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Why Should I Work for You?

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In The Trenches

We all know how hard it is to find new people for our businesses and for our collision repair industry. Many of us are working tirelessly on new recruitment and training initiatives. And in today’s world of great demand for staff we find that employees are more inclined to seek new opportunities or be swayed by enticing offers from other employers. It always happens when demand rises.     

But in today’s world, employer loyalty has diminished from what it used to be. I recently heard a report that some businesses consider a resume demonstrating long-term past employment to be less attractive than one that shows movement from one employer to another every four years or so. The logic is that the employee who stays in the same place many years has not experienced different business models and processes,  andtherefore may not be as well versed in approaching their work with an understanding of many different ways to do it.

I recall some years ago, a talented body technician switched his line of work and became an independent appraiser. He was later approached by an appraiser from a top-10 insurer. The insurer asked him to come to work for his large company, thinking he was offering quite the career advancement. The former body tech replied, “Why would I want to work for you? Everybody hates you. Why would I want them to hate me?” 

The point is, when people have multiple employment opportunities, they can be selective and choose the company they wish to work for. Some studies show that pay is often not the primary reason people choose a workplace. Of course, it’s very important, but often beyond that, people are seeking a level of fulfillment in their jobs. They want to feel important, part of a successful team. They want to be respected by coworkers and management. They want to feel successful. They want to win. They need a sense of accomplishment in their work, and feel that it really matters. 

The quality of an employee’s work environment is very important. And many people want a level of balance in their lives, allowing them personal time and family time. Just recently, as I was speaking to an estimator, who happened to be a millennial, he expressed concern that he would not be eligible for five weeks of annual paid vacation in the near future. Even though I couldn’t accommodate him at the time, he made his priorities and aspirations very apparent.

We’ve probably all seen examples of companies that coldly cut staff, that don’t respect loyalty, or continually and unrealistically raise performance expectations followed by an obvious diminishment of employee job satisfaction. At least it’s obvious to us on the outside. Then management wonders why it is so difficult to get new people.

Let me pose a few things for you to consider to help make your business an attractive place to work.

 

Communication

Does management talk to staff? Does the staff know how ownership and management feels and do they know the direction and motivation of the company? Or do they feel left out and less important? Are there regular meetings with ownership/management?

 

Regular performance reviews

Does the staff really know how they rank in terms of job performance? Are they accomplishing what is expected? Are they given an opportunity to discuss their perceptions and aspirations?

 

Benefit package

Is your package not only competitive but also in line with the needs and wishes of your staff? Do you know if time off is more important than more pay or other perks and benefits? How would your staff rank the importance of each benefit to them? Do you offer adequate insurance choices?

 

Work environment

Is it clean, safe, and healthy? Do you have adequate and well maintained equipment?  How about the culture? Do people treat each other with respect? Do your people want to come to work everyday? How do your people describe their workplace and its environment to their friends and relatives? Do your people recommend your business to potential applicants?

 

Ethics

Does your company not only talk about ethics, but demonstrate integrity in all situations? If staff sees management display a lower level of integrity when they think it won’t be noticed, they will have less trust in management. Less trust in management can lead to diminished loyalty and respect.

 

Education

Educating staff sends a message that you are serious about quality, not only in terms of workmanship but also in quality of staff. It demonstrates a philosophy of building for the future as you stay abreast of new technologies and processes. Knowledge is a competitive advantage. 

As much as we concern ourselves with new technologies, key performance indicators, profit and loss statements, and all the other cold aspects of business, it’s important to remind ourselves that we are essentially in the people business and just happen to fix cars. The latter depends on the former. 

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