10 Ways to Create a Winning Employee Retention Strategy

by Mahnoor Mansur

You have poured a lot of effort into hiring and training your employees for your repair store. You see them doing well at their job. 

Then, one day, a hard-working employee resigns. And you wonder what went wrong.

Studies show that within the first six months when an employee starts work, they make up their minds on whether they want to work in a particular organization or not. Why is that?

What Makes Employees Quit Their Jobs?

To understand the reason behind your star performer’s sudden departure, we recommend you to do an exit interview. It will give you insights into how effective your retention strategy is and where you need improvements.

In that exit interview, you will often hear one of the following reasons from the departing employee:

  • Inadequate salary and benefits
  • Overburdened with work
  • Lack of support from the team/management
  • Unable to maintain a balance between work and life because of workload
  • No recognition or appreciation
  • Boredom
  • Not clear about the repair store’s direction and financial health
  • Inadequate shop culture
  • No room for growth

How to Retain Employees?

To help you, we’ve created a winning employee retention strategy that will result in low employee turnover.

1. Offer Competitive Pays and Benefits

According to a survey done by Glassdoor, 45% of employees quit because of inadequate pay and benefits.

Money is a key motivational factor for employees. So, paying top of the market will not only attract better talent but also help retain it.

So, evaluate and adjust the pays of your employees frequently to stay competitive in the market. Even if you can’t increase your employees’ pay, try to give them some other benefits such as paid time off, retirement plans, health care, commissions or bonuses.

But don’t see salary as the only way to retain employees. Because if you do, it might cost your business.

Depending on your repair business’s structure and nature, you can pay your employees in two ways – salary or hourly.  You have the option of paying your employees’ salaries on a weekly basis. 

Another option is hourly which is given by the hour. In the salary pay structure, there is a commitment of hours per week or month. For that, you need to make sure you hire someone who is responsible and does not slack off. 

Since they won’t be getting anything for extra hours when they get a salary, what happens is that they become demotivated to go the extra mile.  

Pro Tip: Pay 20% over the minimum wage stated by the federal or state government. 

But if you see an employee  working exceptionally hard, you can retain them by giving commissions on accessory or device sales. Also, don’t shy away from giving Christmas, Easter, Group, or New Year bonuses. It makes the employees feel valued and appreciated.

You can even give group bonuses. For example, you can give your sales team a target. On achieving the target, the team gets a bonus in addition to their commission. Or you can take them out on a trip.

Develop a formula or system to calculate bonus for your managerial staff or the whole staff.

There are other ways to retain employees too. Keep reading to find out.

2. Upgrade your Equipment

Many repair shop employees complain that the shop software or hardware is outdated.

The use of outdated equipment makes employees inefficient and increases their workload. It also sends a message to your employees that you are not focused on growing your business or you don’t care about them.

Upgrade your technology. Get a repair reporting software to take care of your repair ticket management, inventory management, customer & invoicing, marketing, etc. It will make your employees work more efficiently while streamlining all the processes of your repair store.

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Get more advanced tools for repairs. So that the employees don’t have to spend extra time on something that can be done within a few minutes with good hardware or software.

3. Have Professional Development and Training for Employees

Training your employees is an ongoing process. You can help them figure out critical areas for professional growth in your repair shop. For that, give them continuous feedback on their performance.

Hence, you can suggest that they learn new skills such as microsoldering. It will be beneficial for both your repair business and employee growth.


Because when employees learn new skills, they find ways to use them. So, it’s always good to invest in the professional development of your repair shop employees. Make them attend training on learning new features of the repair reporting software, skill development, etc.

Also, make sure you have a succession plan. It is incredibly effective for advanced professional development and can assist in developing leadership skills.

Check out our podcast with Nicole Russell, CEO of Cellbotics, on how your cellphone repair shop can be better with training.

4. Give Additional Perks

Giving perks will surely make your repair business stand out both for new hires and current staff. It will boost the morale of your repair shop employees. Such perks can be remote work options, flexible schedules, sick paid time off, parental leave, etc., to show that they are valued.

5. Offer Wellness Benefits

Keeping your repair shop employees healthy, mentally, financially, and physically is a good practice. The current pandemic shows evidence that such offerings need to be added to make employees feel supported and valued.

Have stress management programs, virtual fitness classes, and retirement plans. Once you have such wellness offerings, your employees won’t have the urge to run away.

6. Make Communication Easier

Communication is another critical factor. Why? Because it enables you to understand your employees and find out a problem before it gets out of hand. 

Give your employees that comfort to come to you when they have a concern, idea, or question about anything.

Consequently, promote timely, constructive, and positive communication across all your repair shop employees. Actively connect with them and get a sense of their workload and job satisfaction.

7. Give Constant Feedback

Don’t abandon biannual/annual performance reviews. If that doesn’t work, you can have one-on-one sessions to discuss employees’ short-term and long-term career goals.

Such initiatives will help your employees visualize their future in your repair shop. Make sure that you don’t make promises that you can’t fulfill. Instead, give them a realistic view of their career advancement journey and tell them how you will be helping them.

8. Incorporate Rewards and Recognition

Appreciate your employees for their hard work. Understanding them will have a positive impact on your retention strategy.

Thank your employees now and then when they go the extra mile for your repair business. Particularly if your repair shop is growing or changing. It enables employees to build a sense of security and motivates them to continue good work. 

Just because you’re a small or medium-sized repair shop doesn’t mean that you can’t offer employee recognition programs. Make it a part of your business, and it will help you retain employees.

9. Help them Maintain a Work-Life Balance

Do you expect your employees to be available to work 24/7?

You need to understand that a healthy work-life balance is essential and, if done, can be a decisive factor that retains employees. Your employees need to know that you know the fact that they’ve a life outside your repair shop.

So, encourage them to set boundaries and give them flexible working hours when they ask for it. If they have to sit in late to finish some critical job, give them extra time off so that the spare time gets compensated for that.

10. Be a Leader, not a Boss

Most people lack leadership qualities and focus more on being a boss rather than a leader. People follow leaders because a boss is a dime a dozen, whereas leaders are rare.

A good leader has the  following qualities:

  • Give a clear direction for the future of your repair business. For instance, if you plan to open new locations or franchising, share your vision with them. If you want to reach a certain number in revenue, tell them. This will make them feel like they are a part of your business. In return, be open to their ideas and show them that they’ve opportunities to grow.
  • Handle challenges that come your way instead of offloading stress onto other employees. For instance if a difficult customer comes to your shop. Instead of making your manager handle the situation, do it yourself. 
  • Always strive to give your employees and customers the best in terms of products, experience, and services.
  • Understand the importance of people. Good leaders realize that their employees are an asset.
  • Inspire confidence in your employees by appreciating their big and small efforts. 

So, make sure you’re always available for your employees. Have an open-door policy in practice to invite feedback and criticism. 

Lastly, be steady and structured. Streamline your processes to save time and extra effort. Because if that’s not the case, it will result in chaos, and employees don’t stick around for that. Be transparent.

Robert Miranda, a growth consultant at Cell Phone Repair (CPR), feels that employees are an asset to your business. So, employers who do not take care of their employees are at the losing end of the bargain.

“Not investing in your employees or taking care of them is a big mistake. Because, you’re only as good as the people that you keep”.

So, always remember that employees are not automatons, working only for paychecks. They care about how they work, where they work, and who they work with. While competing in a competitive job market, it’s essential to have a strong retention strategy rather than getting in an unwinnable pay bidding war.

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