Six years ago when we began to hire our first few mechanics at Slick we realized that we had an opportunity. The technology aspect of the business was pretty easy for us. It would take some time and lots of money, but we could be in complete control of that process. It would be much more challenging to build a nationwide workforce with a winning culture that results in personal growth for our employees, excellent service for our customers and success for our company.
But what if we were able to do it?
What if we able to hire and inspire greatness in a national "blue collar" workforce?
What if we created a plan to assist them in becoming better people and world-class leaders?
It would absolutely be a difference maker for the company.
And so we took a piece of chalk and wrote on an oversized chalkboard in our initial Hub in Baltimore our first core value as a company:
We leverage technology but WIN with people.
So what strategies do we use to accomplish this?
We Inspire Our Workers With These Three Messages:
1) I Am Proud of You
You might not have heard it much in your past. But we will say it. Work hard. Don’t quit. Maximize your skill set. Learn new ones. Get up when you fall down. And we will shout from the hilltops how proud we are of you.
2) You Are a Competent Provider
It’s not charity. You earn it. And when you earn it, nobody can take it from you. And as you increase your value, increased pay, bonuses, employee shares and opportunities follow.
3) The Feeling of Winning is Worth the Effort
Deep down we all want to prove we can win in a cause worth fighting for. So let’s go compete and win. And the smile on your face when we get it done will be the most rewarding aspect of the journey.
We deliver these three messages in creative ways over and over and in as many ways as possible.
We Invest in Our Workers In These Three Ways:
1) Include Them in the Adventure of Growing the Business
Why do we tend to sit in meetings with our “white collar” teams and talk about every aspect of the business, but we never include the people who actually do the work in the field? Seems dumb!
At Slick, we have a call every Thursday at 3PM EST where EVERY mechanic across the nation joins a video call and for 20 or 30 minutes we hold ourselves accountable to our mission, celebrate our wins, visualize our future, address our failures and repeat key messages that inspire us all to be the best we can be for the good of our company and the people we care about.
This call always happens.
The President of our company runs the call.
He has never missed or rescheduled it in 6+ years.
It is that important.
Because there is nothing more crucial to our success than the Slicksters who serve our customers every single shift. So we invest in them and treat them accordingly.
2) Promote from Within
The best opportunities are rewarded to the people who have proven themselves at Slick, know our culture and our values, and are able to train the next Slicksters in these core beliefs. So we are always teaching, training and developing the next leaders within our company who will carry us to the next level of success.
Because everything rises and falls on leadership.
And culture always slips through the cracks if you don’t fight to keep it.
So we promote from within the people who have proven themselves.
3) Develop an Established Growth Track
We run a cash-efficient business filled with people who work hard, know their roles and goals, keep score and execute. It is in this environment that we grow and learn and advance as individuals and leaders. And within this environment we have created “Slick University,” a 24-month, real-world, growth track designed to develop Slicksters in three key areas:
(ASE certifications, Slick Product Delivery and Business Protocols, etc.)
(Life skills, Personal Finance, Healthy Lifestyle etc.)
(Influence, Management Skills, Communication Skills, Business Skills etc.)
Slick University provides intentional coaching to spur real-life development.
They must choose to embark on the process and be self-driven to achieve. And when they do, we give them a “Slick University” diploma and throw graduation parties.
So How Is It Going for Us?
It's working just as we had hoped. But it requires a lot of patience.
It is always a little messy.
It can't be done in a day, a month or even a year or two or three. The work never ends. Culture is not passive. It is active. And we must never take it for granted. This is a long-term commitment. And we know it can all blow up with one bad decisions that destroys the trust you have built over a long period of time with your team.
Employees are smart.
They know if you are being authentic. It won’t work if you aren’t.
But it can be done. And it is absolutely rewarding.
We got this e-mail two weeks ago:
Thank you again for letting me be a part of this company. I lost my dad to cancer, and he was my hero. Since then I’ve felt lost. It’s hard becoming a man when you still need
advice and guidance. Being a part of Slick has helped me more personally than anyone knows. I’m proud to contribute to the team. -Brandon in Arkansas
Is it worth it? Yep.
It’s actually priceless!
If you are interested in joining our team in any capacity just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org we are always looking to hire talent.