I talk to a lot of dealers that did the best they could, for their employees, when the pandemic was ramping up. I heard wonderful examples of store owners sending their most at-risk people home, with pay, before any elected official told them to. Stores sending people home, paying base salaries, and asking them to work as best they could from home. Stores paying additional “hazard pay” to those essential employees that came in every day. In return, there were inspiring stories of dedicated managers and employees single-handedly doing the work of their entire teams.
As the situation played out, owners told me that it became readily apparent who was on their “Quaranteam” and who had just been working for a paycheck.
Quaranteam members kept in touch with the owners and managers.
Quaranteam members were willing to do what needed to be done, when asked, no excuses.
Quaranteam members were proactively trying to find ways to help their employers if even from a distance.
The less engaged employees made no such effort and, in many cases, complained, criticized and simply disappeared all the while accepting the owner’s money.
These employees looked for loopholes and ways to take advantage of the owner’s generosity. As stores begin to ramp up, they have found that these employees are resistant to coming back to work.
Owners told me the divide between the team players and not-team was stark, vivid and widened as each day passed.
“Our managers’ and team members’ ’True Colors’ were vividly on display when times got tough,” reported one general manager.
Owners were empathetic of the challenges faced by some employees during the crisis. They know that some employees were suddenly thrust into the role of teacher, nurse, elderly caretaker, and other roles that required a lot of time and put the employee under huge stresses. Those folks get a pass.
If business ramps up slowly and owners need to work with a reduced staff, they have told me that, while it will be painful, they can make those decisions with a lot more clarity than they could before the crisis.
Were you a Quaranteam player? If not there is still time. The future is filled with uncertainty, and no one in leadership has all the answers. Store owners need people who are enthusiastically willing to do their best in highly volatile and rapidly changing work environments. Stores need people who are proactive and positive. Store owners need to know that your hands, brain and heart are fully engaged and focused on work. Extraordinary effort is needed, and I believe it will ultimately be recognized and rewarded.
Be the ultimate Quaranteam Player!