ACtion Magazine - May 2013 - (Page 10)

Angie Kilbourne, AAM Knowing Y: A short guide to Gen Y in the repair shop Forget their sense of entitlement and their helicopter parents. Is your business tech-ready (and -friendly) enough to hire a Millennial? T hey were the first generation to grow up with computers in their homes, and they are quite comfortable typing up a report using only their thumbs and a smartphone. Generation Y (a.k.a. Millennials) has grown up, stepping out of classrooms and into the workforce, including your repair shop. But many shop owners and managers aren’t prepared for culture shock that comes through the door with this new crop of workers. The first thing you’ve got to understand about Gen Y is that every complaint lodged against them is true, and it’s likely you are the very first person in their life who is going to hold them to their word. But if you become the leader they need and teach them correctly, Millennials can pump enthusiasm and life back into your business. So let’s look at a few items that can make or break the relationship between you, your business, your staff and your new Gen Y hire. 1. They are at ease with technology, and if you expect a Millennial to stay, your business should have already made the investment in the things that will keep your business humming for the next five to 10 years: wireless Internet in the shop, laptops or computers for each work bay or technician, service information subscriptions (OE or third-party), etc. Gen Y expects to have technology at their fingertips to get the job done. 2. They are not necessarily tech savvy. They are comfortable with technology, but they are used to downloading smartphone apps and free, stripped-down software packages. Your enterprise version of shop management software or the procedures to reflash a vehicle may be absolutely baffling to them, especially if they can’t master it in three clicks or less. Though they are fearless with technology, don’t assume your new hire will “pick it up” without proper training. 3. You’ll need to teach them about appropriate online behavior. Here’s where you and your staff have to proactively step in and mentor. Millennials have grown up saying what they want online — whenever and wherever they’ve pleased. Now they need to understand that venting about a customer on Facebook is inappropriate, as is talking about the boss or co-workers. And using shop time and resources to post to Facebook on the job is a no-no. Set the rules with them up front. Give them concrete examples to follow. Expect them to screw up once, but firmly remind them there are no second chances when they do. 4. Use reverse mentoring to build relationships. Just as your more experienced staff will mentor these new recruits, ask your Millennial to use his or her talents to help older techs who are having problems with computers, software and service information access. Gen Y wants to feel needed and valued in their roles too, and this is a great opportunity to build a strong team. 5. Don’t take away the smartphone. Though you have set rules around the appropriate use of social media and computers during the work day, don’t ban use of mobile devices on the shop floor. Gen Y uses 10 ACTION • May 2013 smartphones like computers, and they are all about getting the job done with whatever tool works best. If they need to access a video that provides instructions on how to complete a repair, let them decide which device is best to view it on while working on the vehicle. Millennials are ready to go to work, but they lack the professional skills we’ve come to accept as standards in business. Provide them with concrete direction and daily praise coupled with concrete methods to improve what they are doing, and the freedom to discover the best way to do the job right. Give them a reason to become a full member of your team, and you’ll find they care about a “fixed right first time” as much as you do. ❆ More Connections Than People in the U.S. According to a recent report from The NPD Group, there are now more than half a billion Internet-connected devices — smartphones, tablets and personal computers (PCs) — in U.S. households with Internet connections. NPD’s “Connected Home Report” shows mobile devices are the main reason for the gains. In total, Internet-connected devices are up from 5.3 devices per household to 5.7. Smartphone users grew by 9 million, and tablet connections grew 18 million. And these numbers will only continue to increase. Chipmaker Intel reports that globally, the number of Internet connections equals the world’s population today; by 2015, those connections are estimated to double. Yes, that’s right: double — in just two years.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - May 2013

Action Magazine - May 2013
Freeze Frame
Virtual View
Under the Southern Cross
Leonard's Law
News & Updates
What Is Happening in the Auto A/C Industry?
New Equipment, Tools and Service Parts for 2013
Striking Customer Service Gold
Asociation News
Quick Check
New Products & Services
Last Watch

ACtion Magazine - May 2013