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Business and Management

Creating Team Spirit In Your Shop

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Here are six easy steps that will not only help you create team spirit,
but will help you build a more profitable, successful business at the same time.

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Step #1. Know your responsibilities. Team
spirit will always start with you: the business owner. As an owner,
it’s your responsibility to set the goals of the company, to create the
plan, to hire the superstars, to bring out the best in your people and
to ensure the success of the company. By having clearly defined goals
for your company, it will not only keep you ­focused and motivated, but
will help keep your entire team ­focused and motivated as well.

Step #2. Define your mission. Please
don’t confuse your mission with your goals. Your “goals” are your
objectives, whereas your “mission” is the reason for your goals. Over
the years, I’ve discovered that when the people who work with me
understand the mission of our company, they are far more committed to
the goals. A Mission Statement for an auto repair shop may read
something like this: “It is the mission of Elite Auto Service to provide
extraordinary service to our customers, a safe and enjoyable workplace
for our employees, and an ethical environment that creates ­opportunity
for all.”

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Once you have defined your ­Mission Statement, you should share it with
your entire team, post it in your customer waiting area and incorporate
it into the communications you have with your employees. If you haven’t
drafted one yet, you may want to ­consider input from your ­entire team.

Step #3. Hire the stars. Here at Elite we strongly
believe that business owners need to hire for attitude, aptitude and
ethics. As I’m sure you’ll agree, you’ll have a hard time creating team
spirit if you have ­employees who don’t truly enjoy what they are doing,
and who are not 100% committed to customer satisfaction.

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Step #4. Have the right compensation programs in place.
You need to have compensation programs that at least, in part, are
based on overall shop productivity, otherwise everyone will focus on
their own success rather than the common goals. You should also avoid
having your employees compete against one another.

­Although some management companies encourage shop owners to do so (to
the point of posting the billable hours of each tech), we feel
otherwise.

If you have your employees compete against one another, you’ll
inevitably have one winner, and the rest will view themselves as losers.
As you can imagine, after a few weeks you will notice an erosion of
morale, and that your employees have little interest in helping one
another.

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What you should do is have each employee compete against themselves by
setting individual productivity goals that are based on their
experience, their skill levels and the opportunities that you provide to
them. This way they can all be winners.

Step #5. Provide consistent communication. At Elite, we
encourage all of our coaching clients to perform one-on-ones with each
employee, where they can learn about their goals. We also encourage our
clients to have regularly scheduled employee meetings where they discuss
the goals of the company, the Mission Statement, and any positive
comments from their customers that will support the Mission Statement
and fuel team spirit.

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Step #6. Feed the hearts of your employees as well as their stomachs.
The more you catch your people doing things right and the more you give
them positive reinforcement and praise, the happier they will be.

Combine this with clearly defined goals, a well-defined Mission
Statement that your employees can ­embrace, the right incentives, and
consistent communication, and you will then have my promise: Not only
will you be creating team spirit, but you will also be building a more
­successful auto ­repair business.

For the last 20 years, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite Worldwide, Inc. (www.EliteWorldwideStore.com),
offering shop owners sales, marketing and employee management audio
training courses available for instant download. The company also offers
coaching and service advisor training services. You can contact Bob at [email protected], or by calling 800-204-3548.

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