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A SURVEY of workshop employees has revealed that there is still work to do in the  positive engagement of vehicle service staff but the owners of businesses which have made the grade are now generating tens of thousands of dollars in extra revent a year.

The Employee Engagement Survey by Boyle Consulting has discovered that workshops with the most engaged employees generate 11 per cent higher customer satisfaction and 43 per cent greater productive workforce efficiency.

The survey said this translates to $75,000 more labour recovery per productive worker per year. Alternatively, the survey discovered disengaged employees were costing business owners tens of thousands of dollars per year.

The Boyle Consulting Employee Engagement Survey analysed employee engagement in 26 Australian mechanical repair workshops according to the responses of managers, supervisors, customer service representatives, fitters, technicians, and apprentices in the mechanical repair, manufacturing, and mining sectors.  

How workshops compare

The survey showed the level of engagement across all 26 workshops and revealed a wide discrepancy between the five best workshops and the bottom five workshops with the top five workshops demonstrating to the others surveyed what was possible under engaged management structures.


Top five: 

36 per cent actively engaged

37 per cent generally engaged

19 per cent neutral

4 per cent generally disengaged

4 per cent actively engaged 

Bottom five:

14 per cent actively engaged

24 per cent generally engaged

25 per cent neutral

18 per cent generally disengaged

19 per cent actively engaged 

This shows that 73 per cent of staff in Top Five workshops are “pulling in the same direction” compared with just 38 per cent in a Bottom Five workshop.

Overall the survey discovered:

  • 64% of blue-collar workers are not involved in decisions which affect their team;
  • 62% of blue-collar workers do not receive positive reinforcement for work they do;
  • 61% of blue-collar workers believe internal communications are ineffective;
  • 52% of blue-collar workers think people management is ineffective;
  • 50% of workshop employees are disengaged and do not feel part of a team;
  • 19% of workshop employees are highly disengaged.

Boyle Consulting director, Rob Boyle said the research, which evaluated employee satisfaction with the clarity of overall direction, resources, processes, involvement, teamwork, growth, and leadership at some of Australia’s top mechanical repair workshops, discovered some sobering findings.

“Employee experience is diminished by poor leadership,” Mr Boyle said.

“The greatest frustrations of workshop employees are poor communications, a lack of empowerment, not being recognised for good work, and an overall lack of involvement in decisions affecting skilled shop floor workers.

“Supervisors have a 12 per cent more overall positive perception of the work environment than their employees, meaning they may see less of a need to change leadership behaviours.”

The Index also discovered workshop employees are generally committed, customer orientated, and take pride in their work, yet are ‘hampered’ by the soft skills of leaders, and in some workshops by facilities, training and the effectiveness of procedures.

Mr Boyle said employee engagement across the 26 workshops varied widely from 42 per cent to 80 per cent satisfaction with their work environment.

“The common denominator for such variation in team member engagement is not the built environment or size of operation or systems and resources, instead it is the leader’s ability to connect with people,” Mr Boyle said.

“Workshop leaders must hone their interpersonal and team building skills to make their workplaces more productive with positive and encouraging work environments.

“If they don’t, leaders will continue to lose money and watch disengaged workers walk out the door in search of a workplace that values their skillset and ideas.”

Boyle Consulting is a leading Australian-based consulting and training company. Its Leadership programs develop the leadership capabilities of employees across all industries.

By John Mellor

Branded Financial