At Toyota of Turnersville (N.J.), the service team works four 10-hour days each week.
"It was born out of necessity," Ryan Sowell, area human resources director, says. Toyota of Turnersville is part of Penske Automotive Group.
The traditional business hours and schedules weren't meeting customer demand. "Based on the number of dealership bays that we had available, we had more business than we had bays," Sowell says. The idea was to stay open longer. Sowell says it has been a win-win proposition.
Initially, the employees were resistant to the change, but management and employees got together and worked through it. "For retention purposes, it is a great benefit," Sowell says. "It's definitely a better quality of work-life balance for the team members that are on the [four-10] schedule. They love it. Their families love it."
Alexander Ayyoub, general manager of DCH Lexus of Santa Barbara, owned by Lithia Motors, believes that working around people's real lives when making a schedule makes the employee more productive and a happier person in general. "When they tell me [that they need some flexibility,] I get pumped up a little bit because it gives me an opportunity to put what I believe in motion," he says. He is proud that some of his employees work "really goofy schedules."
Ayyoub started on the sales floor as a millennial looking to make his mark. He learned from managers who bristled at the idea of emailing or FaceTiming a customer, but also instilled in him the traditional business values of hard work and driving for results.
"I've been lucky," he says. "I've gotten to see the old-school car business and then be part of the new-school car business." He wouldn't trade that foundation for anything, but he focuses on the future and embraces change. "Why are we going to torture someone with a schedule that they can't handle? This is a great employee that does a great job, and here we are, we may end up losing this person because we can't — you know — adjust to something that could sometimes be so minor."