Auto Shop Coaching Blog

Create a Challenged and Engaged Workforce

COVID has reshaped the way we interact with one another to such a degree that new ways to interact have become key to our success in starting, keeping, building, and expanding relationships with your workforce. In this challenging environment, it has become very hard to find the associates you are looking for to complete your crew, making it a major priority to train and develop the workforce you already have.

One of the biggest challenges for an owner, manager, or leader is creating and keeping the work environment challenging and engaging for your workforce. The owner, manager, or leader must be able to portray the right role with the appropriate hat at the appropriate time, which means acquiring the skills to be multidimensional. The right role with the right hat embodied and displayed at the right time is everything to your success in keeping your workforce engaged and challenged, motivated to be productive team members.

Ideas to grow your businessNon-ATI Members: Looking for ways to engage your crew, improve efficiencies, and grow your business? Get tips for how to implement best practices, improve processes, and increase profits in ATI’s latest non-member webinar.


Let’s look at a few of the roles that you will be asserting in your business:

Role: Communicator that can compel and persuade others

Role: Effective Manager

Role: Empathetic listener / Psychologist

Role: Motivating leader / Vision and Mission flag waiver

Role: Teacher and enabler at developing others

The owner, manager, or leader can be all these roles to all or some of your workforce at any given time. The challenge is to be sure you are open to playing the right role with the right situation and creating an environment where the workforce can see that they are appreciated, challenged, developed, and cared about. This happens when you take the time to wear the right hat with the right role when they need it.

Roles with the Right Hat

Here are a few suggestions on developing the roles and selecting the right hat to wear with your workforce.

  1. Communicate: earn trust by sharing information. Hold team meetings weekly or monthly, huddle update meetings daily, and 1-on-1 developmental sessions (15 minutes) with each associate weekly.
  2. Set SMART goals: allow your workforce to participate in setting personal goals that will align with the business goals.
  3. Coach and Develop: spend time and provide resources for the workforce to develop skills needed for the current job and for advancement opportunities. Online training, classroom training, coaching by professionals, mentoring, technical training, and, most of all, practice time with constant feedback — tell me, show me, allow me to do, provide me feedback. GROW (goal, reality, options, way forward).
  4. Maintain Accountability: be fair – everyone is responsible for their assignments and tasks – for all. Praise in public, reprimand in private.
  5. Celebrate: provide accolades whenever you can, and celebrate the wins weekly, monthly, or when you see them. Buying lunch is a common way some show appreciation. Be creative and ask your workforce what they appreciate as a reward for doing well.  Be different and change up the celebrations — keep them guessing.

You will garner respect from your workforce by performing your multidimensional job as a leader.  The crew will follow suit by performing their role as associates to the best of their ability with your guidance.

ATI welcomes you to see how coaching, training, and development will assist you along your success journey as an owner, manager, or leader. Join one of our shop owner events to learn more.

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LeAnne is an Executive Coach at ATI and has been coaching for over 16 years. LeAnne loves assisting others in the achievement of their personal and business goals. She helps people find the goals and dreams they really what and aids in structuring and implementing a plan to achieve those goals and dreams.