The Top Drawer: What's the Secret?

The Top Drawer: What’s the Secret?

TechShop Managing Editor Eric Garbe discusses the common topic of the technician shortage.

It’s all too common to hear that it’s hard to find good technicians. I can’t point fingers, lay blame or disagree because I’ve been the one shaking my head plenty of times both as a technician and as a shop owner.  

Of course, we all wish we could blame someone else for our problems, but who can we blame for this one? Is it the fault of the technicians that simply aren’t really good? Or are there individuals who have potential but don’t have the right mentor or leadership to improve? Maybe those of us who were fortunate to grow up with a role model who taught us our skills and encouraged our development are too quick to sideline those who didn’t have that luxury.

Is it the fault of experienced techs who can offer leadership? I have asked myself, could I have spent more time coaching the inexperienced and really helped them understand the things they had trouble with? The answer is yes, but in retrospect, at some shops I spent a lot of time doing this, at others, not so much. When management encourages a teamwork approach it’s a lot easier than when they are constantly breathing down your neck about getting the next job out the door, and when every last minute affects your paycheck.

So if neither of those, is it the shop’s fault? When you’re a shop owner and you’re the one paying the bills, it’s easy to think how efficiently you can do something and wonder why things are taking so long. It’s easy to have high expectations of someone, after all their resume looked good, and it’s even easier to forget there was a time when you were inexperienced.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are definitely individuals out there working in the field that can’t put a chain on a bike and I wouldn’t let them fill my washer fluid, but I recently got a viewpoint on the subject from a shop owner who seems to have a pipeline for good technicians.

Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll be releasing a series of profiles on local shops and our first one is in the April 2020 issue. TechShop hit the road and went on site to talk to Bill Hill, owner of Mighty Auto Pro in Medina, OH, and on top of a well-oiled operation, he has no trouble finding good technicians.

What’s his secret? For one, he invests heavily in their education and the result is an amazing team atmosphere and, simply put, tons of morale. Good news in this case spreads fast, and the best technicians from miles around make sure they keep in touch in the event a position opens up. 

There’s no blaming and no excuses, just good management and good technicians. Be sure to check out the complete shop profile HERE and a full video of our visit HERE.

Thanks for reading TechShop

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