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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 05 July 2022 15:41

3 Collision Repair Business Leaders Find Ways to Develop Positive Company Culture

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Montana shop owner Bruce Halcro said sponsorship of a youth hockey team has been good for team-building within his shop. Montana shop owner Bruce Halcro said sponsorship of a youth hockey team has been good for team-building within his shop.

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Three auto body shop owners spoke during the recent Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ Repairer Roundtable about their efforts to build a positive culture within their companies.

Bruce Halcro of Capital Collision Center in Helena, MT, said a change in pay plans was one step he took a few years ago.

 

“We were paying flat rate, and it created more divisiveness than anything,” Halcro said. “Everyone was doing their own thing and saying, ‘That’s not my job.’ So we switched everybody to hourly, working out a pay plan that got them as close as we could to the flat rate that they had.”

 

Halcro said he tries to get out to each technician’s work area every day to talk with them briefly.

 

“Sometimes it’s about the car they’re working on, but most of the time it’s about family,” he said. “I think that’s an important connection to have with employees. I think how you treat employees, showing them that you value them, really builds a culture.”

 

One thing Halcro said has surprised him was the impact on his company’s culture he’s seen from its sponsorship this past year of a youth hockey team.

 

“So we had our own section, a ‘Capital Collision section,’ at the games,” he said. “We actually hired a couple of the players to come in a couple hours a day, twice a week, to clean the shop, empty garbage. By the end of the year, almost our whole crew was going to these hockey games. By Wednesday, they all would be talking about who was going to the hockey game that Friday night. Honestly, that was one of the best team-building things that we’ve done, that’s been impactful for our youngest employees to some of our older ones.”

 

Ron Reichen, owner of Precision Body & Paint, which is opening its fifth location in Oregon this year, said part of developing his company’s culture involves having second-year students from a local community college collision industry training program spend their three-month co-op at one of his shops.

 

“We try to have them...


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