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Another way of looking at shop equipment needs
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 1/12/2016 11 Replies

I see a lot of shop owners on here discussing tool and equipment needs on the various forums, and it seems like the main decision making factors are ROI and direct effect on productivity. I have been doing some research for a project that brings another factor to the table, employee engagement.

Research has show when employees get frustrated about working conditions, lack of proper equipment, or equipment in disrepair they become disengaged. Now there are many factors that can cause an employee to become disengaged, regardless of the reason a disengaged employee will be less productive, more likely to become injured and more likely to steal from you.

An employee who becomes frustrated about lack of equipment is actually a great employee that has fallen prey to bad management. This is an employee who has the desire to do his or her best at work, but becomes frustrated with the working conditions. Research shows that these employees end up having family problems due to lack of equipment at work, they are frustrated after they leave the shop and it's evident to their family. Anxiety levels rise the minute these employees wake up in the morning on a work day. Eventually this employee will leave your company, and turnover can be very costly, especially for technicians.

It is important to meet with all employees regularly to listen to their needs. Nothing needs to change overnight, slow improvements will keep the employees happy and engaged. Also remember your employees are subject matter experts, they know better than anyone what your company needs.

I just wanted to bring some awareness to this, and hopefully it changes the way we look at shop equipment. Below is a video from Office Space that shows some employee frustration with their printer, while it is humorous it is also so true.

Matthew Shanahan
College of DuPage Automotive Service Technology
Glen Ellyn, Illinois, USA

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