How Unlimited Sick Days Increased Productivity For This Dealership

A Canadian car dealership recently made a significant policy change, and it’s had one huge benefit. Thanks to unlimited sick days for employees, the dealership has increased productivity. In many countries outside of North America, this is already the norm. Slowly but surely, businesses are opening up to the idea, and success stories like this certainly add to why.

Unlimited sick days increased a dealership’s productivity

An overhead shot of a Fresh Auto car dealership in Moscow, Russia, unlimited sick days increased productivity
A Fresh Auto car dealership | Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

Automotive News recently spoke with Trent Hargrave, general manager of Riverside Dodge in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.

“You see it all the time: A person comes in with the sniffles, and then they try for a day or two, and then they’re sick. So, we lose a day or two from them anyway, and then three other people the next week start to exhibit those symptoms. So, either they’re going to try to tough it out and be less productive, or they’re going to spread it around.”

“…we said, what if there was just an incentive to not do that?”

What started as a temporary policy quickly turned into a permanent one. This dealership’s management implemented unlimited sick days as a COVID-19 precaution. Turns out, keeping sick employees at home increases production overall.

How have unlimited sick days increased productivity?

unlimited sick days increased productivity for employees at a Canadian car dealership
Pete Argumaniz, a pre-owned car salesman | Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

According to the dealership GM, the policy boosted employee morale and satisfaction. Employees feel no pressure and will gladly stay home if they’re sick since they get paid. Additionally, they take their time getting better. As a result, the employee isn’t less productive due to illness, and they don’t spread the sickness to other employees. In turn, relieving pressure on the employee makes them better workers overall.

This dealership was named one of Automotive News Canada’s Best Dealerships to Work For in 2021. In other areas of business, unlimited sick days aren’t too uncommon. However, they’re almost unheard of in the dealership world. Dealership employees usually work weekends, holidays, and very long hours. If they take off, they don’t make a dime.

What kind of productivity increase?

According to Automotive News, Hargrave mentioned that his dealership sells around 650 new and used vehicles annually. He said employees are willing to stay home until their sickness passes, ensuring two more employees aren’t out the following week. A sick individual no longer affects other employees, which would lower productivity for everyone involved.

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Hargrave said the best way to show you is through profitability to prove the increase. An employee who makes $20 per hour for 8 hours per day is sick for one day. “we can afford $160 to make sure three people don’t get sick instead of just one,” Hargrave said. One of the business’s most significant concerns about an unlimited sick days policy was abuse. Fortunately, Hargrave noted that having a robust and trusting culture has resulted in no abuse.

In conclusion, paying someone not to infect other employees is beneficial for businesses. Dealerships can be a difficult place to work, thanks to the demands it requires. Long hours and long weeks make for a fast-paced workplace where people need to be at their best. That’s how unlimited sick days increased productivity for this dealership in Canada.

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