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Create a Culture Where Everyone Relies on One Another

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If Marie Peevy has noticed anything from her time in shops, it’s that young people take cues from their management.

If you come in late? They’ll never be on time.

If you don’t stress the importance of training? They’ll never grow.

And if you don’t set up that ladder? They’ll never climb.

“Versus a manager with a positive outlook,” Peevy says. “Then there’s a different route. They see they can learn and benefit from that.”

As the owner of Automotive Training Coordinators, Peevy pushes shops to recognize training and certifications as crucial elements of advancing the collision repair industry. Her company works with shops to track and budget employees’ training throughout the year, during which she spends a lot of time conversing with shop owners—oh, and plenty of time speaking with employees.

That’s because, often, a lack of enthusiasm for training links back to employee-manager disconnect. Leaders should convey how training not only improves their own skills, but improves everyone around them, as well. When people see that they’re part of a system that allows them to climb the ladder and become advocates for change, you’ll spark not just independence, but also a key asset of a leader: interdependence (you rely on everyone, and they rely on you).

And how can you achieve that interdependence? Like Peevy says: Employees take cues from leaders. So connect with your employees by putting yourself on their level. Don’t just commit yourself to training, Peevy says, but set a grand example and care about what you want your employees to care about; show that you need them as much as they need you.

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