SHOP STATS: Quality Automotive Servicing Location: Truckee, Calif. Owner: Bill and Sheila Greeno Staff Size: 9 Average Monthly Car Count: 490 Annual Revenue: $1.8 million
Applying for a job at Quality Automotive Servicing looks a bit different than at your run-of-the-mill shop.
Before an applicant even steps inside the shop, they are required to take a Strengths Finder personality test. To the shop’s owners, Bill and Sheila Greeno, it’s a vital first step in the process. If the applicant’s results line up well with the rest of the team's, and he or she possesses the skills needed, the next step is not an interview with Bill and Sheila—it’s with the entire shop staff.
“Our mindset is not that our employees are here to make us successful. We are here to guide them to their success, which leads to our success,” Sheila says. “So, they are involved in all aspects of the business.”
Jamie Millard has been on both sides of the desk, first as the interviewee two years ago, and now as part of the interviewing team. The experience has been just one piece in a larger puzzle that the Greenos have established at the shop, with the central goal of maximizing strengths and prioritizing employees, she says.
“I’ve been at a few shops before. This has set a new standard for me,” Millard says. “It’s been eye opening.”
The results of the strengths test play a larger role than in just hiring. The employees' top-five strengths are displayed at the front of the shop. If the team knows a particular technician’s top strength is “maximizer,” they know to work a bit harder to make sure everything is on time for that technician, because a late part could lead to an argument. Bill says having the awareness of how each employee operates have avoided situations from devolving and brings the employees closer.
That level of detail is carried through all the team’s processes. The shop pays for its employees’ taxes to be completed by an accountant. They provide life coaches and therapists, and bring in a massage therapist monthly. They have passes to the local ski resorts for employee use. And in the rare situation that an employee needs housing, several apartments on the upper floor of their building are available.
“Personal time outside of work is the most valuable asset our employees have,” Bill says. “So how can we improve their time when they're not at work? It’s not just throwing another benefit at them, it has to do with improving quality of life.”
Bill and Sheila organize team building events, with the ideas almost always coming from their staff. They’ve done escape rooms, river rafting, skeet shooting and team dinners. They’ll even have the occasional nerf gun fight during lunch.
The company also hosts an annual retreat, with family members welcome to join, which gives the team a chance to reset, revisit its core values and spend time together.
“We’re kind of like a low-key comedy show,” Millard says. “If we were a reality show, we’d be a hit.”
Stretching the Team
But that doesn’t mean the work isn’t prioritized. The team of nine services just under 500 cars per month and generates $1.8 million in revenue. Each team member is required to complete 40 hours of training every quarter, and the team is constantly pushing each other.
“We ask our employees to stretch themselves to places they wouldn't go if they just came to work and did their jobs,” Sheila says.
“That’s what makes it a great place for me,” Bill adds. “I’m just so grateful that I’m able to be stretched just as much as I'm able to help people be stretched.”