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Handling Employee Matters Gracefully
2 min read

Handling Employee Matters Gracefully

This post is co-authored by Amy Hinote (AH), Matt Landau (ML), Vince Perez (VP)

Help Employees Separate Fact from Fiction

Much of what fuels employees anxiety is what they consume on social media and from the "talking heads".  Here is a tool we share with our team, created by professionals who track this data in real time.   It is broken out by state and allows the individual to separate fact vs fiction and provide your employees with data that impact their lives and your business: Sharing this data and adding real perspective will keep your team focused and positive for the recovery ahead. The most precious asset to any core vacation rental business is the team. - VP

Etiquette matters.

Before your tough decisions with staff, no matter  how dark your finances may look, ask yourself “how can I handle this in a  way that preserves respect in a post-coronavirus world?” Communication  and transparency is key. Some of the bigger the companies I spoke with  are making lay-offs and referencing employees individuals immediately to  Unemployment. Other companies are finding new ways for staff to stay on  in the downtime (Examples: doing checks of empty homes for property  owners, marketing projects like new website). - ML

Prepare for your team to work from home

It is highly likely that your team will be prohibited from coming to work in the office, if it hasn’t happened already. Robin Craigen, CEO at Moving Mountains in Steamboat, Vail, and Beaver Creek, Colorado, is packing up and  moving his office home today. He shared that he wishes he had prepared  for this two weeks ago when guidelines began expanding. He has purchased  laptops for employees and is working with his IT provider to establish  VPN connections and reconfigure his VoIP network. To shift to a remote workforce, team members will require access to  email, internet, teleconferencing, limited file sharing, and  function-specific capabilities (finance, HR, etc.) from their remote  work site. They also require access to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)  applications in the cloud, such as the PMS and Microsoft Office 365. Craigen advised managers to contact their IT providers immediately to  get on their schedule and purchase laptops if your team doesn’t  currently have them. Here are some steps to move to a remote workforce. - AH

Examine payroll expenses and research unemployment options

After 9/11, the first thing large VRMs did was eliminate overtime and  initiate wage freezes and hiring freezes. Since payroll is likely your  largest expense, the next step is to reassess the need for seasonal  employees and contract employees and look at cutting business hours and  employee hours. You can also explore unemployment options for your current employees.  States are offering unemployment benefits for workers affected by the  coronavirus. In Alabama, for example, “the requirement that a laid-off  worker be ‘able and available’ to work while receiving unemployment  compensation benefits has been modified for claimants who are affected  by COVID-19 in any of the situations listed. Additionally, claimants  will also not have to search for other work provided they take  reasonable steps to preserve their ability to come back to that job when  the quarantine is lifted or the illness subsides.” Based on historic performance for vacation rental destinations, when  this challenges passes, or “washes through” as President Trump said,  travel is expected to rebound quickly. Decisions about payroll will be  the most difficult and the most impactful in managing expenses, so  experienced managers recommend not putting these off. - AH