Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F23

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

WHAT'S BUGGING TECHS?

Pay, poor tools, pandemic are sore spots, but EVs interest them

C

arlisle & Co.'s seventh Automotive
Technician Survey this fall incorporated more than 17,500 responses
representing 17 brands across the
U.S. and Canada. The survey continues to show
the challenges the industry has with technician
satisfaction, noting that 35 percent of respondents expect to leave their brand in the next
year or two. An overwhelming percentage say
they would not recommend being a technician. Meredith Collins, 29, a director at Carlisle
who oversees much of its technician-related
work, discusses other survey findings with Editor Dan Shine. Here are edited excerpts.

seem lukewarm about how their dealerships
are supporting them during COVID.
Only about 40 to 45 percent of techs are satisfied with some key features of their dealership's COVID protocol - providing safety
equipment, enacting safety measures among
employees and between employees and customers and ensuring vehicles are sanitized
prior to customer delivery. While about 60
percent of respondents claim COVID hasn't
impacted their decision to stay at their current
job, 28 percent reported that it has made them
more likely to stay.

&
QA

What can dealerships do to turn
Q: What are some of the factors
these numbers around?
In 2018, the Automotive Technipushing down overall satisfaction
cian Collaboration - represented
for technicians?
by such companies as Ford, GM,
A: Given that the majority of
technicians are paid via flat rate, MEREDITH COLLINS Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz USA,
Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswafactors that result in work without
gen of America and Volvo - was formed as an
" fair " pay tend to be some of the biggest drivindustry response to the technician crisis.
ers. For example, diagnostic work represents
Through this effort, [the collaboration] has
about 25 percent of technicians' total working
developed a series of dealer-facing playbooks,
hours, but most technicians are either not
how-to guides and quick tips on how to best
paid for it or paid a flat amount that may not
effect change in the key areas that are causing
be considered sufficient. We see complaints
technician dissatisfaction. A recent Techniabout dealers not stocking enough special
cian How-To Guide outlined specific industools required for a repair and poor tool intrywide guidance on how dealerships should
ventory management practices.
handle the most common problems facing
Also, technicians spend a fair amount of
techs - for instance, compensation plans,
time conducting multipoint inspections withmanagement tactics and making them feel
out getting paid unless it turns into incremenvalued.
tal customer pay business. And finally, a tech's
[The collaboration] has developed recomrelationship with their service adviser has a
mendations on pay for diagnostic work and
significant impact on satisfaction. The adviser
programs addressing technicians' sense of
impacts a technician's compensation -
value - such as tenure awards, public recogwhether it's selling the result of the MPI or
nition for outstanding service and teamdocumenting all the proper customer feedbuilding lunches.
back on a repair order. Only 24 percent of
techs report " they and their service adviser
properly communicate to fix the car right the
Less than 1 percent of technicians are
first time. "
women. What can be done to recruit more
women?
How has the pandemic impacted techniTo attract more women, the industry
must address both the perception and
cians' lives and careers?
the reality.
More than half of survey respondents expeFor perception, we must undertake a
rienced reduced hours, while a quarter rebroad, social network-based commuported being furloughed or temporarily laid
nication strategy aimed at potential
off. During the pandemic, techs' work became
female technicians, their parents and
more difficult - masks, gloves, social distancschool counselors. We must explain
ing, frequent disinfecting, etc. Not surprisingthe financial and career benefits
ly, 22 percent of respondents said their proand the excitement of working with
ductivity declined as a result. Technicians

leading-edge technology (EVs, autonomous
vehicles, etc.).
As for reality, we need to change the way
dealerships support women. Dealerships
must commit to recruiting and hiring multiple female technicians. And once hired, dealerships need a new focus on training, mentoring, support and career development. Current
(and new) female technicians must be the
ambassadors to growing their ranks.
What are technicians excited about?
Satisfied technicians are excited about their
co-workers. For techs who expect to stay in
their current job, their working relationship
with their co-workers is what they like most
about their job. As a whole, many technicians
seem to be excited about electric vehicles,
with about a third saying they are looking forward to learning new skills or growing their
career with EVs. While a third doesn't sound
like a lot, it's quite substantial given the profound general dissatisfaction among technicians across the industry. 

DECEMBER 2020

PAGE 23



Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F24
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2020 - F28
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