Fix Auto Tempe Finds 4-Day Workweek Improves Employee Retention

The shop's staff love having an extra day off every week, and return to work Monday refreshed and ready to go.

Fix-Auto-Tempe-AZ-four-day-workweek
At Fix Auto Tempe, morale is at an all-time high after putting the new work structure in place.

A year and a half ago, Stephen Bozer and Shane Orlando, owners of Fix Auto Tempe in Tempe, AZ, evaluated the idea of implementing a four-day workweek after hearing about a shop in Northern California having a positive experience with the structure.

“We wanted to create a better work environment for team members and differentiate ourselves from other employers in the marketplace,” said Bozer.
He and the facility manager, Jennifer McKinney, presented the idea to their production staff and received full support.

“Most technicians absolutely loved the idea,” recalled Bozer.

They considered two options: splitting the week and creating two teams or having all employees work one less day for longer hours. Ultimately, they opted for the four-day workweek to keep everyone on the same schedule, except for one technician who still works the standard five-day week, eight hours per day.

The remaining employees work Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break.

Before making the switch, management created a production target with the team over 60 days to validate the actual sales output capability with the standard work schedule.

“That became the baseline,” he said. “The staff was very motivated to make sure that we maintained, if not improved, production.”

They also set revenue goals to maintain sales based on historical output with a small reach goal. After successfully achieving that target, the shop implemented the four-day week.

“It has been going great,” said Bozer. “Employees, for the most part, love the new structure.”

Being open one less day a week has resulted in production efficiencies. The shop has consistently maintained production targets due to the shift in hours, as well as some changes made to the shop floor to maximize space.

Bozer has found customers are generally receptive to the idea because they can pick up their vehicles after work more easily due to the later hours.
Usually, there is someone in the shop on Fridays to answer calls and arrange for customers to pick up vehicles on request.

Since the change, Bozer said they have had zero technician turnover.

“Employee retention is key,” he said. “When we lose somebody, it’s very disruptive to our business but if we keep everyone, we’re in our rhythm.”

He has noticed their job postings receive solid responses since implementing the new structure, especially when he mentions the four-day workweek.

“We have the pick of the local talent due to a three-day and sometimes four-day weekend along with top competitive pay,” he said. “It’s a huge selling tool.”

Other benefits include no cost to make the change and team members spend less time and gas commuting to work.

Overall, morale at the shop is at an all-time high.

Bozer said he enjoys walking around the shop on Thursdays and asking if employees are ready for the weekend.

“People are energized and happy because they know they have a three-day weekend coming up,” he said.

He often refers to the extra time off as a “Goldilocks Day.” Saturdays are usually a catch-up day in a typical five-day week, and Sundays are spent getting ready for the next week. The extra day off -- Goldilocks Day -- provides some real time off.

“You have this day right in the middle, and it’s pretty amazing,” he said. “They return refreshed on Mondays and generally seem to be in a better mood, which is wonderful.”

Stacey Phillips Ronak

Columnist
Stacey Phillips Ronak is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry and a regular columnist for Autobody News based in Southern California.

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