Cell Phone Policies
By Bob Cooper
When your employees come to work in the morning, you’re entitled to expect them to be “thinking” about their job as well as doing it. The “thinking” part includes considering a customer’s concerns, performing a proper diagnosis, and concentrating on what they’re doing with each service or repair. If they’re distracted by other people, or taking a call on their cell phone, then not only do you not get what you’re entitled to (which is their full concentration on the job), but it may very well lead to a serious accident. Just as we all would expect that a surgeon would not be talking on the phone while operating, your customers have the right to know that your technicians are 100% focused when working on their brakes, suspension, etc.
So do this: Have an employee meeting and tell all your people that the single, most important thing to you is the safety of your employees and your customers. Tell them that you have a new policy in place which states that all cell phones need to be turned off and put away when employees come to work, period. Then go on to tell them that this policy is not being implemented to increase productivity, but to protect the well-being of your customers. With this new policy in place, they will be able to retrieve messages and return calls when they’re on break or during lunch. If they tell you they’re concerned that someone might have to reach them in an emergency situation, just tell them all they’ll need to do is assure their immediate family members, baby-sitters, schools, etc., all have the shop phone number.
So don’t let the tail wag the dog. If you do, the day will come when you’ll pay a price, and that price may very well be a serious injury or the loss of life. The stars that work with you will understand. Those that don’t will more than likely be gone in a short time anyway. Lastly, make sure this policy is in your employee handbook and disclosed with each candidate for employment.
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