Tactics for Teamwork

Jan. 9, 2024
Individuals from across the industry weigh in on team leadership.

There is no “I” in team. Everyone has heard that one before, right? It’s a simple phrase with a rather large message. A team functions best as a harmonious unit. In a quick lube shop, teamwork is essential. That’s probably why teamwork, team building, and team management are topics that NOLN revisits time and time again. The importance of a strong team is an aspiration that will never go away. Teamwork stands the test of time.  

But just because the inclusion of teamwork in a quick lube shop is something everyone can agree upon doesn’t mean the approach is always the same. There may not be an “I” in team, but there are certainly distinctive team dynamics. As a shop owner, determining the needs of your team and figuring out how to best lead the group is a crucial part of your job.  

When Kevin Bode spoke with NOLN for the November 2023 story “Masterful Management,” he spoke about a strategy that involves a solid shop structure and an attention to employee wellness. As the general manager for the Ranch Quick Lube in Morgantown, West Virginia, he and his leadership team have a thorough training process for technicians that ensures they’re hitting the right benchmarks.  

But beyond the technical skills, there is an emphasis on creating a supportive work environment that builds employees up and brings everyone together for a common goal of betterment. Communication, checking in with one another, and even things like staff bonding events help foster this intention.  

“When they're not just concerned about themselves, but they're concerned about the growth and success of others below them. Things really take off and obviously watching that gel and formulate as a productive management team, that's really where the reward is.”  

-Kevin Bode, general manager, the Ranch Quick Lube 

Chad Weisbeck, owner of the South Carolina-based Jiffy Lube franchise Bronco Lube, spoke with NOLN for the August 2023 story “The Keys to Culture.” Workplace culture is the foundation for a shop, and it's from that foundation that employees can grow. When it comes to Bronco Lube’s culture dynamics, Weisbeck shared three key elements he considers:  

  1. Focus on character when hiring and training employees;
  2. Invest in tools and equipment to build physical culture and create a comfortable work environment;
  3. When making decisions for your shop, simply ask: “Is it this right thing to do?” 

Weisbeck has built a shop culture from these three elements and beyond. But he acknowledged that there is fluidity in it all. Circumstances may change, and even the industry may change. Approaching operations from a place of adaptability can keep your shop and your team strong.  

“Culture is not something that happens in a vacuum or a closed box, it is affected by a new hire we bring on today. The short answer is, we have a solid culture. Because from the top, we’ve had some real consistency. Our leaders and top roles have been here for a significant time.”   

-Chad Weisbeck, owner, Bronco Lube 

Russ Hotchkiss, president and CEO of All Tune and Lube Total Car Care based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spoke with NOLN for the April 2023 story “Follow the Leader.” Leadership is important in so many ways, but especially when it comes to team management. Leadership is a skill that can be developed and sharpened. As a leader, you are constantly learning.  

For Hotchkiss, leadership is about dedication. He builds his team up for success, but he doesn’t do everything for them. By giving them responsibility in the shop setting from the get-go, he is able to determine if he’s got the right people for the job. This helps establish a quality, hard-working team.  

“I try to put it in my employee’s hands. I’ll give them the tools to be successful. Whether they use them or not is up to them. If they don’t use them and they’re not successful, I’m not afraid to say, ‘Hey this just isn’t for you.’” 

- Russ Hotchkiss, president and CEO, All Tune and Lube Total Car Care