It is a very good idea to have a clear set of roles and responsibilities for each employee at your shop. Whether you are a 1-man shop looking to hire your first employee or an established shop with 8 people, these roles and responsibilities will make sure there is no confusion about who is responsible for what. This blog post will outline several positions and help you in creating your own list.
The formal document containing these roles and responsibilities is called the Employee Handbook. The handbook should contain all important information pertaining to that specific employee:
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Non-disclosure and/or non-compete agreements
- Tax forms
- Insurance and Worker’s Comp information
- Pay description
- Book rate (flag hours)
- Performance evaluation metrics
- Information about raises
- Sick leave
- Disciplinary actions and grounds for termination
Your state will have specific requirements for many of these items and it is strongly advised to have any documents you create checked by a business lawyer. They can help steer you in the right direction and ensure what you create has a legal standing. And there are plenty of online resources available (such as this Employee Handbook example) to help you with this process.
Once the handbook has been finalized, both you and the employee should sign it. Then, you keep one copy and give another copy to the employee.
Roles and Responsibilities for Different Positions
Each employee type should have their own set of specific roles and responsibilities. We briefly discussed different employee types and their roles in our Workflow Process blog post which pertained to a job making its way through the shop.
If you are a 1-man shop, you will act as each of the different roles outlined below. But, the instant you hire your first employee, your focus needs to shift to that of a Manager. This means that you will be spending a lot of your time delegating tasks and checking the work of your employee(s).
Below is a list of several employee types and a general list of roles and responsibilities for each. These are merely examples so feel free to change them to suite your specific needs. Some descriptions will overlap slightly depending on the intricacies of the job.
The goal for this employee is to manage the technicians and ensure all the work gets completed on time and in accordance with the customer’s expectations. Often times, the manager is also the lead technician so he/she may be installing parts on vehicles as well. If this is the case, it is still a good idea to clearly outline your role and how it integrates with the business. Below is a typical list of the Manager’s activities:
- Create estimates for large builds *
- Delegate tasks to the technicians *
- Ensure the technicians understand the install
- Schedule the work *
- Check the quality of each installation
- Visual inspections
- Test Drives
- Update customers on build progress *
- Ensure the techs have all the parts and tools necessary to complete the job quickly and efficiently
- Conduct productivity reports for each technician on a regular basis *
* My Shop Assist is a great tool to help with these activities.
The technician’s main role is to install parts onto the vehicle. They should be provided with all of the parts needed and any specialty tools required. Efficiency should be their #1 goal (meaning completing work quickly and without mistakes). It is paramount to give the technician a clear list of tasks with explicit estimated hours to ensure they understand what is expected of them. Below is a list of the Technician’s activities:
- Install parts
- Clock in and out *
- Track install times and materials used *
- Clean up work space after each install
- Alert Manager when work is completed for a final inspection
* My Shop Assist is a great tool to help with these activities.
Sales or Front Desk
This person is often the most difficult person to hire. Mainly because they need to be skilled in accounting, customer service, social media, and have an intimate knowledge of the platform(s). Often times, this role is filled by the owner’s spouse, but that may not be an option for every shop.
In our Shop Management Part 2: Creating the List blog post, we explained why it is so important to create a detailed service list (with prices, descriptions, and estimated hours) for your normal services. Doing this makes it much easier for the Front Desk person to create estimates for potential customers. This takes a lot of the “internal knowledge” the owner may have in their head and puts it in a format anybody can reference.
Having a clear list of roles and responsibilities for this position will make it much easier to find and train that employee. Below is a list of the Front Desk Person’s activities:
- Fielding all customer service interactions
- Phone, email, Facebook, forums, etc.
- Order parts *
- Create invoices *
- Basic knowledge of QuickBooks
- For simple installs
- From estimates created by the Manager
- Take payments
- Input bills and purchase orders
- Manage social media
- Create Facebook content and respond to comments
- Upload pictures to Instagram on a regular basis
- Update webpage
- Reach out to subcontractors and vendors for updates
* My Shop Assist is a great tool to track parts orders and create estimates/invoices.
The purpose of the Shop Hand is to offload simple tasks from the “skilled” employees. This frees up time for the technicians and manager to concentrate on installing parts and managing the shop, respectively. The Shop Hand position is relatively easy to fill because the only real requirements are availability, enthusiasm, and attitude. These qualities are in abundant supply within the automotive community.
Setting a clear list of roles and responsibilities for this person will ensure they don’t waste time around the shop. Many of their activities can be scheduled daily, weekly, or monthly. Clearly explain your expectations for each one of their activities so they know how you would like it done. This means demonstrating how you like the windows cleaned, that you never want fluids left on the ground, and how you clean the bathroom.
This employee type can be perfect for a shop's first hire. You can start this person part-time to offload very simple tasks and help you become more efficient. Below is a list of activities for the Shop Hand:
- Sweep and mop the floor
- Clean the walls, doors, cabinets
- Clean the machines and the areas around them
- Wash the windows
- Vacuum and mop the office, bathroom, and waiting room floors
- Clean the bathroom and shop sink
- Help Technicians as needed
- Pick up all the used parts and put them away or dispose of them
- Sweep for spider webs in the shop area
- Check the mail
- Box up parts for shipping
- Receive ordered parts and put them in the correct area
- Take out the trash
- Run parts to subcontractors
- Pick up parts from suppliers
It will still take a lot of human interaction to properly run a shop. But, providing roles and responsibilities for each employee will outline your expectations of them when they are at work. This helps both with hiring new people to fill the positions and in adding some professionalism to people already employed.