The 2020 FenderBender Awards: Daniel Trapp
It takes a special manager to have employees pack up their homes and move their families 90 miles just to keep working with them. The fact that seven employees voluntarily moved from Virginia Beach to Richmond, Virginia, is a testament to Daniel Trapp’s leadership, integrity, and relationship with his employees.
Trapp, director of collision at Loyalty Collision, managed to turn a failing shop’s sales and reputation around–increasing productivity and business by 30 percent in just two years, and doubling sales from $5 million to $10 million in six years.
One of the keys to this turn-around, Trapp says, is consistency. Previously, Loyalty Collision went through seven managers in eight years, creating lots of confusing turnover and mixed messages sent to employees, customers and insurance partners. Instilling stability in the workplace helped Trapp form deeper relationships with his employees, and gain the trust of customers and insurance, even repairing a broken relationship with Geico in the process.
But Trapp believes the most important element that led to his success was building an empowering and trusting relationship with his employees. By always caring for and showing respect for his employees, Trapp has kept the turnaround rate low, and created trust in the relationship.
”Just treating everybody as part of the team. I think it's gone a long way to getting people to return,” says Trapp.
His employees admire his dedication to promoting from within, which has helped to change the culture at Loyalty Collision to be more productive.
Current collision manager, Bryan Nuhn, started as a technician and worked his way up to his current position, with the encouragement of Trapp, and his commitment to providing his employees with the training and support they need to move up in the industry.
“He empowers his people, me being one of them, to take the ball and run with it,” says Nuhn.
Trapp attributes his shop’s success to the relationships he has built with his employees. It has created a more positive work environment, where employees feel their needs are being met.
”I think having the buy in from the employees and them feeling like they have a voice is the most important thing,” says Trapp. “You know anyone could promise your money and benefits, I don't think everyone takes into account what the employees want to see happen, what's best, and what issues they can see.”