Workforces across industries are still navigating uncharted waters as COVID-19 continues to disrupt our everyday lives. Some of the biggest challenges facing companies today have been maintaining open dialogue with both customers and co-workers and ensuring the well-being of affected team members.
On this episode of Company Culture Update, Trailer Bridge President and CEO Mitch Luciano talked with FreightWaves research analyst Andrew Cox about the importance of maintaining transparency internally among team members and externally with clients.
In order to thrive, you must first focus inward. Luciano explained that Trailer Bridge team members have remained actively engaged through communication via monthly town halls and daily Zoom calls with individuals throughout the company.
“Studies have shown that employees become disengaged when they work from home,” Luciano said. “How do we ensure that they remain engaged? We can accomplish that by listening to what their needs are.”
Luciano admitted that it can be hard at times to keep up morale but he encourages his workforce to think positively and keep in mind that even the COVID-19 pandemic will come to an end at some point.
Unfortunately, the virus continues to affect workforces. Luciano credited his company for pulling together to provide support. He said that Trailer Bridge allows team members affected by the virus or those employees with sick family members to step away from their positions for a short period of time. Employees infected are required to have two negative COVID-19 tests to return to work.
“The biggest challenge for us has been when our team is hit with the virus,” Luciano said. “It usually affects not just one person but rather a group of people who have dedicated jobs to get done.”
Luciano added that cross-training teams to take on the responsibilities of an affected group has become beneficial for Trailer Bridge as its workforce has been able to remain functional without many setbacks.
Keeping morale high and the workforce fully functional certainly has internal benefits but Luciano urges companies to also focus externally. He suggests that honoring commitments during times of volatility will help build and sustain long-term partnerships.
“The number one thing is commitment,” Luciano said. “We’re not going to change our pricing structure or the way we do business. I think companies should ask themselves whether they should focus on the short-term to make a lot of money in three months or rather think long term by sustaining the commitments they’ve made with their customers.”
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