Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How to Get More From Your Employees

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I have an embarrassing confession to make. It all started after reading a Mayo Clinic study which concluded that sitting is the new smoking.

I was motivated to get moving, so I set a goal to get in 10,000 steps per day. I purchased a fitness watch to help me track this meaningful milestone.

Late last night, as I was about to go to bed, I checked my watch and noticed that I had only logged 9,950 steps. Here’s my embarrassing confession:

I took 51 steps around my room just so I could exceed my 10,000-step goal.

But wait, it gets worse. After taking the 51st step I heard my wife ask with a concerned tone, “Eric are you OK?”

Then it hit me: If I didn’t have a meaningful milestone, I wouldn’t have taken those extra steps.

Imagine the possibilities if your employees took extra steps each day to improve your shop.

Setting meaningful milestones can open the door to getting more from your employees.

We are experiencing the current Corona crisis. (It’s current, but NOT permanent!)

Taking extra steps at your shop has become more important than ever!

The first step to getting more is recognizing the isolation opportunity.

Ideas to grow your businessWant more tips for how to create achievable milestones, increase your bottom-line, and grow your shop? Discover valuable, easy-to-implement ideas and strategies in ATI’s shop owner events. Register today at

The Isolation Opportunity

Every crisis I’ve ever encountered has the following two components: danger and opportunity. Those with a fearful mindset fear the danger, while the top shops seize the opportunity.

Here’s an idea that can help you to become a Top Shop: Isolation provides the opportunity to get better.

For example, think about an Olympic Gold Medal winner. We’ll call him “Ron the runner.”

He became great in isolation. Ron quarantined himself from his friends, family, and followers. He practiced social distancing from everyone except his coach. (BTW, the best of the best embrace coaching!)

The key is to turn your downtime into learning time.

Which virtual class will your advisor be attending? How many role-play scenarios will you conduct with your service manager?

Which part of the technician training curriculum will you be reviewing with your “B” tech who wants to be an “A” someday?

The quarantine will end and you will come out on the other side. The question is: will you be bitter, or will you be better?   

Now that you recognize the isolation opportunity, you’re ready to apply meaningful milestones at your shop!

Meaningful Milestones at Your Shop

ATI Fundamental #6 instructs us to Go the Extra Mile. A compelling but achievable milestone can motivate your employees to take those extra steps.

For example, if your technicians know their daily production milestones, they will take that extra step with the courtesy checks. They’ll walk around the car taking pictures, knowing that they are one hour away from the goal.

Knowing the daily sales milestone can motivate your advisor to take the extra steps out to the car with the customer to get more information. Noticing the extra miles on the odometer is the first step on the road leading to the 90K service sale. 

Knowing the car count milestone can motivate your manager to lead the weekly shop meeting. Instead of fearing the danger, he will focus on the opportunity by asking: “What five things can we do this week to get more customers?”


So, there you have it. If I didn’t have a fitness watch to track my progress, I wouldn’t have taken the extra steps.

Once you recognize the isolation opportunity, you can set meaningful milestones, which will allow you to get the extra steps from your employees!

At ATI, we focus on teaching and coaching shop owners on best practices to get the most out of your automotive repair business. Want to learn more? Find an ATI shop owner event near you.

Print Friendly
Related Articles:
Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.