By Keith Kennedy, CAPP

COVID-19 has taken a lot of people by surprise. When such events happen, everyone rallies. They hope this will be a short duration event. COVID-19 is still here–the threat is still real and still hanging around. There are so many ways this can hit us.

Like a good boxer, a parking professional takes many hits and not all of them can be seen. At the beginning, we push ideas quickly in an attempt to prevent as much damage as we can. We open gates, we suspend enforcement, we try to keep everyone employed. We do everything we can to help keep our operation and community in the best shape possible.

Now the reality sets in. This is not a short-term fight–it’s a long-term fight. Not everyone is ready for such a fight. As we move to bring back somewhat normal operations, we must stay diligent in the needs and well-being of our most critical asset: our staff.

Not everyone on our staff can be ready for a marathon. We must take into account their abilities to cope. Failure to take such actions could have a devastating effect. The effect could be the loss of a staff member either temporarily or even permanently. That cost is unrecoverable. The ripple of emotions from the loss of a member will affect the organization emotionally, economically, and financially.

Learn your staff. Protect your staff. It is worth your time and money. This is a real cost that has been seen by organizations and most not be forgotten.

Keith Kennedy, CAPP, is parking operations supervisor with the City of Durham, N.C.