High-profile Hyundai dealer Nav Bhatia—the Toronto Raptors’ Superfan—used to advertise he kept his stores open every day including weekends to serve customer demand, but he’s implemented a new company policy closing on Sundays to give his sales and service departments a better work/life balance.
Bhatia’s Digital Marketing Manager Vernon Wong told Canadian auto dealer the decision was made because the company has been having a hard time hiring people post-COVID and the current employees are drained.
“We’ve been short-staffed and it’s been taking a toll on the employees because there’s a higher turnover ratio,” said Wong. “We were wondering, what can we do to nip this in the bud?”
Wong said the company isn’t sure if the staffing problem is a result of culture, work hours or pay.
“We took a step back to study this,” said Wong. “Since COVID we’ve been keeping an eye on Sunday especially, how much it costs to operate versus how many hours these employees are working. We realized they’re overworked and we also realized we’re trying to keep these employees, so we need to make sure they have a healthy balance. They had to sometimes work six days a week. They’ve mentioned it to their manager from time to time asking if they could get an additional day off here and there.”
The policy has already gone into effect at Bhatia’s flagship store Mississauga Hyundai and he’ll do it with his Rexdale Hyundai store starting in November.
Wong said it is hard for salespeople because they don’t get paid until the car they sell is delivered, which has been made even harder because manufacturers are delivering less inventory because of the chip shortage.
“A lot of people understand that for a couple months they are going to have to grind a little bit, but it’ll be worth the rewards at the end,” said Wong.