Creating More Efficient Team Communication

Creating More Efficient Team Communication

Great relationships require trust and you establish that trust by listening and communicating with your team.

Communication is essential to the success of any auto shop. The ability of shopowners and their mechanics to communicate with each other and the customers affects your shop’s reputation which directly affects your bottom line. Auto shops with strong communication are profitable because they create better customer relations and help you and your team find and eliminate bad processes before they happen.

Prove you care about employee growth

The best way to improve team communication is for you and your team to get to know each other. Look in on employees to see how they are doing at the shop as well as at home. The number of times you check in is dependent on how large your auto shop is. However, both large and small shop owners should have an active interest in the growth of their mechanics. Small auto shops should meet with employees weekly. Large auto shop owners should meet individually with their mechanics once a month. 

Meetings are the best way to get to know your mechanics. Meetings will help you learn your team member’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as help you both learn how to improve the employee and owner relationship.

Your mechanics are your most valuable asset so take the time to speak with them and know them better. These meetings take very little of your overall time but are a huge boon to your efficiency. Meetings must establish clear expectations for improvement at your shop and how well everyone did at meeting those expectations set at the previous set at the previous meeting.

More importantly, these meetings are a time to establish a personal connection with your mechanics. Remembering a birthday or bringing up a big life event in an employee’s life can go a long way in showing that you care about your employee’s growth professionally and personally. 

Productive individual meetings with your mechanics will help them improve as employees and people.

All shopowners should require team meetings. Team meetings should occur once a week at small companies and once a month at larger companies. Large companies can have smaller teams do team meetings once per week, but whole team meetings will occur each month. 

 The point of team meetings is colleague accountability. Both you and your mechanics have goals and both of you are responsible for holding each other accountable. You and your team must know how everyone is performing and how they can help each other meet those expectations. Team accountability means that successes are more likely to be recorded and mistakes are found and fixed.

Mechanics should be involved and engaged during these meetings and asking questions should be strongly encouraged. Get the whole team involved by posing questions to team members who have not contributed. Meetings must foster a safe and intellectual environment. Everyone should feel comfortable talking and no one should be treated poorly for incorrect statements.  

An auto shop with efficient communication must have an environment that fosters team members speaking their minds constructively and respectfully. 

More than words

Verbal communication is the least used form of communication. Effective auto shop owners and employees use more than words by practicing active body language. 

When your mechanics interact with customers they should give direct eye contact, stand up straight, and give off an upbeat and attentive attitude. Customers want to work with mechanics who want to work with them. Who seems like they care about fixing their car. They don’t want to work with people who seem annoyed that they have to work on another car. 

More importantly, owners should practice strong verbal communication in the form of listening to their employees. Good mechanics stay when they feel like they are being listened to and their suggestions and concerns are earnestly considered. Greate leaders don’t just bark orders at their team. Great leaders listen and lean on the knowledge of their most trusted mechanics. 

Two-way radios are an essential tool for auto mechanics

Sometimes the process isn’t the issue but a lack of tools. Buying the proper communication equipment is an essential step in improving the communication process. Two-way radios are the perfect tool for any auto shop to create more efficient communication. 

Two-way radios provide mechanics and the front-of-house instant communication with the push of a button. Mechanics can talk with other mechanics or send a message to the front of office instantly with the push of a button. This means there is no time wasted looking for the person you need to talk to. Push a button and get a response. If a mechanic needs to confirm you have a certain part in the back you can send that person a quick message and get your questions answered instantly.

Stewart McClintic, Owner of two-way radio retailer HQ98.com in Scottsdale Arizona said two-way radios are a reliable tool for auto shop workers. 

“Mechanics love to use two-way radios because they have a simple setup and use,” McClintic said. “Push a button and get your message out to your whole auto team. You don’t have to leave a workstation to ask a question or make an announcement.” 

Using two-way radios is a great way to improve team communication. 

Successful auto shop owners know that good relationships create successful repair shops. Great relationships with mechanics require trust and you establish that trust by listening and communicating with your team. Your shop will grow if you improve team communication. 

John Waters is the Principal of Waters Business Consulting Group in Scottsdale Arizona. Waters and his team are experts in helping contractors create plans to grow and scale their businesses.  

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