The coronavirus pandemic has generated headlines nationwide for the lasting impact it’s left, in one form or another, on seemingly every industry in the global market. And while a great deal of progress has been made in revitalizing our cities and communities, there are a variety of economic challenges that are only becoming increasingly exacerbated – namely, especially as it pertains to the automotive industry, staffing shortages and employee retention dilemmas.
Employees of the American automotive industry have been put through the ringer, so to speak. A reality that has proven even truer in these most recent months with the global chip shortage, supply chain inadequacies and growing rubber scarcity. As such, attracting new employees has rarely been so difficult for many companies, and keeping those that remain on board has become a trying ordeal.
So, how is it that automotive repair shops and tire dealers can stave off this mass exodus of team members? Well, as the CEO/Founder of RNR Tire Express, I have a few tips that I believe my industry colleagues, as well as business executives across industries, should heed to do just that.
Providing Corporate Transparency
An employee’s relationship with the company they work for follows many of the same principles as their relationships outside of the workplace. Just as one expects honesty and integrity from those closest in their lives, they expect it from the heads of businesses to whom they’ve devoted a substantial degree of their daily, weekly and lifelong existence. It’s that commitment to openness, that commitment to top-down transparency that connects a team to their duties through thick and thin, rather than ready to jump ship at the first sign of trouble.
From a business standpoint, this means ensuring that all employees are kept fully informed and always made aware of the company’s current standing, challenges it’s facing and future plans. This is especially true in today’s business climate, where tire dealers and aftermarket repair shops are grappling with the technician shortage and employees seeking calmer waters. Understanding the path toward resurgence is crucial in helping your people to feel invested in the business and not kept in the dark on what’s going on around them.
Creating Open Lines of Communication
Communication is a two-way street. When employers are fully transparent with their staff, odds are the staff will be fully transparent with them in return. But transparency is only one side of the coin. Employers need to ensure that their teams are aware of and comfortable with the open lines of communication that the company has instituted. After all, if the staff is uninformed on where to direct their questions, comments and/or concerns, then their needs will go unnoticed. Giving them the impression that their employer affords no credit to their views or hard labor will effectively entice them to take their employment somewhere else where their input will be valued.
Employees are far more likely to retain loyalty for and stick with a company that welcomes and listens to everyone’s thoughts and suggestions. Whether they be good, bad or wholly unrelated to work. Abiding by this principle is all the more important when times are tough, such as with the “mass exodus” of talent that tire retailers and repair shops are witnessing today. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that employees feel such companies have their back through thick and thin. Otherwise, they may not have the company’s for very much longer.
Cultivating Company Culture
Competition continues to ramp up as auto repair shops, tire dealers and car dealerships throughout the country compete for top talent. Some have formulated and implemented cultural personas unique to their brand alone. In essence, it’s the business world’s way of showing prospective team members that the days of bloated corporate bureaucracy are gone, or at least better hidden. For many, what’s taken over are workplaces that current and new employees want to be at and work in. These businesses have transformed to be passionate about providing customers with quality automotive care, make it their staff’s mission to do so, allowing it to be more than a job. But not all companies have followed suit, and some have been paying the price.
More employees are jumping ship than ever before in search of positions that more closely align with their personalities and desired work environment. Positions that instill them with the desire to stick around for the long haul, rather than biding their time to make an exit. More still, a company’s culture is the face it shows to the general public. So, not only is culture critical in attracting and retaining employees, but it is also key in attracting and retaining customers. It’s the umbrella under which all other company characteristics fall, making it the hardest aspect to convey and key in holding off the “mass exodus.”