New bosses should state their expectations and requirements to the workforce as soon as practically possible.
They also should take pains to describe their expectations as clearly and specifically as possible. In other words, never assume that the staff knows what you mean.
Instead, spell it out — even if it risks insulting workers' intelligence.
The sooner new bosses clarify their expectations, the smoother their transition to a leadership role occurs.
This person may be an owner, manager, supervisor, foreman or some combination of these roles.
But workers are much less concerned with titles than they are with potential changes throughout their workplace.
For instance, what rules — if any — will change?
Will a new boss heavily revise or perhaps eliminate any existing shop procedures?
"Leveling" with the staff is a critical first step toward earning their trust and respect
Employees' trust and respect have an immeasurable impact on the success of any business — including tire dealerships and service shops.
An old adage warns us that the dumbest question is the one that's never asked. Similarly, the most-elusive, confusing expectations are ones that bosses neglect to explain to the staff.
During my travels throughout the auto repair industry, I have observed this predicament. Frustration mounts and tempers flare because new bosses and existing employees are not communicating effectively with each other.
Some of the new manager's mandates may be so simple — so concrete and straightforward — that any worker could complete the tasks correctly.
For example, many automotive service facilities have a tool crib or back room where technicians keep shop gear.
The new boss may provide a list of shop equipment that must be locked up in the tool crib at quitting time. For all intents and purposes, there should be no guesswork about completing this assignment every afternoon.
But other edicts may not be nearly as straightforward as stowing equipment at the end of the work day. I have heard new bosses insist, for instance, that employees constantly strive to make the company proud.
Or, they demand that workers behave professionally at all times.
Many techs I have worked with believe they have made the company proud whenever they repair a vehicle correctly the first time, but leaving grease marks and cigarette stench inside a customer's car is not part of that deal.
Instead, stains, scuffs and odors are unavoidable collateral damage.
At some businesses, meanwhile, "professional" behavior means drinking your beer out of plain sight of customers. But boozy, obnoxious breath supposedly doesn't impact the overall business plan of a tire dealership or service shop.