3 Keys to Effective Mentorship
His career began with simple trips to Service King collision repair centers around the Dallas area.
Jerod Guerin, nominee for the 2015 FenderBender Awards, began his collision repair career juggling duties for the U.S. Army Reserve and a position at a prominent wheel repair company in Dallas. Through his job, he visited Service King locations and, over time, connected with the company’s policies of respect and integrity.
Guerin has worked his way up from his first internship as a service advisor for a Service King in Irving, Texas. He was offered roles in different management departments and within the last 12 years, has worked as a general manager, regional manager and regional vice president. Today, he is senior vice president of the east region and oversees management of more than 240 locations.
Throughout his 10-year career with the company, Guerin has made a point to emphasize mentorship and create a work team that is similar to a family.
Uphold Company Values.
“After more than 10 years with the Service King family, this culture is a part of who I am,” Guerin says.
Guerin and his company make sure to celebrate the milestones with their team, he says. The company hosts family picnics, BBQs and cookouts inside the repair facilities. By celebrating milestones, Guerin and his team are able to build a culture outside the shop.
At the team get-togethers, Guerin invites not only the repair facility staff but also the regional management and marketing staff so everyone gets to know each other.
To demonstrate family values to his staff, he stays engaged in his children’s activities. Guerin coaches his sons in hockey.
And in order to show he is a part of his team’s “family,” Guerin makes himself available to his staff any time, including weekends and vacations. His cell phone remains on at these times so he can be available for issues and calls.
Encourage Friendly Competition.
Guerin realized that most people want to win and in order to introduce friendly competition into the workplace, he first had to surround himself with talented and smart people, he says.
“I realized that people like to be the best and they like to be recognized when they are winning,” Guerin said. “With that lesson, I’ve learned that giving teammates and members of my staff something to compete in ultimately motivates them to obtain a particular goal.”
Guerin first looks within the company to staff his management team. People with tenure are candidates to move up the ranks in a similar way that he did, he says.
“Service King is full of visionaries that aren’t afraid to think big and bold,” he says.
Some incentives include Service King’s Top Shop program that has been around for about 20 years, and that recognizes a top repair facility in each region.
Put an End to Micromanaging.
The first step to stop micromanaging is to learn to trust your team, he says. And one part of doing so is emphasized by his cross-functional leadership style.
“Just try,” he says.
When given the chance, more often than not, the team will surprise with their ability and dedication.
In order to be successful, the employees need to work as a cohesive team with all the departments aligned to work toward the same direction, he says.
He refers to everyone on the staff as “teammates.”
Guerin says team leaders, like managers, should be present at meetings where big decisions are made in order to trust these departments are working toward the same goal.
Each week, the executive and senior leadership teams meet, while the director-level teammates meet each month and all the general managers meet quarterly.
“I have always implemented a stringent hiring process because I believe the person you hire is a reflection of the quality and professionalism of your team,” he says.