The oil and natural gas fracking boom in the U.S. has brought prosperity and challenges to tire dealerships in markets where oil and gas companies have set up drilling sites.
Once-sleepy towns have experienced a spike in jobs and disposable income, along with higher rents and crime.
Dealers interviewed by Tire Business said they're enjoying a jump in sales while servicing the numerous vehicles that run back and forth to the drilling sites in their markets.
At the same time, though, their labor pool has dried up, necessitating dealers to increase their pay scales to keep and hire employees otherwise lured by high-paying oil field jobs.
As some dealers have struggled to fill job vacancies in their businesses, others have noted that their core, long-time employees have stayed loyal. That says volumes about how these dealerships treat their workers. How many small business owners can say they have the loyalty of their employees if and when a high-wage competitor moves into their town?
One could say employee loyalty hinges on more than simply offering competitive wages. Employers need to instill in their workers a sense of pride, a chance for promotions, up-to-date training, comfortable, safe and clean work areas, modern tools and equipment and perks.
Those perks can come in many forms. We have talked with tire dealers who provide their employees with a free lunch when they have to work on Saturdays, flex time to handle personal business or family obligations, profit-sharing incentives, and gift cards and free trips for the familiesjust to name a few.
Going the extra mile to make employees feel they are an important part of the operation and are appreciated builds more loyalty than just writing a paycheck every couple of weeks.
From the employees' standpoint, if the only thing keeping them in their current job is a personal reluctance to leave their comfort zone, then a hefty pay increase alone would be a strong motivator.
Job turnover is common among tire dealerships, but owners can minimize the trend by offering employees above and beyond what they'll get at com-peting dealerships. If higher pay isn't an option, make up for it with other special perks, incentives and a positive work atmosphereas well as simple verbalized gratitude.
It's never too late to start building up employee loyaltyespecially in case a large employer with a fat wallet suddenly moves into town.