Raising the Bar: Your Guide to Creating a Great Auto Shop Culture

Raising the Bar: Your Guide to Creating a Great Shop Culture by Chris Cotton, AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching. Image of a smiling woman with a slightly old man in the background, working under the hood of a car.

If you want to raise the bar and always push your auto repair shop to the next level, you must create an excellent shop culture. Otherwise, you won’t get consistent results as you promote the growth of your first shop and then successfully open a second, third, and more. 

Furthermore, you’ll struggle to get to the point where you can walk away from the day-to-day and let your business keep moving forward.

So, to pave the way for your future success, it’s wise to start early in establishing an excellent auto repair shop culture.

Wondering just how to do that? Use this guide to learn how to put down the framework.

What Does Shop Culture Mean Anyway?

Shop culture effectively serves as the invisible hand that helps shape your team’s behavior. With a great culture established, your employees will know just what to do even if they don’t have a system or processes to follow. 

As a result, their efforts will perfectly align with your approach, ensuring that your business keeps running as expected.

It All Starts with You – Top 7 Leadership Habits to Employ

The creation of a winning shop culture starts with you. After all, your employees look up to you on how to fulfill their roles and behave on the job. 

To ensure they get the right idea, simply employ the seven following leadership habits in your everyday life.

1. Make It a Point to Be on Time – All the Time

You must always show up on time—all the time—to show your integrity and make accountability a vital part of your shop culture. Otherwise, your team may not view timeliness as crucial to your operations or take your admonishments seriously.

2. Meet Your Deadlines and Take Responsibility If You Can’t

Your example makes a difference, so don’t just show up on time. Complete your work on time, too. If things simply don’t go your way, take responsibility for failing to meet your deadlines.

3. Clarify All Actions and Deliverables Always

Communication is key in creating an excellent shop culture, so clarify all actions and deliverables as they’re assigned. Start by letting each party know what tasks you expect them to get done. Then, confirm that each person knows what they need to do and by when.

4. Simply Say No When You Cannot Commit

It would be best to say no if you cannot commit. This way, you avoid lowering the bar for accountability in your company by missing a phantom deliverable. Use clean communication methods to define your exact deliverables clearly, and then give a hard no for what you cannot do.

5. Aim to Close the Accountability Loop

As you meet commitments, it’s essential to close the accountability loop. To do that, simply let the recipient know that you’ve completed their tasks as assigned and by the deadline.

6. Empower Employees to Make Decisions and Coach Each Other

If you want your company to run like a top without you even there, you need to empower employees to make decisions on their own. 

To make that happen, ask open-ended questions, like: “What do you think is really going on here?” and “What do you believe is the best way to proceed?” You’re effectively teaching them to coach each other, too, as you do that.

7. Never Fail to Go Big on Celebrating All Wins

Celebrate all wins to keep your employees reaching for the stars. Don’t pair your accolades with ideas on how to keep improving, either. Make the celebrations feel truly special by letting the praise simmer.

By putting your all into improving your leadership qualities, it’s possible to create a positive shop culture for all your employees to enjoy. They’ll soon emulate your approach to leadership, building a team that can stand on its own whenever the situation calls for it.

Other Ways to Help Your Employees Reach Great Heights

Although good leadership is vital to building an excellent shop culture, you also need to focus on supporting your employees. 

Here are several ways to encourage them to be their best every day.

  • Ask for Innovative Ideas: Let your team know you value their contributions and input by asking for innovative ideas. Challenge them to develop actionable solutions or potential improvements that align with your business strategy and customer needs.
  • Point to High Performing Peers: Use high-performing peers in the auto repair industry as examples of what you want to see in your team. Let your employees see the leaders in the industry in action by sending them to conferences and other special events.
  • Set Goals and Track Results: Encourage your employees to compete with themselves by setting clearly defined goals. Then, track their results, celebrate their wins, and create new goals that keep them improving their approach.
  • Correct Bad Workplace Behavior: Hold all employees accountable for their bad behavior to eliminate problem areas and keep the team on the same page. Remember to set your standards first, then have clear-cut repercussions for going against company policy.
  • Invest in Professional Training: If you invest in your employees, they’ll put their all into supporting your company’s success. So, set aside both time and money for professional training, encouraging them to make their career development a top priority.

Beyond all these, aim to boost your own performance on the job. Don’t let your skills fall to the wayside. Take classes, attend conferences, and get auto repair shop coaching, so you can keep improving.

Then work alongside your employees to truly see what your auto repair shop needs. Your understanding of what your team faces day in and day out in running your shop will improve. 

You can then use your newfound knowledge to creatively solve problems and keep pushing the success of your business to new heights.

Raising the Bar: Your Guide to Creating a Great Shop Culture by Chris Cotton, AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching. Image of Chris Cotton having a bonding time with a few friends in the auto shop industry.

Want Help Creating a Great Auto Shop Culture? Call Today

As with all the hard work to create a successful auto repair business, building an excellent shop culture can prove challenging. 

Fortunately, whenever you need help on the journey, you can turn to Chris Cotton at AutoFix Auto Shop Coaching. As your auto shop coaching expert, Chris will give you the guidance and support you need to achieve all your goals.

So, fill out this form or call 940-400-1008 whenever you need advice on how to best proceed. In the meantime, tune into the Weekly Blitz with Chris Cotton podcast to get tons of timely info on how to help your company grow and thrive.

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