5 min

Morale Boosting At Auto Repair Shops: How To Overcome The Biggest Industry Challenge

Find out how to boost morale at work, what makes mechanics quit, and ways to keep them engaged and loyal.

Table of Contents

Support Personal Growth
Be Transparent With Salaries
Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment
Show Your Mechanics You Value Their Skills and Knowledge
Encouraging Your Team to Stay Healthy
Final Thoughts

The auto repair industry is known for its fast-paced and high-pressure nature. Technicians and staff often face tight deadlines and complex customer demands, quickly leading to burnout and low morale. However, maintaining high morale is crucial for the success of any repair business, as it directly impacts customer satisfaction and the quality of work performed. But how can shop owners overcome this challenge and create a positive work environment?

This article highlights potential areas of improvement at workplace and provides practical tips and strategies for boosting morale of employees and motivating them to deliver the best work and service in the long run.

Support Personal Growth

Vehicles are getting complicated at a cosmic speed, and your technicians must keep their skills and knowledge up to date. At the same time, it is also vital for the future of your car repair shop.

But sometimes, persuading employees to attend additional training takes time and effort. There are various reasons, but the most common is a lack of budget. Required certifications and a personal toolbox that every mechanic should acquire right from the career start are already decent investments that will only start paying off in years. So, if you, as an employer, don’t support your mechanics with an educational fund, they will get stuck on a certain level of expertise without challenges and new skills.

Pro Tip: Create a personal development plan for each employee. Identify the skills that a mechanic has to master to raise their rates and get better wages. This proven way of improving work performance will ensure both expertise growth and more enthusiasm at work. You can also involve your most experienced techs to mentor and train others for some compensation.

Be Transparent With Salaries

One thing that triggers low work morale is when mechanics feel like they produce more billable hours than are paid for. That might not be 100% true all the time, but the message is clear: employees need to understand how their salary is calculated and trust the people they work for. Wage theft and the overall pay decline are painful topics in the auto industry that you, as an employer, cannot just ignore.

Pro Tip: Put a system in place that is easy to check and follow. For mechanics, such a system should be completely transparent so they can see how their work orders are processed and what amount they will get in their paychecks. For you as a business owner, it is an important task to find a technical solution that automates the payroll process as it will save you and your entire team lots of time as well as provide the needed level of transparency for higher employee morale.

To avoid getting lost in the tedious calculations, set up automatic payroll in your business management system. In Orderry auto repair shop software, eight flexible payroll scenarios suit hourly or piece-rate pay models. As it operates in the cloud, everyone in your shop can see real-time data about work orders, sales, and profits. In the personal employee balance, they will find relevant payroll information to track what they are paid for.

Screenshot of the payroll settings in Orderry

Orderry helps auto repair shops make employees happy and customers satisfied

Another good team morale booster is adding commissions for your best performers to payroll computing. Give rewards for fast work order processing, urgent job closing, selling a particular product or part, and providing excellent customer service to raise standards and incentivize employees. And Orderry will automatically add commissions, bonuses, and penalties to the payroll calculation.

Setting up employee compensations in Orderry

Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Being a mechanic is hard work in itself, but doing it in difficult working conditions makes this profession so much more unattractive. If you look for forums where people discuss why mechanics quit their jobs, you’ll often read about an unhealthy and depressing environment they had to work in: “In the winter, I work in the cold, in the summer in the heat.” Such conditions won’t attract good technicians and will harm employee spirits.

Pro Tip: Provide a workspace that is comfortable all seasons long, with good ventilation and restrooms. Make the inventory of parts and tools easily accessible and with a sound navigation system so your techs can quickly find everything they need to do the job.

See live how easy it is to manage inventory in Orderry

Show Your Mechanics You Value Their Skills and Knowledge

Another reason why mechanics leave a shop or even change their career path fundamentally because they feel not being appreciated. 

Their passion is fixing cars and solving complex technical problems; they like doing that. Sometimes, they even put in extra effort and time to find the best solution. But if their work and skills are taken for granted without a “thank you,” that demotivates even the most passionate car mechanic.

Pro Tip: Appreciation is a powerful morale boost that makes your team feel relevant: from simply thanking frequently and paying attention to every accomplishment to monetary and not monetary incentives.

Acknowledge your techs for good work with an “employee of the month” program, gift certificates, additional vacation days, new cool tools, etc. Develop a salary-growing system based on the level of seniority and experience so your mechanics feel they are paid reasonably. For instance, you can set up a coefficient in Orderry payroll settings for each employee, and the program will multiply the standard reward value by the specified number.

Screenshot of Coefficient settings in Orderry

Encouraging Your Team to Stay Healthy

There are some hectic days in auto repair shops when mechanics just can’t find time to have a balanced meal, preferring a snack like a sandwich or a doughnut on the go. That could become a bad habit and, in the long run, lead to health problems and make people less productive.

Pro Tip. Show your techs you care for their well-being by providing quiet restrooms with healthy snacks like fruits and protein bars. Set a “taking breaks” rule and create a lunchtime schedule if needed, making it a part of your company culture.

Final Thoughts

People that work in your shop are your most valuable asset, especially those who are skilled and experienced professionals. Show them you highly value what they do for your business, invest in their growth, care for working conditions, and support healthy habits. This way, you will build a highly moral team and create a working environment to attract and retain the best talents.

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