By Bob Cooper
Many management trainers will say if you want to increase the productivity of your techs, it’s not difficult at all. They’ll go on to say all that you need to do is buy a whiteboard, put it up where all your employees can see it, and then at the end of each day post the hours flagged by each tech. By using this approach, at the end of the week all of your techs can see how they did, and their competitive nature will make them work that much harder.
Will this process work? It certainly will. The shops that follow this path will always report that it creates a fire in each of their employees, and their overall productivity skyrockets. Unfortunately, within just a few months these same shop owners see their productivity, and the morale of their employees, go into a freefall. Although their intentions were good, they overlooked two key components in human behavior. One; no two people are ever exactly alike, and two; no one likes to lose. Consider this….
Since your techs are all going to have different talents, different skill-sets, and different levels of experience, it’s safe to say that going into the contest you are going to have some techs who are more than likely going to win. Not because of their ambition, but because they have more experience. Accordingly, at the end of the first week the winner will more than likely be the tech who you expected to win, and the one with the lowest score will more than likely be the one you expected to fill that slot as well. What you will more than likely then see occur over the next few weeks is a pattern develop where you will see one or two techs that are consistently at the top. That in itself is really bad news, and here’s why.
When you have one or two techs who are consistently at the top week after week, what you really have is one or two “winners”, and the rest of your techs will feel like losers. This is when their morale evaporates, they give up, and your productivity tanks. The solution? Create an environment where each and every one of your techs can be winners, (or losers if they don’t try). Here’s how you do it….
Instead of having your techs compete against one another, you need to have them compete against themselves. You can do this by setting individual productivity goals for each tech based on their skill-set, their experience, etc. For example, you may set an efficiency goal for one tech at 100% because they are still developing their skills, while setting an efficiency goal of 130% for your more experienced techs. By taking this approach each of your technicians will be competing against themselves, and at the end of the day/week/month they may all have won by reaching their goals, rather than having just one winner, and the others feeling like their hard work and effort never pays off. With this approach you can still post the whiteboard for all to see, and all your techs will know the only thing that can prevent them from being successful during the upcoming pay period, is themselves. This really is a “win/win” for all.
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