Your Employees Are Not Expendable - Tire Review Magazine

Your Employees Are Not Expendable

This article has a strange title, right? Your employees aren’t like a faucet. My dad always used to say that. It wasn’t a concept I grasped immediately early in my career. However, I’ve come to realize how truly important it is. As the decision maker in your shop, there are many levers and knobs you can turn to try to get different results and metrics. However, your workforce should not be one of them.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t come up with the best possible strategic vision and pay plan for your shop – because you should. However, what you should not do is act like your employees or their livelihoods are expendable.

Employees are not a new piece of equipment that you can toy with. Your employees should not and can not be turned off and on again at your will. It’s an unfortunate truth that some shop owners and companies feel they can do precisely that. And I’m not just referring to the auto body industry either.

A Party and a Gold Ring
When my grandfather retired from the City of Philadelphia in 1970, he was given a pension, a party and a gold ring that I still have. Try getting one of those things today!

We’re all aware that the world we live in today is very different. There is no pension or gold rings waiting for you at the end of your career rainbow anymore. Today, it’s up to the employee to fend for themselves and make the best moves for their careers.

For some people, this unfortunately means having no loyalty or scruples and not even being thoughtful enough to give their employer two weeks notice anymore. Equally troubling is that some managers and business owners have taken this climate to the next level and used it as an excuse to treat people as expendable commodities that serve only as a means to an end. It seems only to be getting worse as the cycle continually feeds off itself. Some employers don’t feel the need to appreciate and protect their employees, and some employees have no loyalty or appreciation for the company they work for. But it doesn’t need to be this way.

Both Sides
I’ve been blessed in my career to have been both an owner and an employee. I’ve been a rookie and a top-level regional manager responsible for 75 people. The greatest successes of my career have resulted from holding myself highly accountable for my employees’ success. Furthermore, I knew I could not succeed without my team and helping them to succeed first. The captain of a ship can’t go anywhere without his crew’s help. Likewise, no one in a body shop or any other business can succeed without the team’s help. As a leader and manager, I’ve always taken my crew – my team, my people – very seriously. They were and are my “guys,” and it was my job to protect and defend them and remove all roadblocks so they could do their jobs. You can’t expect anyone to follow you if you don’t earn their respect. I don’t care what your business cards says, the crew will know if you’re a real leader or not.

If you expect loyalty from others, you must show them that they have yours first.

I recently started a new position with a new company and found myself addressing a new group for the first time in nine years. The first thing I told them was that they didn’t know me yet, but that in time they would. For now, I told them to watch my actions and take me at my word. I needed to prove and show them what kind of leader I am. I didn’t demand respect because the owner hired me. I didn’t think I had it coming to me because of the title on my business card. I’m their leader because I intend to earn their trust and respect and because I care.

Show Them
If you expect trust and devotion from your employees, then you must first show them that they have your trust and devotion. Show them that you’re committed to their success and that you’re prepared to do what it takes for them. This, of course, is a two-way street, and I demand the upmost from my employees and set the bar high. In return, they get my upmost and I set the bar high for myself, too.


You May Also Like

Consider Software Solutions to Streamline Operations

Representatives from several software providers share how solutions drive efficiency and profitability, as well as what to look for when considering a system in your shop.


When it comes to operating a successful tire dealership, software systems have become a necessity. Not only do they streamline the point-of-sale process and daily operations, but today’s software packages also offer solutions for customer communication, inventory, service writing and more.

We spoke with representatives from several software providers, who shared how these solutions drive efficiency and profitability, as well as what to look for when considering a system for your shop.

How Data, Analytics Can Boost Profitability for Tire Retailers

By collecting and analyzing data about a dealer’s sales history, inventory levels and market demand, data and analytics platforms can analyze the performance of each dealer’s store and recommend actionable improvement opportunities.

How to Start the PPP Loan Payback Process

For many PPP loan recipients, it is time to start the repayment process—or file for PPP loan forgiveness. Read on to find out which portion of your loan may be forgivable and how to apply for forgiveness, as well as how to start the repayment process.

Creating a Positive Work Environment

Larry Sutton of RNR Tire Express shares seven different practices that have helped him create a positive work environment.

Using Data to Enrich the Customer Experience

Attaching data or a number to a vehicle’s service record adds a level of transparency to the discussion, and moves it from an “opinionated upsell” to a true, fact-based service need.

Coats Tread Depth Data

Other Posts

Microlearning Makes the Tire Industry Smarter, More Profitable

Microlearning modules can be customized to company and team member needs, where participants can learn through their own experiences and at their own pace.

Setting Up for Success: The Importance of Onboarding New Employees

Onboarding serves to not only give a new employee practical information that they will need in the job, but having that information gives them confidence as they start out in their new position.

Online Reputation Management

Eighty-eight percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

Loaner Vehicles: Drive Revenue, Customer Satisfaction

If managed efficiently, loaner vehicles can impact your business in many positive ways leading to higher sustained revenue.