A company's employees are one of its greatest assets, and in the current pandemic business environment companies should be doing all they can to retain their workforce as well as their current clients. Safety and health concerns factor into employee and customer behavior.  Here are a few things dealerships can do to ensure retention of their valuable staff members as well as their current clients.

Protocols and Policies

Dealership owners should ensure that communication to employees is clear regarding policies and protocols put into place to safeguard staff and clients from potential exposure to COVID-19.  One key aspect is that dealers and top management, themselves, follow protocols such as wearing mask and practicing social distancing to set the “tone at the top” for employees.

Employee Feedback

Communication should be a two-way street to help inspire confidence in staff members.  One strategy to solicit candid feedback about comfort and safety in the workplace is to conduct an employee survey.  Ask your staff if they feel safe at work.  Request suggestions on how they might feel safer.  Then implement the suggestions that are feasible.

Set Quarantine Plan

Make sure you devise plans to follow if an employee has been exposed to or has tested positive for COVID-19.  At the minimum, you should follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines, as well as relevant state mandates, to ensure employee safety. While most dealership work does require employees to physically be there, if and where possible, employees who have been exposed should have the opportunity to work from home if appropriate to keep other employees safe.

Be Proactive

There should be preventive action standards for all employees working in the dealerships such as hand washing, wearing masks, and adhering to proper social distancing rules where feasible. Sales and service staff should keep bottles of hand sanitizers at their workstations for themselves and customers; pens should be sanitized after each use; and common areas such as service counters and waiting areas should be cleaned routinely throughout the business day. Consider having masks made with your dealership’s logo for employees wear on site as well as distribute to customers.  These masks are a great way to keep everyone safe while advertising your company.

Consider Additional Sick Days or Flexible Schedules

Show employees that their efforts are appreciated in these tough times by offering additional time off, adding sick days for employees who have been exposed, or having more flexible work schedules. In addition, dealers could offer rewards like gift cards to employees who show extraordinary work or effort or buy lunch for their staff in appreciation for their commitment and diligence.

By conveying your genuine concern for the safety of your employees and your customers, you are showing them how important they are to your business.  These suggestions are just a few ideas how to keep your business safe during these difficult times.  Feel free to contact HHM to discuss these ideas and more.