Auto Service World
Feature   February 1, 2000   by Auto Service World

University of the Aftermarket: Avoiding and Reducing Burnout Can Increase Profitability


“There’s no stress or burnout in our industry!” That’s what many aftermarket executives are telling themselves about their own environment as well as that of their team’s, but is this your real world?

Have you or a co-worker been experiencing frustration in your job, a sense of being overwhelmed in our consolidating industry? Are you having problems sleeping and find yourself just as tired when you wake up as you were when you went to bed? At work, do you avoid involvement with others? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then perhaps you or your colleagues are experiencing “bad stress” and possibly “job burnout.”

What does this mean for you and your business? For you, stress and burnout can cause chest pain, heartburn, frequent colds or infections, and frequent headaches. And for your business, besides causing the above symptoms to your team, it will cause a loss of productivity. How? Personal discomfort, both physical and mental, will result in difficulty concentrating, increased tardiness and absenteeism, frequent out of space thoughts, or pleasure in flights of fancy rather than work. In a competitive marketplace this will cause loss of competitiveness and profits! In other words reducing stress is not a “nice-to-have,” it is a “must have.”

So what can you do about this increasing problem in our industry? First, find out more about stress and burnout and what it can do to you. Once burnout is recognized, learn ways to prevent or avoid it. Some of these include:

Look for innovative ways to use your skills or seek training to broaden your expertise.

Create variety in work so those things do not become routine or try doing old things new ways.

Take your lunch breaks. A little time out of the office or store during lunch often means a more productive day.

These and other ways to reduce burnout and increase productivity are discussed thoroughly in a new University of the Aftermarket course, “Avoid Burnout…Increase Profitability & Productivity through Leadership,” which brings you insight on how to deal with workday pressures. The five-hour Internet course is conducted by Dr. Joseph Cangemi, one of the University’s most popular instructors. The course takes individuals through personal introspection as well as looking at team dynamics and stresses that affect team performance.

In addition, participants will learn how leadership can create stress and burnout and how leaders can reduce burnout for their team while still accomplishing their goals. Supervisors will also discover methods to reduce stress and burnout within their team which can affect customer relations. Some of these ways are:

Develop a support system with teammates that focuses on problem solving and mutual help rather than airing complaints. As a manager you should establish systems that encourage this behavior.

Celebrate success! Sometimes this can be spontaneous.

Ensure that your team takes the vacation time that they earned. No one wins medals for losing earned vacation time.

These “stress busters” are not difficult. They just need leadership to make them happen! It is the small stuff like this that can pay large increased productivity dividends later.

Avoid Burnout…Increase Profitability & Productivity through Leadership brings you insight on how to deal with these pressures in a five-hour seminar taught by Dr. Joseph Cangemi, Ed.D. Avoid Burnout teaches students how to differentiate between “good stress” and “bad stress” so that you can avoid the one that will help you to “die young.” Cangemi follows the stress definitions by describing signs and symptoms of stress and burnout, Type A behavior and what happens to your body when you decide to fight a situation that’s beyond your control. Course participants will have the opportunity to explore their personal burnout factor through several workshop exercises. They will also have the chance to assess their team’s burnout factor through additional exercises. Participants will learn how to recognize the building of stress and burnout so that changes can be made before it’s too late.

Register on the University of the Aftermarket website at http://www.univaftmkt.org. All you need is a Windows-based PC with Internet access. The course cost is $149.95 (U.S.). The University accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. The seminar is sectioned into easy-to-download segments and even though the entire seminar is five hours, you are given 10 hours of course time. So you can spend time with the course, leave then return to experience more.

Questions? Please call the University of the Aftermarket at 1-800-621-UNIV and ask for either Cari Ford or Tim Norlin.