Boosting Efficiency Among Car Wash Employees

Running a successful and profitable car wash takes more than renting a space and hanging an open-for-business sign. Especially if you hired car wash employees to work for you, your ability to continually satisfy your customers depends on the efficiency of your car wash workers. To improve your customer satisfaction and boost your bottom line and profitability, you must continually take improving efficiency among your car wash employees as a priority.

Luckily, there are plenty of tips available that can help boost efficiency among your car wash employees. Learning how to spot low productivity among your car wash attendants, how to measure productivity and what can make your employees less productive can also help your team run an efficient car wash.

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What Is Productivity?

Productivity is a measure of the efficiency of your employees and your processes in getting the job done. It is the rate at which work is completed efficiently. That is the amount of work done over a specific period of time utilizing the least effort and resources without compromising quality.

Now relate that definition to your car wash. Productivity in your car wash is the efficiency of your car wash premises, employees and processes. Your car wash is productive if your workers clean more cars with minimal resources and in less time without compromising quality or customer satisfaction.

There are a lot of misconceptions about productivity. Here are three common ones:


  • Being busy and having a lot to do is being productive.
  • Working under pressure can increase productivity.
  • Multitasking can accelerate productivity.

Instead of making your employees more productive, the above activities can deplete your car wash efficiency. So how do you boost your team’s efficiency and increase your productivity? The first step to improving the productivity of your employees is measuring their productivity.

Why Should Employee Productivity Be Measured?

Measuring the efficiency of your employees and operations helps you:

  • Make smarter and data-driven investment decisions:¬†Knowing your employees’ level of productivity and how they utilize resources can help you direct your business funds appropriately. For example, if your measurement shows your employees take more time to wash a car, the problem may be in the quality of your cleaning supplies. With this information, you can confidently¬†invest in better car wash supplies¬†to get the job done faster and better.
  • Distribute tasks among employees more efficiently:¬†Continuously measuring and keeping tabs on your workplace and employees’ productivity provides insight into each employee’s competence and capability. Noticing this can help you better distribute tasks and responsibilities among your employees. And when you receive more customers than usual, this knowledge can help you determine if your team can handle the surge in the demand for your services and choose the best workers for the job.
  • Optimize your car wash processes:¬†Constantly measuring your car wash employees’ productivity helps you discover unnecessary and inefficient steps in your work process to either remove or optimize them. For example, if you discover it takes too much time for one person to dry a car, you can assign two employees to dry either side of the car to cut the dry time in half.
  • Improve employee skills:¬†Constantly measuring your employee productivity helps build a result-oriented mindset among your employees. Because they know you evaluate their performance, they’ll always work to improve the quality of their work. On the other hand, understanding your work process and your employee competence enables you to provide the right training and resources to improve their skills and serve your customers better.
  • Reduce your cost of operation:¬†Measuring your employee and workplace productivity helps you identify areas where you don’t get the appropriate returns on your investment. You can easily adjust the budget for such areas. Perhaps you have too many employees working in one area or your employees are using too much cleaning product for one car. Addressing these inefficiencies helps balance what you spend and what you earn.
  • Reduce employee turnovers:¬†Keeping tabs on your employee productivity and identifying areas for improvement can increase your employee engagement and job satisfaction and reduce their likeliness to leave your company. Reducing turnover again saves you money, and you save time, as well, as you don’t need to search for new workers.

How to Measure Employee and Workplace Productivity

With the reasons for measuring efficiency in mind, it’s time to take the practice to your car wash. Here are some ways of measuring employee productivity:

Work Output

Work output is the most basic way of measuring productivity in the workplace. It uses the amount of value of services provided per time or employee as a measure of productivity. Usually, work output is described as a ratio of service provided to hours worked or the number of employees.

For example, to measure your car wash employees’ work output, you’d divide the amount made in a specific period of time by how long ‚ÄĒ in hours ‚ÄĒ it took your employees to get the job done well. Let’s say in a particular week, your car wash made $30,000 and cumulatively, your employees spent a total of 300 hours working. Your work output becomes $30,000/300 or $100/hr. Ideally, this should be a high number to indicate more money made in fewer working hours.

Now consider work output using the number of employees you have. Let’s say 10 employees worked in your car wash that week. The work output productivity becomes $30,000/10 or $3,000/employee. Ideally, this will be a high number, as well ‚ÄĒ efficient employees can earn you more with fewer workers.

Tasks Completed

This approach focuses on the number of tasks completed in a specific period of time. If your employees complete more tasks or achieve a set goal in a particular time frame compared to another, you can easily see the difference in productivity.

