As the province works to recover from significant flooding, dealerships are experiencing a variety of challenges.
In addition to taking care of your business, you may also have staff that are impacted by flooding. Here are some "quick tips" to assist in dealing with both business and staff challenges during a weather emergency.
If your dealership qualifies as a small business, you may qualify for additional financial support if you experienced damage due to flooding. For information on financial supports available to you, please click here.
When there is a weather disaster, information can change quickly, frequently and regionally. For the most up to date information, always check with your local authority first. For specific regional information for Abbotsford, Agassiz, Cariboo Region District, Chilliwack, Cowichan Valley, Fraser Valley, Hope, Merritt, Princeton, Okanagan-Similkameen, Sunshine Coast and Thompson-Nicola, you can access information here .
In addition to the business challenges you are facing, your staff may also be affected. This may impact their ability to attend work, arrive on time, stay focused on the job and work in a safe manner. If you see signs of distraction or attendance issues with your people, be sure to check in and see how and if they have been impacted by the flooding and mudslides.
Often it is not the individual themselves that have experienced adversity due to a weather emergency, but their concern for, or requirement to care for, family members and loved ones can be a strain on their ability to keep up with a regular routine and level of activity.
Some individual challenges that can impact an employee's work include access to food, unexpected housing of affected family, loss of family income, loss of loved ones or pets, general commute or travel obstacles, loss or damage to personal property, as well as the legal and often difficult administrative processes that can go with these issues.
For staff that are experiencing additional stress, you can refer them to supports and resources such as their EAP program, the Red Cross, Salvation Army and other community support services.
As well, as an employer, some flexibility may be required regarding start times, access to time off, reduced hours and other modifications to their standard work arrangements.
With the reduction in accessible fuel purchases you may also need to prepare alternate arrangements for your ongoing fuel needs at the dealership. Be sure to plan for an extended reduction in fuel access and to ensure that your staff are conducting themselves accordingly, This may include shortened test drives, reduced idle times and an increase in the number of staff that participate in your refueling tasks. Remember that these reduced purchase mandates will also apply to your staff and their personal vehicles, this may mean stopping for fuel and sitting in long lines on the way to work that may cause delays and other inconveniences.
On the topic of test drives, remember that some routes are also closed to non-essential travel , have unexpected road closures, and other obstacles that may impact your regular test drive routes. Be sure that your sales staff are prepared for unexpected re-routing and that if there are designated closures or essential only routes on your test drive routing, that you have clear temporary routes planned.
Referring to your business continuity plan and emergency safety measures may be required and a reminder to staff to always operate with safety as a top priority will help ensure that your dealership works through this trying time with success and a minimum level of interruption.
If your dealership is facing challenges with Business Continuity, Employee Impact or Safe operations during a weather emergency, please contact us at email@example.com for more information on how we assist dealerships in managing through difficult times.