Managing Your Service Department: Why Technicians Go Down the Street for $.50 More Per Hour

Jim is a great tech. His work ethic and skill set is well above average, and he is really good at customer relations. He has been with the company for three years, shows up on time, and really seems to enjoy working at your company. Then, out of the clear blue, Jim gives his two-week notice.

What’s going on?

There are multiple reasons that techs leave a company, but one of the main reasons is their mindset of “Once a tech, always a tech.” Translated, the tech is thinking, “If I am going to be a tech the rest of my life, and someone offers me an additional $.50/hour, I might as well take it.” The bottom line is clear. The tech sees no “career path” with his or her current employer.

What’s the solution? Create an organizational chart for the next 3-5 years. Within the chart note the positions that will be created, and will need to be filled, as the years go by. Maybe two years from today the company will need a full-time dispatcher or service manager. Maybe an additional sales person or field supervisor will be needed in three years. When the chart is completed, share it with your technicians and ask the question “Are any of you interested the future positions that will need to be filled?” If the answer is yes, begin the training process for that position today. That will include both in-house training and perhaps some outside classes. When the position opens up, a well-trained individual will be ready to fill the position. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What just happened? You just created a career path for the technician. Now it’s highly unlikely the tech will leave for $.50/hour more, not when they have a career path laid out with their existing company.

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