The COVID-19 pandemic fostered fundamental changes to the workplace. Remote work became the norm from 2020 through the first half of 2022, and many industries might never return to the office, full force.
For automobile dealerships, the post-COVID era has had an enormous impact on the office environment.
Best Companies Group (BCG) — a leader in employee engagement that conducts more than one million employee surveys across more than 10,000 companies in the United States, Canada and Western Europe each year — has identified several emerging trends in the new workplace.
- Employees want corporate leadership to be highly visible and caring. During COVID-19, leaders reached out, through videoconferencing and corporate communications, to comfort employees and establish a strong connection. Employees want that strong, active, positive presence to continue now that many have returned to the office.
- The types of communications and the frequency of messaging increased during the pandemic. These, too, must continue.
- Recognition and nonsalary rewards grew in importance in the 2020-22 period as ways to keep employees connected and reassure them that they are valued. Returning to the workplace in a more stilted social environment has created even more demands in this area.
BCG has learned that returning to work in this new environment requires that the Best Places to Work build a new culture that reflects changing employee needs, wants and values.
Among the Best Canadian auto dealerships, this means a focus on diversity and inclusion and a commitment to retirement benefits, flexible hours, employee health and wellness programs, and employee education/personal development programs.