How has Pacific BMW been handling the Pandemic?
Since the beginning of Winter, our Executive leaders were paying close attention to the novel Covid-19 virus spreading throughout China and Europe. Because of this, we decided to cancel our Spring Internship Program where we usually welcome college students from Hong Kong. As cases progressed in the United States in February, our People Operations Manager called management into a meeting and discussed a plan to prepare for the possible virus outbreak. At that point we ordered as many cleaning and disinfecting supplies as possible. Many employees and managers were still in disbelief that this could be happening to us but we took all the necessary precautions.
During the first phase, we added multiple hand sanitizers dispensers around the dealership, propped some doors open to avoid constant contact of door handles, increased sanitation routines and talked to staff about limiting physical contact with others. This felt unorthodox due to our warm culture, where people usually shake hands and sometimes hug. We also hung CDC posters to remind employees to wash their hands and use their sick time if they were not feeling well.
The second phase started in early March where social distancing became a nationwide thing. We spread out sitting arrangements throughout all departments and removed customer chairs in some places to avoid congregation. By the time the Stay at Home order was put in place on March 13, some employees were sent to work from home and we had to close the Sales department temporarily. Whoever was considered an essential employee stayed at work and was required to wear a face mask that we provided.
After a month and a half when were able to fully reopen all departments, we made some changes and procedures to welcome everyone back. For example, we are only setting up virtual meetings and online training courses. We are also required to do daily temperature screenings to detect any underlying fever. We added more cleaning staff and routines for easier disinfecting after hours.
Our People Ops Manager has kept constant communication via email and using our employee portal to make sure our employees can detect symptoms, follow the CDC guidelines and have the appropriate resources when we're dealing with stress and anxiety. We take our employees and customers' safety seriously.