Auto Shop Coaching Blog

3 Easy Tips for Keeping Great Employees Happy

If you’re like most shop owners, one of your biggest challenges is finding and keeping great employees. You know that without high-quality techs and service advisors you can’t build a successful shop. And, if you’re smart, you’re paying them well enough to keep them happy.

But the reality is that a great paycheck isn’t always enough to keep them happy. A 2019 Mercer Survey found that while pay is important, the impact on job satisfaction is small, and it’s not what keeps great people working for you long-term. And if by chance you’re thinking this may be true for other industry professionals, but not for automotive – you’re wrong. In fact, informal surveys given to techs and service advisors here at ATI gave similar answers.

So, what do the survey results say? It’s loud and clear that employees have often overlooked desires that are greater than pay. Here are the top 3 benefits that techs consider equally or more important than money:

1. Great Leadership

This means more than how well you manage the shop. It’s about how you make your people feel about working there. When you acknowledge great work, show appreciation, and give technicians opportunities to grow in their skills, you get better results. Technicians can work anywhere today – they want to work for someone they respect and know has their best interests at heart. Don’t underestimate the value of learning great leadership and communication skills. It can be the difference between success and bankruptcy in the auto repair industry.

Ideas to grow your businessDoes your shop do a good job keeping quality techs and service advisors? Discover valuable, easy-to-implement hiring and retention strategies in ATI’s shop owner events. Register today at

2. Great Work/Life Balance

Automotive technicians value their time away from work. They value hobbies, time with family and friends, and participating in outside organizations. Shops that offer nights and weekends off or flexible schedules (such as a 4-day work week) attract talented technicians. A shop that expects a 6-day work week and late nights will struggle to attract and keep talent.

3. Meaningful Work

Do you fix cars – or do you take care of people’s families? Developing a culture in your auto repair shop centered around a “higher calling” is a challenge, but any shop can fix cars. People want to know their work has purpose. Successful companies say a meaningful and positive culture is a vital part of their success. If your team doesn’t look forward to working together each day, you need to fix it – or get ready to lose your best people.

Most show owners started out as great automotive technicians with a dream of owning their own business and learn fast that owning a shop requires a completely different set of skills. At ATI, we teach shop owners the skills they need to turn their dream into reality by helping them with building a great team, increasing car count, and making life-long customers.

To learn more effective hiring and retention tips, join one of our shop owner events at

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Charlene is an Executive Coach at ATI, a Certified Profit First Professional, a former shop owner, and has been coaching since 2014. Charlene helps clients find the right solutions to their challenges and encourages them to make the changes that result in having the life they dreamed about when they got into business ownership.