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OPINION O PI N I O N Why we put staff at the centre of virus response Able Moving & Storage CEO Steve Kuhn discusses how the companys heart of everything the business does E very one of us at Able Moving & Storage fosters an unspeakable amount of gratitude for the efforts our team made on each others behalf during the last year of unprecedented challenge. During this time, the company saw double-digit growth, which according to our leadership team was made possible by three main characteristics: STEVE KUHN CEO OF ABLE MOVING & STORAGE At the beginning of the crisis, Able decided to go far beyond CDC recommendations. This meant, in early March, that we were disinfecting trucks daily, requiring gloves on site, equipping every vehicle with sanitiser, and taking the temperature of every person through our door. This attention to detail early on fostered an awareness of COVID measures that We supported this with messaging about the importance of looking out for each other. Our two-year-old Alive and Able wellbeing programme gave us a platform and, to avoid confusion, we single-sourced our pandemic messaging from this. We shared with our networks what we were doing to keep our employees safe. Able is a family-based business, espousing family values. Families take care of their own, so focusing on employee safety was the most important thing. Because of the interactive nature of the moving industry, we couldnt have done anything better to look out for the wellbeing of our customers, vendors, and the community. Supervisors were available to talk with employees We have decided that employee safety will be our keystone concept moving forward 68 FF301 Q2 21 pp68-69 Opinion.indd 68 team was available to talk to any employee at any time. Employees were scared, and the comforting interaction that took place, and is still taking place, will be remembered for a long time. No matter how long it takes to beat this virus, we have decided that employee safety will be our keystone concept moving forward. When we reached out to clients, vendors, partners, and our community, the message was about what we had done for our employees. We made clear that the best way to take care of them was to take care of our staff and the response was overwhelmingly positive. People like doing business with people who take care of themselves before interacting with others. We have always enjoyed company solidarity, but the number of messages addressing each others wellbeing was really heartwarming. Natural leaders emerged, with coping suggestions, offers of assistance, and funny videos. We think proactive messages coming from the top down in an emergency such as this has helped us fare well. Tackling the impact of COVID-19 has required employees working from home but we brought forward investment in the technology to do this. We quickly reduced the number of employees on site and created an environment for easier social distancing. employees into different roles, and the cost of training never regret. It helped us retain every employee and it is a major source of pride for all of us at the company. It allowed divisions that are doing well to make up for divisions that had been hit hard. Our international commercial division grew by 30 per cent. accommodate helping others, and Able diverted employees to help at the many local charities in which we are involved. This helped with employee retention, keeping Ables workforce active and well trained, eventually to tackle the backlog of work that built up. We gained many new customers, because we could get their work done in a timely fashion. If we really have the end of this virus in sight, perseverance will have been the most important characteristic that we have practised as a company. We will never rest until we are assured the risk is over. Silver linings during this crisis are hard to come by, but the strength that we have attained as a company during this time is special. Our thoughts and prayers are focused on those who have been hit hard by this pandemic, and we hope 2021 is a prosperous year for us all. Able has given a central role to the health and wellbeing of staff WW W. F I D I FOC U S . OR G 09/03/2021 14:49