May '19

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24 THE SHOP MAY 2019 tion, bodywork and electrical, giving them greater confidence when working on cus- tomers' vehicles. ENCOURAGE INNOVATION Awards and recognition have been bestowed upon a certain shop owner for decades, but he's quick to point out and recognize the contributions of his entire staff. In building the culture of his business, he has encouraged all of his employees to make suggestions and comments without the fear of retaliation or consequences of ridicule or failure. In so doing, he has found ways to better estimate the amount of time and materials required for certain jobs, utilize specialists to help out in certain areas without the need to have them on staff, and improve workflow throughout the shop. CULTIVATE DIVERSITY & INCLUSION A firm in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley that specializes in building cars for motion pictures and television employs a techni- cian with bipolar disorder. The owner believes this employee's innate skills and expertise far outweigh the euphoric highs and depressed lows he might experience if he forgets to take his medication. The result is a team that embraces his differences, gently kids with him about his affliction, and is able to diffuse situa- tions that could otherwise exacerbate his condition. Two ex-cons working at another com- pany had similar backgrounds of poverty, bad breaks and underemployment that made them otherwise unsuitable to hire, and most shops chose not to take the risk. However, one owner who started in his backyard working on cars part-time while trying to provide for his family saw their potential, and two years later both are doing fineā€”one as a fabricator and the other as a mechanic. They are able to work independently with minimal supervision, have the same work ethic as all the other employees and take a tremendous amount Encourage innovation and engagement, and you'll encourage new ideas. Cultivating diversity and inclusion promotes growth. ALL THE RIGHT MOVES

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