If I had asked you before this pandemic started what was an essential employee, do you think your answer would be the same as it is today? This very unusual time in our lives has made us discover what "essential" truly means.
Before, you might have thought first responders, medical personnel, and some government employees were all that were essential. You might not have thought of our food and retail supply chains, or even the electrical products and services supply chain that you are a part of. But we do now! We know just how many jobs are required to keep the country open just enough to maintain minimal services.
Your warehouse, delivery, operations, and other office staff who are now labeled as “essential,” likely had to come to terms with that over the past two months. Because during other short-term crisis, such a snow storm, ice storm, forest fire, or hurricane, you might have closed the operations for the day or even a week. A blip of a disruption in that length of time likely did nothing to your ability to serve your customers, or at least it was quickly forgotten. So, the staff may not even have felt like they were considered essential.
Once they come to terms with it, pride and a feeling of importance is something they likely felt first. While getting up and going to work each morning they saw their neighbors not leaving for work, they felt a sense of “what I am doing is important to the world!” And they are very right! The electrical supply chain keeps hospitals, first responders, and the food supply chain moving. Without their efforts, very quickly the ripple effect would be felt.
In addition, they also may have felt the negative side with either a fear of getting sick or feeling like the company is not concerned about their well-being. These are natural feelings when alone or on a skeleton crew of staff while they see the rest of their office coworkers’ parking spots, cubicles, or offices remain empty.
Therefore, it is critical that you make sure your employees are provided genuine support as much as possible during this time. (Although a pizza party is nice too, true empathy towards them will go a long way.) NAED decided to make this week April 19-25, Electrical Heroes Week to help you honor those employees. We have received well over 200 photos from our members sharing images of their staff, both before and after this crisis began. We thank you so much for your outpouring of support to help us together honor your great employees.
We encourage you to share the images, video, and messages with your staff and we encourage you to continue to support them. Even if your company cannot do much right now, they will still appreciate if you can do something later when things have improved. Here is a certificate template we created. Feel free to use and make it your own for your company to honor your employees.
NAED has also recently created a video of some of the images we received from our members.
Remember, that throughout this time, NAED has built and will continue to add a wealth of resources and tools for you to use. Visit our coronavirus resource page to see everything we have, and more will be added as we enter new phases of this challenging time. #electrialhero