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  • Writer's pictureCrescent Communications

"When dealing with a pandemic you have so much on your mind. I can't pretend everything is normal."

As we confront a global health crisis as a company, we are strengthened by years of experience that have shown us that change is always possible even when problems seem insurmountable. The coronavirus is an invisible adversary, and it knows no borders. In this way, the crisis also reminds us of our common humanity and the need for connection. Reinforcing that to Do it Right, Do it Safe, and Do it Well, is genuinely a global value. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has touched all aspects of society, including how we work.

It's been comforting to see Crescent meet the COVID-19 challenges with such creativity, heart, and kindness. It's easy to be a leader when things are going well, but much more difficult to lead when things are going badly. In these uncertain times, how we all respond will have a lasting impact on our behaviors, including engagement, productivity, loyalty, and well-being.

I had a chance to talk with Bryan Homer, Sr. Co-Pack Operations Manager for Crescent's E1 site, to gather insights on this exact topic and why taking care of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, is crucial.

"When you are dealing with a pandemic, it is so hard. I don't want to pretend that everything is normal, because it's not. You can't truly grasp how great it is to have our leadership' information to communicate to everyone. We are genuinely all in this together. At work, I make sure that I give people time to digest all of this, time to ask questions, and for me, sometimes, that means just being available. 

Even though we have had many great things come down from corporate to support us all, I think the most significant support we have given everyone is being available for face to face conversation and hearing everyone's concerns. For E1, that has been very important, even the tough questions, like is everything going to be alright? What's going to happen to us? When will this end? I can't answer everything; I don't know what I don't know, no one does. But what we do know is how to stop it. The most significant focus here is safety; be responsible, wear your masks, wear your gloves, wash your hands, social distance, and keep each other at the forefront of your mind. Another significant factor is that honesty is the best policy. When you are a leader, it's essential to make people aware that I may not know the answer, but I am here for them, the best way I know-how. As a group, we acknowledge the feelings that we all have and remain transparent with everything. That is what builds a team, whether its production or personal, talk about it, and support each other".

This pandemic has demonstrated how critical it is for us to embrace humanity; take time to understand and care for one another. The same concepts are being brought to the focal point in many industries around the globe. According to Forbes CEO council, many big-name organizations, are asking, "We have found ourselves asking, how can I make sure 'People' is prioritized in my business? Not just in health and safety, but life and wellbeing. And why didn't we have these things before?"

"I am going to say that Crescent adequately supports our People. I am saying that even though operations are a priority, we still have taken the time to direct people to the different tools to manage life and work during this crisis even at work. Such as the short term leave, donated PTO, having the nurses here. It's wonderful! The relief I have is knowing that I have options to provide People and resources that work. I feel like I am part of a bigger team fighting this. 

It has been great to get insights and information to help us navigate through all the news and back and forth. Personally, when COVID started, I was anxious, who wasn't? What has helped us and me for that matter is knowing that we aren't just sitting here waiting for the world to update us. We are actively involved in all of this. I mean we, get the updates sent from the Crisis Management Team, the communications that you send update us, educate us, and keep us connected, and we can talk to every person and answer questions. Plus going through this information as a team every day has helped with the anxiety and builds trust and a family culture like none other. There is a lot of information out there, and we don't have to decipher this alone."

We have learned that Crescent's existing financial, medical, and mental health benefits were well designed to help people through this crisis. We expanded these offerings to include additional services, like free telemedicine consults, onsite testing, and more tailored to this specific crisis. Everything we do is through the lens of care and support. That's our culture. When you get the culture right, everything else falls into place, and there is no better time to let that shine than right now.

  • Crescent added 100% coverage for diagnostic testing and the associated visit related to COVID-19.

  • Immediate paid medical leave for any Crescent person diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Access to free mental health professionals, via phone or text, through the Employee Assistance Program.

  • Free financial planning support through Fifth Third Bank.

  • 100% coverage for virtual doctor visits and online health care services.

  • Well-being modules and challenges geared to staying physically and mentally healthy.

"I remember when we got that letter from Damian. It said that we are essential. That meant a lot, especially when you are going through something like this and thinking about your tomorrow. You start dealing with that question, what is my value? Having to cope and go through this unknown is hard, you are working to support your family, your health, and then that thought, will I have a job tomorrow comes to you. What do you do with it? 

To see the communication stating that we are essential, that we matter– it eased my mind so much. I brought it home to my family, and for them to see this, it affirmed a lot for us and everyone. I work for a great company, and because of that, I don't have to carry the same burdens others have had with their jobs. I am grateful for that. My team is thankful for the things Crescent has put in place to support us, not just here, but even at home." 

Talking to Bryan and hearing his story was uplifting and affirming. I hope it drives home the bigger picture surrounding all that we do. We are getting through this crisis with a few scratches, but we are not out, and we are not defeated. I am glad that we have gone above and beyond to show incredible support to our People and their families during this stressful, scary, and uncertain time.

With everything going virtual, Crescent has found ways to ensure we continue to reach each other and work to keep Crescent moving forward, remain connected, and accomplish our goals.

"We know we have to change, and people don't like change. But we have the best and the brightest people working here to navigate this storm. 

Tasha, my group, is going through the level four mosaic with Damian, and we got to complete the first level 4 mosaic virtually! My whole team, this was so exciting!

Everyone got to attend this virtually from our PCs, and no one was left out. We are still pushing forward. I was able to get the cameras needed, and everyone was engaged. I love it! It is nice to see my team, my company, not letting COVID slow us down. Virtually or not, we are doing big things, and I can't wait to see what happens next."

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