CEO Q&A: How Are You Supporting Your Corporate Employees During Covid-19?
As part of our ongoing special coverage of Covid-19 and its impact on franchising, we’re asking franchise leaders how they’re responding to the effects of Covid-19 at all levels of their business. Below we offer an overview from 5 franchise brand leaders on how they are supporting their corporate staff during Covid-19. If you have a story to tell about what you’re doing to support your brand, franchisees, customers, or suppliers please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Flanagan, President, Wag N’ Wash
During this crisis our culture of team shifted to a culture of family, where everyone’s humanity is front and center. We established a daily and weekly communication program to address the changing dynamics, and I am calling each team member to check in. Further, we are sending care packages to team members, hosting weekly happy hours, and communicating through video chats, video messages, and emails.
Terry Powell, Founder, The Entrepreneur’s Source
Like many companies throughout North America right now, all employees are working remotely and staying safe during this difficult time. When we announced that we would be moving to a virtual environment over the next few weeks, we made sure our team members had everything they needed to be comfortable at home – whether that was getting them the proper equipment needed, forwarding their calls to their cell phone, installing the proper programs on their computer, etc. So far, we haven’t missed a beat. That is the business side of the fence. On the flip side, I really look at my team as if we are all family, and being able to interact with each other and check in on one another is crucial. So to have some fun during this crazy time and to make sure the team is still connecting with each other, we initiated our first virtual happy hour, which will be kicking off this Friday – and we will continue to do things like this from here on out.
Scott Taylor, President & COO, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux
We have kept our entire corporate staff and all store managers fully employed, no pay cuts or layoffs. We have had to furlough some of our hourly team members, but we provide a free meal every day, once a day for each of these team members. We have started Furlough Kitchen by Walk-On’s (in partnership with Front Burner Restaurants in Dallas) to feed displaced, laid off hospitality employees across the area. Furlough has one outlet in Dallas (Front Burner) and Walk-On’s operates six across Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and North Carolina with more to come. The work is done by bringing back furloughed employees to work these events.
Ryan Polakoff, President, Franchising, Nexterus
Re-education and training on tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and RingCentral have been critical during the pandemic. Our company has an average employee tenure of 12 years, so the sense of family and comradery we already possess is something we tap into and leverage during a tough stretch like this. We have a beautiful building on the Pennsylvania/Maryland border that houses 60 employees, with a dedicated call center. However, during the global pandemic, through the power of technology and the agility of our own platform and tools, we’re able to work remotely and still provide world-class customer service without missing a beat.
Quasim Riaz, Partner, Dog Haus
For one, we are having everybody work from home. We have a daily 9 a.m. call to keep open lines of communication throughout departments. Each department has its own schedule to meet their objectives. If somebody needs to come into the office, we make sure there are never more than three people at a time. Most days, only two people are in the office if they wish to be.
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