Imagine being an Assistant Branch Manager starting at a new branch just weeks before COVID-19 would disrupt the transportation and travel industries. Well, that’s essentially what happened to Efren M. in Southern California, who was faced with running a branch amidst the unimaginable.
“When I came to Enterprise, I knew I would learn a lot of things, but I never imagined having to navigate the business through a pandemic,” says Efren.
Keep reading to discover how the symbolism of a simple brick laid the foundation for Efren to persevere.
As the impact of the pandemic took root operationally, branches started consolidating to provide a shared fulfillment model for customers. With a smaller footprint of physically-open locations in his area, Efren transferred to another branch to support essential services.
During this time, employees were not only dealing with the personal impact of the pandemic, but also had to navigate the uncertainty it caused at work.
“I had to balance my own fears with my responsibility as a leader,” says Efren. “It was my job to stay focused and lead my team. I couldn’t fall apart. I had to be the rock for my team.”
Laying Bricks or Building a Cathedral?
On May 4, 2020, his area opened back up with one branch. It felt like they were starting from scratch, with few cars left to rent after many were transferred elsewhere during the pandemic. Efren focused on rebuilding hope and confidence among his teammates and customers. But how?
That’s where Area Rental Manager Jamie J. comes in. She was inspired by the moral of the story about the three brick layers:
A traveler came upon three men working. He asked the first man what he was doing, and the man said he was laying bricks. He asked the second man the same question, and he said he was putting up a wall. When he got to the third man and asked him what he was doing he said he was building a cathedral.
As the region slowly reopened, Jamie had the vision to build a proverbial cathedral. She decided each time a team in her region rented 100 cars, they would receive a brick to sign and lay.
This became Efren’s motivation. Day-by-day, brick-by-brick, Efren and his team were on a mission to build their cathedral.
“Each day, the team cleaned, sanitized and provided excellent service to customers,” says Efren. “We worked as a team, and built our way back up, one brick at a time.”
On May 7, 2020, Efren’s team earned its first brick. The second brick came soon after. In late June, Efren moved to reopen another branch in the area, where he laid two more bricks.
It was Efren’s positive attitude, care for others and leadership that led to two promotions in the past six months, including to his current role as Branch Manager.
“People like Efren got our teams through a difficult time,” says Jamie. “He was always a ball of energy and he had a wonderful ability to keep the team focused and engaged.”
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