During these moments of uncertainty, one thing is for sure: Employees at evo are generous with their time. The outdoor retailer on Sunday invited its top 25 executives, managers, and other leaders to donate vacation days to be re-allocated as hourly pay for team members unable to work in light of coronavirus. 

Other members of the evo team also started pitching in and as of Wednesday morning, more than 37 people contributed vacation days, with donations ranging between 8 hours and 60 hours and adding up to 2,700 hours—and $42,400—worth of paid time available.

“Many of us can work from home, but that’s not true for most of our hourly employees working in our stores and distribution center,” Chief Culture Officer Jim Knutsen said from his home in Seattle. “One of our chief concerns has been thinking through how to support those hourly team members in the event they are unable to work for any reason.”

Additionally, the company closed its stores in Denver, Portland, and Seattle, and plans to pay employees for scheduled hours during the closure through March 29 and add support for affected employees. Donated time is being allocated on a case-by-base basis and the company is anticipating worker relief from Congress through some form of family medical leave.

“We’re also still determining details of how to manage team members’ requests for support,” Knutsen said. “This is all moving very quickly, but now that we have a pool of available hours, we’re working to determine how those will be allocated, should the need arise.”

Screenshot of 18 people in Zoom conference, all wearing ski goggles

The evo technology team—all donning ski goggles for some reason— held a virtual meeting and kept up their tradition of playing a 15-minute Jeopardy game to keep spirits high.

Knutsen said the situation has been hard on the staff, but they’re finding ways to remain hopeful. Knutsen said he and others have been keeping the Zoom video meeting program open to keep each other company. Yesterday, he joined 15 people for the technology team’s 15-minute Jeopardy break—a passtime usually held in the office, but now held virtually.

“They all were, for some reason, dressed up in helmets and goggles,” Knutsen said. “Some of them had wings on. And we played Jeopardy for 15 minutes with a live, click-in buzzer. We just were finding new ways of making human connections throughout the day. Everything right now that feels even a little bit normal just reminds us that we’re still in business, we still have a job to do, and we’re gonna get through this.”

Knutsen said he hopes that life begins to normalize soon and the vacation days can be returned to those who earned them, but for now “this is one small but wonderful example of the ways people are coming together” and it could help other businesses “as they look to balance the work of supporting their teams while protecting the business from long-term harm.”

Tags
terms:
CoronavirusEvo

Related

Retail store seen from above with vaulted wood ceiling, a loft with a couch on the left, bikes, and clothing racks |evo interior with bright lights and colors

Evo: When retail is so much more than retail

Evo’s story starts like many outdoor endeavors: Bryce Phillips as a college student was slinging ski gear out of his apartments in Seattle and Whistler in the ‘90s and launched the website evogear.com in 2001. The former professional skier’s startup business merged outdoor, ...read more

Grace Bender and Jeff Morton, L.L.Bean employees

Getting paid to hike the AT

On April 16, L.L.Bean sent off the first of 43 pairs of employees relay-style hiking the Appalachian Trail through August. Once the relay is over, collectively the teams will have passed through 14 states and by 20 L.L.Bean stores along the 2,180 miles.  Their hike coincides with ...read more

Native brochure_Sunlight Sports_Argot

The magic behind Argot, a new outdoor creative agency

It's summer break and a family of four with two teenage kids is driving to Yellowstone National Park. Noticing they need gas and knowing they need to stock up on a few camping essentials, the driver seat suggests that one of the kids find a good gear shop nearby. An ad for the ...read more

20180512_Feral Idaho Springs Shop Streetscape crop 2

A retail success story

On a recent rainy Thursday afternoon, the front door of Feral Mountain Co. swung open and in walked two scruffy guys wearing backpacks stuffed with everything they’d need for a trip to Canyonlands. Hours before they set out for Utah, they stopped by the Denver store for a few ...read more

GOA_Day04Awards-rock creek

A new era for Rock/Creek Outfitters

If you were a regular customer at Rock/Creek Outfitters long enough, the owners, managers, and sales floor staff greeted you by name when you walked through the doors and also came to know your outdoor activities. Shopping there was not merely a transaction; it was a gathering ...read more

black and white photo of Jerry Stritzke in puffy jacket and hat

REI's Jerry Stritzke resigns after investigation into personal relationship

REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke is resigning on March 15 after he and the Board of Directors agreed that his relationship with another leader in the outdoor industry is a perceived conflict of interest. Rob Discher, director of communications and public affairs, had "no ...read more

L.L. Bean store

L.L.Bean cuts bonuses and employees, but is opening 5 new stores

Despite a year of significant changes — from flat revenue to employee bonus cuts to a revised return policy — L.L.Bean is investing in its future by opening five more storefronts this year. One of the most critical changes in the retailer’s 106 years was scaling back its 100 ...read more

Half-Moon Outfitters

Find out why Half-Moon Outfitters is a #CoolShop

Half-Moon Outfitters doesn’t just talk the talk when it comes to being an environmental steward in the outdoor industry. The chain’s owner, Beezer Molten, walks the walk by incorporating eco-friendly initiatives in eight stores scattered across Georgia and South Carolina. He ...read more

summit hut building mug

#CoolShop | Why Arizona's Summit Hut believes in the power of concept shops

In 1967, two 15-year-olds named Dave Baker and Jeff Conn discovered that the best way to get their hands on quality outdoor gear was by buying it at wholesale and selling the rest to their friends. They named their business Summit Hut, set up a P.O. box, convinced some vendors to ...read more