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3 Counterintuitive Secrets to Skilled Technician Retention

The Technician shortage is looming. Baby boomers keep retiring while fewer young prospects enter the talent pipeline. So, how do you keep the all-stars you already have?

Most shops play defense by cutting costs instead of investing in culture. But saving a few bucks won’t compete with the coming crisis. You need people to feel valued, appreciated, and like family.  

After turning around hundreds of shops, I’ve seen what really retains top talent. And it’s counterintuitive. Forget the tiny raises and cash bribes – those band-aids just mask the real issues. 

attracting new customers

Want your best wrenches to stick around for the long run? Here are 3 unexpected retention strategies to anchor your A-team:

1. Lead Compensation in Your Market  

I constantly see Managers losing Technicians over a few thousand dollars because they refuse to pay market rates. If you want loyalty, have the margins to compete!  

Now, I’m not saying you should overpay out of desperation. But you need flexibility. I’ve fixed countless shops’ sinking ships – and never once by cutting. Invest in people, and the rest takes care of itself.  

2. Bond Over Activities Beyond Work 

Technicians should feel involved in decisions, not trapped in the back corner. Make them friends, not faceless “guys turning wrenches.”

Plan regular events to humanize the culture. Bowling, barbecue, baseball games… things they’ll brag about to family and friends. Let them build camaraderie while feeling valued.

And play retention games, too! Contests, adventures, races, friendly banter around the shop or on message boards. Gamification primes loyalty.

3. Embrace Continuous Training  

“We don’t do training because Techs just leave anyway.” I’ve heard that excuse far too often. But denying growth opportunities compromises culture fast.

Very few Technicians quit simply because of inadequate skills training. That disappointment usually ties back to not feeling invested in or valued. If you want loyal all-stars, make their continuous growth a top priority!  

The Coming Shortage Will Make Today’s Challenges Look Tiny

The present seems overwhelming until you realize how much harder this business gets in just 5-10 years. 

But for those willing to take risks, the rewards await. Shake up the conventional wisdom. Plant seeds of accountability and sky-high budgets. If that makes you flinch, brace yourself! But when you see the profits roll in, you’ll be pissed you didn’t find me sooner.  

The Technician crisis is coming. Will you cling to failing retention strategies while the talent pool evaporates? Or will you make the bold, counterintuitive moves needed to weather the storm?

The choice is yours. But I suggest you choose wisely!

Ready to Anchor Your A-Team of Tech All-Stars?

Hopefully, you see now that real retention stays ahead of the coming turmoil. If you’re ready to invest in your people and build an unbreakable culture, let’s chat. 

Book a quick call with one of my top advisors to map out your custom Technician retention blueprint. We’ll dig into your shop’s unique dynamics and start shaking things up in no time. Click here to schedule.

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