"Some shop managers think they don't have enough time to talk to their employees, but it's an important part of creating a positive climate, so finding the time is essential," Dr. Friedman said. "Being nice to your people isn't difficult, but you also have to know when to be direct, and that way you'll gain their respect and keep them onboard."
Create a Wall of Fame
I have been to a few shops where they have photos of their employees on the wall in the reception area honoring them for their best work and other achievements, such as passing a training program. People appreciate being appreciated, and it's something easy to do. Your customers can also then see that you value their work, which creates a sense of security in the consumers' eyes.
“This is a great idea because everyone wants credit for doing a good job," Dr. Friedman said. "It might also be nice to let employees put up notes, emails and other things they get from happy customers. They are the ‘real’ fans. It makes employees feel good as well, seeing the accolades they created."
Special Days Off
It may not sound like much, but allowing your employees to leave early on birthdays and anniversaries is a sure way to win hearts and thereby increase productivity. Also, many shop managers give their people "mental health" days off and will accommodate things such as doctor's appointments, visits to the DMV and other tasks that require time off. Another solution that works at many shops is offering flexible hours, as long as it does not negatively impact their production. Some employees will take advantage of this system, so managers need to monitor this approach carefully.
"Some shops have reported that closing an hour early is as important as a day off," Dr. Friedman said. "That’s an easy one and your employees will appreciate it, especially if they have a long commute."