For your car wash, this can be in terms of the number of cars washed by your employees. If your employees washed 100 cars in the first week of the month, but in the second week washed only 50 cars, you can easily tell the drop in productivity. Of course, you’ll have to factor in other considerations, like how many customers your car wash received.

Time Spent Completing Tasks

This approach tracks the time each employee spends completing a particular task. You can then compare productivity among different employees with similar responsibilities. To do this effectively, you can either use time-tracking software or ask your employees to report the time spent on each task and track it using a spreadsheet.

Efficiency of Work

Measuring the efficiency of your employees can also help you benchmark their performance. To measure this, you compare the time taken by each employee to complete a task to the standard time it takes to complete the task.

If it normally takes 5 minutes to dry a car and an employee takes 10 minutes to dry the car, the employee’s efficiency becomes 5/10, or 50%. This number should be around 100% for the best efficiency.

This calculation can also be used to measure the efficiency for other resources other than time. For example, you can use it to measure efficiency in the use of car wash supplies and chemicals. Measure how much detailing product should be used on the average-sized car, and measure how much your employees use for a percentage.

Profit Made

You can use the profit your car wash makes in different periods of time to measure changes in productivity. All things being equal, if your business made $30,000 in the first month of the year but made $24,000 in the second month, you can conclude that productivity dropped by 20%.

Peer Feedback

You could use the assessment of each employee to evaluate the productivity of others. This method is successful if the team works together and communicates regularly. It may require proper education of your employees on how to give useful peer feedback.

Customer Feedback

This is a no-brainer. Positive customer feedback reflects high employee productivity. You can easily gather feedback from customers online, listen to what they say when they call you or note the rate at which they return to your car wash.

Whether you use these methods of measuring employee productivity individually or combine them, ensure you take records and observe changes in productivity over time to make the needed adjustments.

Spotting Low Productivity in Employees

Employee productivity does not fall off the cliff overnight¬†‚ÄĒ¬†it takes time, and early detection can help you make the necessary changes to boost productivity and safeguard your business’s revenue and profitability.

How can you detect low productivity in your employees? Here are telltale signs of poor employee productivity and exactly how to fix them:

  • Reduced work quality:¬†A drop in your employees’ work quality is a telltale sign of low productivity. To curb this, constantly evaluate your employees’ work and provide feedback on their work. Also, communicate your expectations to each employee.
  • Violated deadlines:¬†If you observe a trend of missing deadlines, productivity may be plunging. Make the importance of keeping to deadlines crystal clear and repeatedly communicate these deadlines.
  • Increased work stress:¬†Stressed employees can not produce quality work in time. Ensure you assign responsibilities according to your employees’ strengths and abilities.
  • Increased boredom:¬†Bored and unexcited employees might not impress customers as they would when they’re excited to work. Watch out for boredom and low engagement in your employees and take steps to motivate and stimulate your employees.

Why Employees Might Be Less Productive

Your car wash employees can be less productive for a lot of reasons. Some of these reasons are within your control, while some are not.

Here are nine reasons why your employees may be less productive:

  • Lack of recognition:¬†Companies that constantly recognize their employees’ contributions can boost worker appreciation and engagement. Businesses with highly engaged employees enjoy higher productivity and lower turnover,¬†according to a report by Gallup. Unappreciated employees are unengaged and unproductive employees.
  • Lack of knowledge and training:¬†Lack of training reduces your employees’ confidence and competence in their job. Those feelings can lower the quality of services they provide your customers and how efficiently they work.
  • Lack of resources:¬†Without the right tools and resources, your employees can’t provide the quality of services needed to satisfy your customers. Also, lack of resources leads to disenchanted and unengaged employees.
  • Poor communication and team spirit:¬†Employees who don’t feel welcome can be unproductive. Lack of communication hinders cooperation, which also reduces productivity.
  • Multitasking and work stress:¬†Multitasking can¬†reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Employees who multitask lack the concentration needed to meet your customers’ needs. They can easily get stressed out, work slowly and provide low-quality work.
  • Toxic workplace:¬†Toxic work environments can negatively impact your employee productivity. If your employees don’t feel safe, understood and cared for, they can get stressed.
  • Poor organizational structure and management:¬†If your organization structure does not support productivity and effectiveness, your employees may have a hard time giving you their best. If you fail to effectively manage and motivate your employees, they may lack the enthusiasm to provide your customers with the best services.
  • Poor knowledge of expectations:¬†If your employees don’t know their responsibilities, they may not be able to perform at the level needed to satisfy your customers.
  • Burnout in the workplace:¬†Burnout is a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion in your employees. Burnt out employees cannot perform at their best, impacting efficiency and output.

How to Avoid Burnout

In 2019, the World Health Organization declared burnout as a workplace phenomenon. The causes of burnout in employees include feeling a lack of control of their work, pressure, lack of communication, poor work management and a toxic work environment.

