Why Aren't My People More Productive?

As a coach and consultant, I hear a lot of shop owners discuss productivity. Mainly, they question, “Why aren’t my people more productive?” There are a lot of potential answers, although they almost always focus on your business’ processes rather than its people. Let’s take a look at that idea:

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If your people aren’t as productive as you believe they should be, it is more likely due to your process than it is your people. The average productivity in the Automotive Service and Repair Industry hovers around 72%. That loss costs the average shop tens of thousands of dollars in both productivity and profits.


The list of reasons for low productivity is a long one and for most businesses inefficient technicians is towards the bottom of the list, although unmotivated technicians may be higher up on the list for many shops. In fact, many employees are frustrated (and some have given up trying) because the processes of the business get in their way and hold them back from being the best that they can be.


On the list is: poor scheduling, delayed dispatch, inaccurate write-ups, and salespeople that are unable to get the appropriate amount of time for the job. These salespeople are often afraid to tell the client what it should really cost, not aware of the complications involved due to lack of communication with the technician, or they just don’t believe in your pricing and value. The list also includes unnecessary miscommunication eating up valuable tech and SA time, parts delays, ordering the wrong parts too often, inadequate estimating processes for both the technicians and the service advisors, lack of the correct education and tools, and more.

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Many owners and managers accept poor performance because they do not believe that it is possible to have employees that regularly perform at or above 100%. Yet there are many businesses that exceed 100% every month.


If you want to increase your productivity and your employee’s motivation, focus on the reasons that your productivity is low. And don’t forget to get your employees involved. Regularly spend time with them to identify processes that are inefficient. Let your employees help you come up with ways to improve these processes. Then implement the solutions identified by your staff one at a time. You’ll likely not only see your productivity rise, but your employees’ excitement as well. As your productivity rises, your profits will also increase allowing you to make more and to pay your employees more.


You will be surprised at what this will do for the culture and performance of your business. If you identify an employee (or employees) that refuse to work hard and be a part of your team after improving the processes and productivity, remove them so that the rest of your staff can be successful.

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It is our job as managers and owners to identify and remove obstacles so that employees can do their jobs correctly and efficiently. In many shops this step is missed, leading to poor performance and low profits. So why aren’t your people more productive?


Take some time today to consider the list provided and really watch your employees at work. Are they motivated? Are they frustrated by a certain process? Once you’ve identified the issue(s), start working with your staff to come up with solutions. You’ll be surprised at just how productive your team can be!


Have more questions about productivity or creating processes that benefit both the business and your employees? Send The Institute and email to set up some time to discuss where your business is at now and where you want it to be: info@wearetheinstitute.com. And check out our class on creating processes on GEAR.


Until next time,

Cecil Bullard

CEO of The Institute

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