Scaling Car Washes

How to Create a Strong Workplace Culture at Your Car Wash

Are you looking for ways to build a strong workplace culture within your car wash business? In a recent Scaling Car Washes episode, host JT Thomson talked with Nick Friedman, President and Co-Founder of College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk & Moving. Check out these action items that you can put in place today to strengthen your business now and in the future! For more from Nick, check out episode 14 of Scaling Car Washes

Establishing Workplace Culture and Values

Nick shares that many business experts “talk about the importance of culture, because really what happens is culture drives behavior, behavior drives results. And the only way you’re going to create longevity, sustainability, and scalability as a business is by having that foundation.”

Establish a core set of values.
Be sure that they are clear and concise. Focus on making the values a central part of the workplace experience.

Use the business values to make decisions. The values should be at the heart of everything that happens within the business. Those values guide hiring, training, customer service, and all other aspects of the business.

Instill those values in your leaders and franchise owners. The values are a daily part of work life. They are integrated into meetings, trainings, procedures, and every other aspect of the business. 

“None of this stuff happens overnight. It happens intentionally. It happens with repetition and reiteration. And it starts with the founder and/or the leaders beating that drum and sharing core value stories, defining those values, giving examples of a positive culture.”

Nick Friedman

Actions to Take During Onboarding and Training

Day One of Orientation: Start with focus on culture and core values as the foundation on day one of orientation. Remember to make it exciting for new members! Nick shares that on the first day, he or one of his leaders will share: “(1) the history, where we’ve been, (2) the vision, where we’re going, and then (3) the core values, which is basically our roadmap or guardrails to make sure we don’t veer off course in getting to our destination. So, we want to make sure that our new franchise owners and their team members understand where we’ve been, kind of the heritage of the organization that they are embracing, where we’re going, embracing the change of what’s coming down the road.”

Daily Huddle: Nick recommends daily huddles as a great way to promote and reinforce core values and positive workplace culture. The huddle can be short — College H.U.N.K.S. keeps them to five minutes! — but they do them daily! The huddles can be done online and in person to include remote workers; huddles are a great chance to hit on the core values. Each week at College H.U.N.K.S., they rotate through their 4 core values and then have a miscellaneous day on Friday. Over time, they get team members to share examples of core values in practice.

Training the Team to Manage and Exceed Customer Expectations

Team Activity: Talk with the team about what customers expect during each part of the process. Highlight what would minimize complaints and what would exceed customer expectations. Have them brainstorm each part of this, and then come together as a group to work through common complaints and actions that would exceed expectations. 

Note that this can also be done with the leadership staff with a focus on team members instead of customers – what do the employees expect, what makes them frustrated, and what could exceed their expectations?

The Bottom Line: Identify something that you can do 100% of the time to minimize customer complaints and frustration. Nick gives the example of notifying a customer if you are running late.

The WOW Factor: What can you do to go above and beyond what a customer expects? Exceeding expectations when possible can have a profound impact on customers. About the wow factor when it comes to customer service, Nick notes, “Because if you’re just satisfied when you go to the sandwich shop and you get a sub, you’re not gonna go tweet about it or put it on your Instagram, but if you get a “wow” experience, that’s when you start wanting to share that experience with others. And so we look for ways [to do that.] And that’s more of an art form, right?”

Ongoing Training: Training is an ongoing process. It is NOT a one time event! Be sure to EMPOWER your team to make decisions on behalf of the company. Nick highlights some specific questions that employees should always ask themselves when making decisions: (1) Is it good for the customer, and is it good for the company?  (2) Is it ethical and in line with our core values? (3) Am I willing to be held accountable to it?

"If you’re not passionate about helping others get better, I don’t believe you’re going to be a great leader, because the whole way to scale a business is through tapping into the potential of other people."

Nick Friedman

Additional Thoughts and Resources

Remember that this does NOT happen overnight! Be intentional and stay with it, but do not try to do it all immediately.

Spread out the responsibility. Everyone is part of the workplace culture and is responsible for upholding the culture.

Check out these two leadership books that Nick recommends:
Jim Collins’
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t 
Seth Godin’s
Purple Cow : Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

For more great tips from Nick, listen to the full interview with JT and check out the full episode! 

Remember this advice from Nick: “It just starts by doing it. And, of course, every journey starts with a step. Each of the listeners had to take a step to start the business. So I think it’s just starting to take the steps towards some of these things that we’re talking about as far as instilling values, being a values-based organization, building culture, being a leadership development type organization. None of it’s going to happen overnight, just like no business success happens overnight. But the fruits of these efforts will be really infinite if you think about it in terms of the long term success of the business and of the team.”

Nick Friedman

Want to hear more from Nick Friedman, President and Co-Founder of College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk & Moving, the largest and fastest growing junk removal and local moving franchise opportunity in North America?

Don’t miss the Scaling Car Washes episode where host JT Thomson talked with Nick!