Town Hall 3/19/2020

First, we understand that this can be a frightening time for some people. We want to let you know that Sloan Security Group is still operational, although not in our normal manner. Our mission has been and is now to continue to support our clients while adding value to the services that we can provide. We know that this is an uncertain time, but we appreciate your flexibility.

We will continue to communicate with you via e-mail, text message (in case of emergency) and our internal website. There is no link from our main page to access the employee announcements so please use, sloansg.com/updates. There we will post the weekly message, and any updates as this COVID-19 situation unfolds. 

Next item of business that I am sure many have been wondering about. We do not have any job cuts or furlough at this time. We are monitoring our business, the COVID-19 news developments, and we may have to make adjustments to schedules and hours. Sloan is trying to take every opportunity to continue our work, we will take things on a week by week basis.

Some of our current projects include Shore Lodge, Shasta, Dallas, and Oroville.

Our estimating team is also trying to bring new projects for SMS on-site.

Next addressing questions regarding travel, to reiterate previous e-mails and communications, we have stopped all non-essential travel. Required travel will be done via vehicle.

Matt B. asked:  I have a project coming up in Denver in April that will require a 14-hour drive. I would like to take a work partner with me to split the drive. Should I start planning all my projects that way? Or how should I proceed?

Answer Brice: Matt, your project is a little bit far away. Let’s see how things change over the coming weeks, and then make plans with your manager.

As many of you have noticed we have moved to remote operations using Microsoft Teams. This has been a group effort, thank you everyone for transitioning and a special thanks to Cameron for helping provide support through this process.

A reminder, communication is different when done via chat, e-mail, text message or instant message. Try to do a video call, this will help with showing body posture, facial expressions and more to help convey what you actually mean.

Comment from Collin: I have been working remotely for a long time. A tip I have is to try to do a video call whenever possible, it helps get your message across. Remember, when working from home there are unique distractions – kids, spouses, doors slamming and people yelling. Be understanding, and others will also be understanding. Things are going to happen that’s life.

Comment Craig J.: Make sure that you are in a place with good lighting, a clean space, make eye contact whenever possible. These things go a long way when communicating through video chat.

Chat from Rob C.: Proofread your emails before sending.  I catch dumb errors before sending all the time and text messaging is very easy to be mis-read.

Comment Ron H.: When communicating through means other than phone or video chat, try remembering that people have the best intentions when communicating on-line. They aren’t trying to say things in a mean or hurtful way sometimes it may just short and be a matter of fact.

Chat from Rich P.: Go for walks during ur lunch break, it clears the mind and cabin fever.

Comment from Brice: We understand that there may be new challenges with working from home and balancing your work life. We are a family-based business and have children of our own. Try to set a schedule, and make sure you are updating your status updated in teams, so we know if you are available.

Next there are some announcements:

  • We are happy to welcome Teresa S. to the Payroll team! She started on March 18th, and although her first day was anything but traditional but, we are glad to have her join the group.
  • We are also happy to announce that the Human Resources Manager position has been filled, Michelle L. She will be starting on March 30th. She is currently working remotely and helping Cammas.
  • Cammas’ last day will be March 31st. She may be helping part-time with some consulting, or even in the future projects. Thank you for your help during our transition Cammas.
  • We will be stopping hiring for a little while, until we see what happens with the business.

Final thoughts, we don’t want you to feel that your questions are not being answered. If you feel that you are not being answered please reach out to your supervisor or others in the leadership team. We’re human, and sometimes we have either forgotten or thought your question was already answered. Please have open communication and check-in with managers and supervisors especially if you have symptoms or are feeling ill. Now opening the floor for more questions.

Amber K. Do we have an expected date to return to the office?

Brice answer: As of right now we don’t have an exact date, we are going to see how things develop. I estimate from seeing how other countries are recovering and trends it may be 30 – 45 days. But our goal is to keep you safe, so that may change.

Suzanne C.: Will this town hall meeting be weekly while we are working from home?

Brice answer: Based on responses, this will occur weekly before or after the safety meeting.

Scott O.: “Does the shop get a weekly townhall afterwards as well?”

Brice answer: “Yes. Following the virtual town hall, we will be doing a in person shop meeting at-least weekly. Practicing social distancing of course. It may be more frequent if I am in the office. Our estimating team is trying to bring more projects in house, and we may try to change some duties for people in the shop to keep busy. There may be some slow weeks. However, there may be more opportunities for different projects, travel and different work in the near future.”

Trevor S.: What happens if we or a person who lives with us gets sick?

Brice answer: So, the suggested quarantine is for 14 days. This includes you and anyone living in your household. We don’t want to bring that to work either. Remember that you can use your sick and vacation time. Also, someone mentioned that there are new laws and bills that are being signed in regard to sick leave. We will be sending updates on those as time goes on. Watch your finances, we distributed bonuses recently, it may be a good idea to set some funds aside in case of emergency.

Scott O.: There was a recent signing for the Fence Preparedness Act, are we going to find opportunities for work in that?

Brice answer: Yes, we have a few people on the team looking into it.

In our group chat here are some comments you may find interesting:

Derek L.: Check the CDC for actual formulations for hand sanitizer or disinfectant…. social media is not typically the most accurate source of information especially in times where people are scared. Use your primary sources please.

(If you are having a hard time finding water bottles, here are some great suggestions)

Tracy C.: Camping jugs from Walmart – 5 – 7 gallons at a time. Easy to fill in the bathtub; Square shape, handle and a spout. Use personal cups/reusable bottles and refill at the jugs. 

Amber K.: A lot of sporting goods store (Big 5, Dick’s) have those plastic green Gatorade bottles on sale for $1.99/each right now. If crew doesn’t have their own! 

Nick A.: Be sure to sanitize the big storage bottles periodically. CDC website has guidelines using bleach.

We had a guest appearance from our mascot Athena: