COVID-19 is changing everyone’s daily routines, especially when it comes to the workplace. Most businesses that are customer-facing are having to shut their doors and take their work processes online. This situation can be incredibly challenging for companies who have never had any experience with remote work. Nevertheless, this is a unique issue for dealerships, whose teams are typically always onsite and likely heavily depend on working in a showroom area.
Fortunately, your dealership is not having to deal with this alone. Many dealership locations, as well as companies in and outside of the automotive industry, are having to change how they work.
So, how do you manage your team and still keep your services up and running while working from home?
Here are six essential tips for handling the shift to remote work.
Establish a Protocol for Meetings
You are going to need to have a plan for how your dealership team will collaborate during this period of remote work. However, you also have to allow for the constraints of technology and the need to ensure your meetings are useful, but not slowing productivity. A great way to do this is to have set meeting times.
For example, maybe you have a quick stand-up call in the morning to get everyone up-to-speed on what their tasks should be for the day, and then a more detailed weekly meeting to ensure everyone is still hitting shorter and longer-term goals. For quick stand-up meetings, look into Geekbot or StatusHero to efficiently find out what everyone is working on without having to take much time for virtual meetings.
Embrace a “Results-Driven” Approach
Regardless of the industry, we tend to measure productivity by how long people are staying at the office. In this situation, that measurement no longer exists. Your goal is to ensure your workers are productive, regardless of when they work. So, start to shift your mindset to more results and goal-oriented metrics.
This step is where trust is going to come into play. Work with your team to set up goals during weekly meetings and then allow your team the chance to work on their own time to meet those goals. Now, it is acceptable if you want individual team members to be available at certain times for meetings or quick discussions, but be sure it is done in a way that doesn’t negatively impact productivity.
Invest in The Right Tools
As a result of this sudden COVID-19 outbreak, many remote tool companies are offering extended free trials or discounted pricing on their software. So, you may be able to find the right tools at a reasonable price. For your team to successfully bring your onsite processes offsite, you are going to likely need:
- a to-do list app
- a project management and delegation tool
- an online chat feature,
- a virtual conferencing tool
- a shared drive to store and simultaneously work on documentation.
This is new territory for you and your staff. As a result, you need to set expectations early on. If you require some of your team to be online at certain times, make that known. If there is specific messaging that is appropriate for email, and other types that require a virtual call, help identify those situations, and set the tone for your team. You all are navigating this new way of working together, so make it easy on your staff by setting up processes and expectations that can help your team collaborate efficiently.
Promote Work-Life Balance
If you have not already encountered this issue, you will. When you are working from home, there is no longer a division between your workspace and your living area. This situation makes it much easier for yourself and your team to overwork. So, make it known that you expect your workers to take time away from work to recharge and take care of their mental and physical health. These are challenging times, and COVID-19 may personally impact your team, so be mindful of reminding your team to avoid burnout.
Take Cues from Others
There are a variety of resources out there that can help you locate remote tools, and hear how others are handling remote work. Here are a few helpful resources for you and your team to get more information about working remotely:
- RemoteHabits – A website featuring a collection of interviews from remote workers offering tips and advice for those working remotely.
- Workplaceless – An organization that provides resources and training for companies that are new to remote work.
- Remote.tools – Curated collection of remote tools in a variety of categories.
- Yonder.io – A website that publishes blogs and podcasts with remote work tips and advice.
- #Remotework – Follow this hashtag on Twitter for a list of threads with resources and tips for those working from home.
You Can Thrive in This New Environment
Remote work doesn’t have to mean that your dealership comes to a halt. This situation may actually strengthen your work processes and provide you with strategies that improve your staff’s productivity, even beyond this temporary situation. The resources above can help put you and your team on the path to keep your dealership in business to serve your customer base.
Did you enjoy this article from Chanell Turner? Read other articles from her here.
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