Whenever you hire a new service employee, the standard procedure is to put them through new employee training. Even highly experienced technicians or seasoned service advisors have to go through a new hire orientation type of process. However, a simple training is not enough to develop valuable employees and retain them for long periods of time. Don’t train your new employees—educate them instead.
Employee training and education might sound like the same thing. However, a trained employee does not generally innovate or advocate for better processes. A trained employee will do what you teach them to do and that’s it. An educated employee is an industry expert that becomes a force in your service department.
Use these tips to help create and strengthen an educational employee environment.
Set a Clear Goal
Your employees will have a hard time fulfilling your service shop’s vision if they don’t know what it is. Educate your employees on your ultimate goals and relate your goals to the daily tasks that help fulfill them. Goals could include customer retention and increased revenue, which would translate to the daily tasks of creating an engaging environment for motorists and using innovative techniques to gain service recommendation approvals.
When your employees are part of your service department’s big picture goals, they’ll come up with new and better ways to achieve them.
Train during Tasks
Many people learn better through doing than hearing. Lectures and dull presentations have a place in employee training, but you should try and get new employees on the job as soon as possible. Your workers will have an easier time learning how to do a task if you show them how it’s done instead of tell them.
Along with putting your employees to work as soon as possible, you should assign more experienced mentors to be their guide as they learn how your service department works. Even experienced employees will appreciate a set resource point they can go to for tips and information on how your individual shop runs.
Optimize Specific Strengths
As you educate your employees, you’ll get to know their unique strengths and abilities. Part of educating over training is avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach to tasks and duties. Although you should focus on developing well-rounded employees, don’t ignore their individual talents. Let them play to their strengths and improve your shop in the process.
Promote an open door policy among your employees. Accept all questions, comments, and ideas, even if they seem obvious. If you discourage employee questions, you might quell a good idea before it has a chance to develop.
Educated employees will serve your service department more effectively and for longer than employees you simply “train.” Make everyone in your shop an industry expert and promote employee retention in the process.