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Reach Employees

When you work for a nearly 500-location, $2 billion collision repair giant, who do you turn to as a technician, as an estimator, as a leader when you need to voice a concern?

Just “Ask Ann.”

Executive vice president Tim Adelmann says that’s actually the name of a segment during ABRA Auto Body & Glass’s “town hall meetings.” As executives provide monthly updates on the state of the company, employees are allowed to ask CEO Ann Fandozzi any questions or voice their opinions about any issue.

“If you ask somebody what’s important to them, that helps with employee retention,” Adelmann says. “If it’s important to our people, we’ll do it.”

While being an executive leader removes you from employees, it’s important to stay in tune with what’s retaining confidence in your leadership. By effect of those town hall meetings, Adelmann says ABRA has made simple tweaks, such as paying employees every week as opposed to every two weeks, and huge changes, such as boring 100 percent of an increase in healthcare premiums.

In addition, ABRA hosts annual performance reviews. Going through a regimented process, ABRA executive leadership hosts quarterly conversations with leaders in various markets of its national operation.

“At the shop level, we ensure quality,” Adelmann says. “What barriers are you having? How do you drive quality in your everyday work? Our senior leadership teams [in various markets] make a presentation on opportunities, what they’re working on. It’s been a breakthrough for opening communications with people.

“Ensuring that leadership is sound on every level is important for retention. If you’re employer of choice and have best and brightest, then you have the best repairs and everyone trusts you.”

 

Inside Abra’s Executive Leadership

ABRA is so committed to developing leaders that it has dedicated a title to it: chief people officer. On CollisionCast, ABRA’s CPO, Carmen Thiede, discussed how ABRA structures its leadership training program. Listen here.

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