As the world closely monitors and tracks the spread and impact of the new corona virus, business leaders are making decisions about how to mitigate the risk and keep everyone safe and healthy. In the government contracting community, executives are enacting procedures and policies to protect employees, customers and partners while continuing to provide government agencies with the services, solutions and mission-critical support they need.
In this series, WashingtonExec will highlight these leaders and how they are tackling this crisis, in an effort to share best practices in industry and shed light on the virus’ impact on the nation.
Chris Gros, Vice President of Talent, NT Concepts
Chris Gros is the main point of contact for COVID-19 communications and policy in the company. NT Concepts, which is led by President Darin Powers, is putting employee well-being and safety, and client mission first amid the global pandemic. Below, Gros explains how.
What innovative workplace policies/practices has your company embraced to minimize the impact of COVID-19?
We care about our employees’ personal well-being and safety, and we care about our client’s mission. With those key points in mind, we instituted remote work for those in the company who are able, and we are following the lead of our government clients in cases where the mission does not allow for remote work.
Though this is not “business as usual,” we are using all of our capabilities (e.g., video conferencing, online collaboration) and continuing with our weekly rhythm. At this stage, a majority of our company is working remotely. Many employees performing on-site, mission-critical operations are executing rotational schedules and enabling physical distancing by reducing the number of people on-site at any one time.
What has your company done to keep morale up internally for employees?
We are a services company. Our people matter — our relationships matter. The relationship between manager and employee is exceptionally important. Mutual support and candid transparent communication are essential to building and maintaining the trust that is fundamental to strong relationships and authentic morale.
To that end, we have frequent all-hands messages from our leadership and consistent messaging from our managers. In these communications, we encourage everyone to live our core values — three of which are support each other, journey together and be truly candid. We understand that this is going to be a disruptive time. Emotions will fluctuate so trust based, authentic relationships formed on a sense of mutual support and candid communication solidifies morale.
How has the policy for travel or attending large conferences changed?
Yes, we have canceled all nonmission critical travel and conference attendance. We are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for personal travel and asking our employees to self-report and self-quarantine when required.