According to research by Gallup, about two in every three employees report burnout and work-related stress. Those employees are more likely to seek a different job or take sick days. They’re also unlikely to discuss their work performance goals and may feel a lack of confidence in their work.

With burnout having such an impact on your car wash attendants and your operations, you’ll want to take steps to combat it. Here are some strategies to reduce burnout in the workplace:

  • Make wellbeing a company culture:¬†Don’t just preach it, live it. Incorporate wellbeing into how your employees work. Encourage employees to take mental health days and vacations. Avoid the command-and-control culture, as it makes employees feel they have zero control over their work, unappreciated and unsupported.
  • Balance employee workload:¬†Too much work is a major reason for employee burnout. Ensure you understand your employees’ abilities and give them just what they can handle. Don’t pile up work for your employees or set unrealistic timelines.
  • Promote a favorable work environment:¬†Ensure there is no bias or unfair treatment in your workplace. Employees can easily get stressed in a toxic work environment.
  • Encourage communication and friendship:¬†Encourage and enable communication among your employees. This change increases the feeling of belonging and reduces burnout. Make it easy for your employee to talk to you about their challenges at work and take steps to make work convenient for them.
  • Allow flexible work schedules:¬†When possible, allow your employees to choose their work schedules. Invite them to give their opinions when making decisions that affect how they work.
  • Bond with your employees:¬†Be¬†reachable and approachable. When possible, eat and¬†dine with your employees. Those actions build a bond between you and your workers and increase their engagement and passion for your business.
  • Recognize your employees’ performance:¬†Take time to recognize the contribution of each member of your team. Endeavor to do it on an individual basis. If you can, get your employees gifts and provide bonuses for jobs well done.

The best approach to solving burnout is a proactive one. Don’t wait till your employees burn out before you act.

Increasing Car Wash Employee Productivity

Your employees’ productivity affects more than their paycheck¬†‚ÄĒ¬†it directly ties to your company revenue, customer satisfaction, and your brand reputation.

To ensure your clients visit your business and keep coming back, use strategies to boost enthusiasm, improve worker productivity and fill your lot with happy return customers.

1. Communicate Expectations Properly

Ensure your car wash employees know what is expected of them at all times ‚ÄĒ especially for new hires or new projects. Communicate deadlines and get mutual acceptance from your car wash employees. This measure makes them feel in control of their job and give it their best.

2. Distribute Workload Appropriately

Don’t overload your employees with tasks and responsibilities. Ensure the workload corresponds to each employee’s skill level and capacity. Distribute attendants as needed throughout your business, and communicate with workers to understand their workload needs.

3. Rebrand Their Passion

If your employees don’t take pride in scrubbing tires, cleaning engines and car frames, they may take pride in helping your customers stay healthy or increase their social status and safeguarding the environment. This is what you do at your car wash and exactly what you should get your employees to know and understand.

4. Promote Friendship and Camaraderie Among Employees

Try to reduce your employees’ activities from just washing cars and get them to find fun working together. Also, solicit their opinion in matters relating to the future of the car wash. This effort can make your employees eager to come to work every morning, day after day.

5. Pay Appropriately

Well-compensated employees will feel their work is appreciated. They’ll be motivated to come to work, which can then boost their productivity and efficiency. You can also provide raises or bonuses based on productivity, motivating workers to improve.

6. Encourage Rest and Breaks

Don’t push your employees to breaking points because your parking lot is filled with cars unattended to. When you can, fund their lunch breaks and provide a fun place for them to relax and rest. Regular breaks let your workers recharge,¬†reducing their stress and boosting their productivity¬†when they return to work.

7. Maintain an Open Door

Ensure your employees can access you when they want to. Be a mentor to your employees to help them provide stellar services to your customers. Also, ensure you always evaluate your employees’ work and provide the feedback they need to provide better services.

8. Equip Your Employees With the Best

Provide the best tools and car wash supplies your employees need to ease their work and complete services they can be proud of. Quality equipment and cleaning solutions can reduce waste and time needed to clean, detail or dry vehicles.

Boost Your Car Wash Employees’ Efficiency With the Best Car Wash Supplies

JBS Industries provides car wash chemicals such as sealants, detergents, protectants, drying agents, tri-colors, pre-soaks and polishes formulated for a wide range of applications. We spent over four decades perfecting our car wash supply formula and helping car wash owners satisfy their customers and increase revenue in an efficient way.

We provide excellent customer service and ship to customers in different parts of the world. Our products can help you boost your employee’s productivity and get more happy customers driving off your car wash lot.¬†Browse our products¬†to discover the car wash chemical supplies you need and¬†contact us¬†to discuss exactly how we can help you.

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