A successful workshop – indeed, any successful business – is based on an efficient and driven workforce. Likewise, less profitable businesses have typically failed to maximise the potential of their human resources. So how does a good workshop manager get the best out of the team?
Gallup analysis reveals that people who use their strengths every day are 15% less likely to quit their jobs.
1 Be a good listener
Listen to the workshop team. Take on board their ideas, even if you can’t put all of them into action. It’s often said that your best resources are your human ones, so the insights and ideas of your team should be given attention. And the longer that each member of the team works with you the better they will come to know the business – and the better their ideas are likely to get. Do all you can to help the team feel comfortable to put forth their ideas and express their feelings in an open environment. If their ideas are sometimes wide of the mark, remind them of the business’s organisational objectives and targets and they’ll not only feel listened to and valued but also better equipped to contribute.
2 Empower the team
When good ideas do emerge, empower the team to lead the initiatives that result from them. Employees who are given trust and responsibility typically feel happier and work harder, and they are a lot more motivated when they feel that they are contributing to the business and being recognised for it.
3 Never stop coaching
Every good business invests time and money in its teams. Provide opportunities for team members to acquire new skills that prepare them for the future. This is especially important in the automotive workshop business now that electric and hybrid vehicles are here to stay and new skills need to be learned to stay profitable in the automotive world of the future.
4 Reward and recognise
Good work must be recognised. Even a simple ‘pat on the back’ can be a great motivator. Make sure you recognise not only examples of outstanding work by member of your team but also behaviour; an employee that can always be relied upon to deliver reliable service to customers and support to colleagues sets a great example for the business and helps the workshop to run more effectively.
5 Build trust and respect
Lead by good example, because teams work best when they believe they are following a leader who deserves their trust and respect. Earn the trust and respect of your team and you will give them the strength to pull together when times are tough. You will also inspire them to embrace the same values. This helps the business because when you are not around the team will work in harmony cooperate in an atmosphere of open communication. Also, a team that shares the same values will be better able to navigate the ship even when the captain is not on board.
6 Get together with the team
To improve team spirit and performance, help people to get to know each other better. Organise a meeting for all employees of your workshop at least once a year, preferably more often. It’s remarkable how social interaction between team members brings people together. Social events turn colleagues into friends, and turn businesses into teams, and you’ll find that because your employees care about each other they will try harder to do their best for each other in the workshop, which benefits them, you, the customer and the business.
Through listening, empowering, coaching, rewarding, leading by example and helping the team get to know each other, you can build a strong team that is happy, effective, passionate and resilient.