What is your company doing to boost morale and keep employees positive during this unprecedented time?
President & CEO
Timber Industries, LLC
At Timber Industries, we are giving our team the flexibility to work remotely during this time and giving them the tools and software to be as efficient as possible. We are keeping in frequent communication with our team members as we make this transition to remote work as smooth as possible. As a wife and mother of two, I am aware of the amount of change this time has brought with it. Many of our team members are married and have little ones, so we have been accommodating as we adjust to this situation. At Timber, we have been intentional about using video conferencing apps to make our communication as constructive as possible, and we have been researching resources available to help employees during this time. We are aware this situation has brought pain, grief and anxiety to many, and we are doing everything we can to protect our employees’ jobs and families.
John Gregg, AIA, VMA, LEED AP
It is certainly an unprecedented time, and further complicated by the fact that none of us know when we will ultimately get back to normal. We believe that communication is the key – clear, concise and frequent communication from firm leadership to the entire staff about the current situation and the actions that are needed in order to address health concerns while continuing to get work done. It’s important that everyone understands that the firm leadership has both their best interest in mind as well as the best interest of the firm as the situation continues to change. We are also encouraging collaboration using several web-based tools. We are a collaborative office; it’s an important part of what makes us so successful, and we need to continue to work collaboratively as much as possible while working remotely. The ongoing collaboration helps to keep us all positive and remind us that we are still a team, all working toward a common goal even if we aren’t physically in the same space. We will all get through this together.
Debra Hall, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Human Resources Manager
HMS Insurance Associates, Inc.
HMS has had a robust work-from-home and remote-access plan in place for several years. Currently we have expanded it to include 85-90 percent of our staff. We are considered an essential business, so we are able to continue to serve our customers and have a handful of essential staff in the office that can assist teleworkers when necessary. We have great communication between staff and we check in with each other via regular calls and emails. We also have an online portal with access to benefits and other essential info and are understanding and flexible with the family needs of our staff.
Vice President of Operations
F.M. Harvey Construction Co., Inc.
Unfortunately, there’s no business manual to help a company navigate a time like this. Our overall goal has been to strive for a calm, educated and safe environment. We think it’s critical that our managers don’t get sucked into the panic and that employees can look to them for consistent, measured actions. Transparency is especially important now and communicating the ever-changing conditions and expectations (both good and bad) is necessary to build trust and calm. Besides the tangible changes, like additional hand sanitizers, disinfectants and wipes, we have regularly communicated new protocol for respecting coworkers’ spaces to ensure everyone’s safety. Humor is also important; we hope to ease the anxiety felt by all. We recognize that our employees have widespread concerns, and we don’t want to minimize them by pretending they don’t exist or that our business circumstances are the same. Staying focused on what can be done, not on what cannot, creates a more positive environment.