What do you do when your best mechanic is a jerk?
Sometimes your most talented mechanic is not a nice person, they can be moody, rude, arrogant and downright mean. So what do you do about it? Mechanics are in short supply and if you have a diagnostic expert on your hand can you really afford to lose them? I would argue that you can’t afford to keep them or at least you can’t keep them if they remain a jerk.
In reality, this question should never be the case. For too many owners, if you ask them “who is your best mechanic” they will come back with whoever is the most technically sound, has the least amount of callbacks, is the fastest, bill out the most work or some other metric that has nothing to do with attitude. In my opinion, it is impossible for your best mechanic to be a jerk as attitude is one of the most important qualities and a mechanic with a bad attitude is by default one of your worst.
A bad attitude puts undue stress on your service manager, is often translated to your customers and also affects the rest of your mechanics. It can lead to turnover because techs don’t want to work with them or even worse it can turn into copy cat behavior. If you do not punish the bad attitude it is assumed that it is ok and others will follow suit.
I don’t recommend immediately firing the tech because a lot of times you are partly to blame for their bad attitude. The longer you tolerate it the more it is seen as ok. Also, if you are constantly praising their technical ability and never bringing up their attitude you are also telling them that it is ok.
You need to sit them down, have an honest and open conversation and explain what they are doing, why it is an issue and that it must change. Do not expect an overnight change, work with them but also do not tolerate any more bad behavior. If they can not change then you will need to terminate them. A Bad attitude is like cancer in your shop, it will spread and will cost you a lot more in the long run. I really do not care how technically sound or talented a mechanic is, if they are causing issues and affecting turnover and customer satisfaction then they need to go.
If you have a bad apple in your bunch that you need replacing, give us a call at 1-833-937-3546 or reach out by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will get to work immediately to find you the Rockstar Mechanic that you need. Attitude is a large part of our screening process and we strongly believe that you deserve a mechanic that is both talented and a good person.