The early pandemic months were tough, but they were also incredibly valuable because they showed Audi Turnersville what its staff was capable of and how they wanted to be treated to make work an even more integral part of their lives.
Before the pandemic, "we thought flexibility meant working from home," Magee said, adding that the crisis put his understanding of work-life balance under a microscope in a good way.
"Now we realize that what they actually meant was the ability to fit their work into their personal lives in a more manageable way; prioritizing health and family, efficiency with regards to schedules and head counts, flexible scheduling and being open-minded when it comes to remote working."
Like many businesses across the nation, Audi Turnersville looked at those jobs that could be done remotely — the store's business development center, some of its back office staff — and found that workers not only retained their pre-pandemic productivity off-site, but actually grew it.
"We adjusted the hours of the dealership to give people more time at home. We used to be open until 9 p.m., and we cut back to 7 p.m.," Magee said, which allowed employees who work on-site to get home earlier and spend more time with their families, helping morale.
Notably, the dealership, which already was a top performer, didn't see its sales productivity dip at all with the reduced hours.
"The shorter hours actually helped everybody to become more productive," Magee said. "Morale has been increased tremendously. Productivity has increased tremendously. The technician hours per day and proficiency has increased. It's crazy, right? I think it's the balance of the work-home life. It makes everybody a little happier."
Happiness at work includes things beyond just flexibility and the ability to work from home, of course. Things such as compensation, time off, the ability to save for retirement and camaraderie with fellow workers also play big factors.
At Audi Turnersville, being part of the publicly owned Penske Automotive Group helps in those areas, providing a host of employee benefit and training programs as well as retirement compensation offerings.
"It all starts with hiring the right people and making sure everybody is good," both in what they do in their jobs and in their life outside the dealership, Magee said proudly.