Fostering Healthy Competition
Competition in the workplace is a good thing. People love and want competition whether they admit it or not. People want to have the nicest yard in their neighborhood or a better outfit for the dinner party. Kids want to run faster and jump higher than each other. Competition is within us. Why shouldn’t it be within our shops?
Not fostering a competitive nature is something I believe can hurt a shop, or any business for that matter. We, as leaders, need to make sure the competition is healthy and fun, however. We can not forget that every competition has two things: winners and losers. The competition itself needs to be fun that way whoever doesn’t come out on top still has good morale and is eager to improve.
To start having a competition we must first identify what it is we want to improve. Maybe CSI is faking and you’d like to improve it. Perhaps material cost is off the charts and you’d like to compare material usage between multiple technicians. Mayen cleanliness and organization has gone to the wayside and you’d like to tidy up. There are hundreds of ideas.
Once something is identified we must set the rules and criteria very clearly for all parties involved. There needs to be no grey area up to interpretation or it could spoil the competition. We want to accomplish X GOAL. We will do so by doing X, Y and Z. Accomplishing X GOAL will help us all because of CERTAIN OUTCOME.
Once the criteria is laid out then we must figure out how you’ll keep track. Maybe for CSI you compare scores for each technician out of a report. For material usage you may start by tracking cost with each technician and recording it on a white board. For cleanliness you could have a scorecard : 1 point for hose rolled up, 1 point for organized parts carts, 1 point for swept bay, 1 point for no tools laying around, 1 points for customers vehicles being protected, etc
Last, we must figure out the reward. Winning competition may feel good, but a free lunch, a tool truck gift card, a day off, or perhaps even just a better parking spot feels just as good if not better. Don’t forget to say good job and thank everyone through the process (and daily). It really goes farther than you expect.
A great example of how competition can improve a shop would be a CSI competition we held amongst our locations. Managers, office staff, production staff and detailer a all had questions for the CSI score we set aside for their position. We kept track by using a report in our management system. We shared everyone’s results with everyone, had monthly meetings to pass out gift cards and discuss opportunities and highlights, and if the shop was perfect they got a free lunch. Everyone loved it. We were getting phone calls on the first of the month “Where’s my money?!?!” “We want BBQ from up the street” “Tell the other shops the view from the top looks good!” Our survey volume, customer service, and morale all skyrocketed.
Competition in the workplace can really take a group of people and move the needle in the right direction. Employees feel like the upper management is engaged, they are trying to outperform themselves and each other, and goals get accomplished in a fun way.