But let’s not be heartless in the process of sending the skills-lacking, lazy schmucks packing. No reason to humiliate anyone, but it does make sense to identify an individual’s shortcomings, set 30-day deadlines for improvement and let go those who are on their fifth “second chance.”
New hires should be brought onboard at least two months prior to the ramp up of next season so you can assess their performance and condition them to your culture.
Transforming the culture of a Service department is no easy task; you’re talking about changing human behavior here. It’s probably easier to change a spark plug in a running motor.
One strategy that gets results in changing workplace culture for the better is to improve communication. It starts with daily manager meetings and continues with department huddles every morning. I’ve been writing about morning huddles for years now, although most dealerships still aren’t doing them. I guarantee that if you get in the habit of holding 10-minute huddles with the Service staff every morning to discuss the ROs for the day, the carryover work, parts-ordered status and to share tips between techs you will at the least reduce the crap that falls through the cracks.
More importantly, routine meetings strengthen personal relationships. Communication is the hub that turns the wheels of progress. Give it a spin when business is slow and maintain the momentum when that springtime rush hits.
This story originally appeared in the November 2012 issue of Dealernews