmosis. Make sure they are provided sufficient training, and not just when they’re hired. Give them regular opportunities to refresh and update their skills.
Let them know how they’re doing
Recognize particular achievements and great attitudes. If an employee isn’t performing as expected, make sure your expectations are clear and offer ways they can improve. Just saying “thank you” once in a while can go a long way.
Don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bushel
It’s important for the morale of your other employees that employees who are regularly uncooperative or resistant— who simply aren’t team players—aren’t permitted to infect their work environment. Give the offenders the chance to improve, and if they don’t, let them go.
Nobody likes to be micro-managed, and for most people, feeling like we’re in control of what we do is motivating in itself. Let your team know that you trust them to work hard and then let them get on with it.
Offer what perks you can
For a small shop, benefits can be prohibitively expensive, but with a little creativity you can create some perks of your own that let your employees know you’re in it together. Offer $1,000 in employee loans in case they have an unexpected financial need. Recognize major life events like weddings and babies.
Let their dog hang out in the front office once in a while. Bring in bagels once a week. Sponsor a family day once a year at an amusement park. Perks don’t have to be elaborate to make a difference.
The fact that pay rates don’t vary much across the industry is an opportunity to distinguish yourself as an employer in other ways. Get creative, and make your employees want to be the best.