Competition is a universal language — the Olympics have proven that since 776 B.C. Competition in your quick lube may be what you’ve been looking for to give your shop an advantage, but be careful. Unhealthy competition can easily become out of control and toxic to your company culture. Knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy competition is the difference between success, fun and the exact opposite.
Here are three suggestions for creating a competitive work environment that’s fun and successful:
1. Get in the Boat
I had a track and field coach who always said, “Get in the boat.” It was his favorite way to remind us we were a team. Those four words were plastered over the doors of the locker room, printed on T-shirts and are forever seared into my mind.
Your staff must have a “team first” mentality. If you want to succeed as a business, you must work, compete and strive for goals as a team. Begin by deciding what goals you want to achieve. Make sure the entire staff is aware of what they are.
Next, empower each person in your crew to take responsibility by showing your appreciation each time a milestone is reached. Maybe your goal is to reach 1,500 oil changes in a month. Set small goals and celebrate them along the way. For example, when you reach 500 oil changes, reward the team by ordering pizzas or playing a “pump up song” in the bays after oil cap No. 500 is screwed back on.
Encourage your team to come up with a mantra of their own. You’ll be surprised how fun work is when you don’t approach it like work.
2. Keep Score, Don’t Scoreboard
The team mentality is essential to healthy competition, but let’s face it, it’s fun to keep score. Keeping score is fine as long as no one is pointing at the wall shouting, “Scoreboard!”
It’s normal for people to wonder what the scoreboard says and who’s doing best, but the most successful teams have team members who are more concerned with how the team is doing than how they’re doing.
For example, if your business goals are sales-related, the best salesmen should be looking for ways to help others, and the ones at the bottom should be looking for ways to improve.
3. Know Your People
You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Friends are the family you choose.” Because of the amount of time you spend with them, your co-workers come in close behind. It’s important to create an environment where people feel comfortable communicating.
One-way to get to know your people and keep the healthy competition going is to periodically have each person on your staff share one personal and one professional goal they have. Doing so will help everyone stay accountable, encouraged and on track. Plus, if your team takes care of one another, chances are they will have no problems taking care of customers.
The right kind of competition is good for success. Keep your team moving forward by creating a culture that’s successful and fun. Chances are you’ll attract high-quality employees and loyal customers as a result. When that happens, everybody wins!