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May 21, 2021
Macdonald-Miller Facility Solutions
MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions was faced with many difficult decisions when industry activities were shut down at the start of the pandemic. Within a very few short days, company leadership came together to devise a plan for both office-based and field teams. Their core values of dedication, safety and community were at the forefront of all of their decisions during those critical first days.
Quickly, MacDonald-Miller implemented systems to support the office team’s ability to work remotely. It immediately launched a shared company website where employees could stay connected to their teams, where HR could post resources to support working from home and where employees could learn about the firm’s COVID-19 response, safety and applicable state updates.
Unfortunately, with field crews unable to work, MacDonald-Miller was forced to do a temporary reduction-in-force for many. This, too, was handled with company values top-of-mind, by providing a dedicated HR resource and support for navigating unemployment benefits and, most importantly, when the construction restrictions were lifted, commitment to bring crews back to work.
MacDonald-Miller was thrilled to be fully staffed again within eight weeks of the start of shutdowns. Central to its crisis response has been a spirit of leadership and innovation. In addition to holding the highest standards of safety protocols for employees (including rigorous policy/testing/reporting), MacDonald-Miller formed a COVID-19 response team focused on keeping everyone informed of rapidly changing requirements and impacts. By having a dedicated team of leaders across the company meeting daily, it was able to respond to any employee issue, safety matter or concern within hours.
MacDonald-Miller quickly recognized the need to be even more intentional about maintaining and growing its culture. Recognizing that so much of the company culture was built on the informal hallway connections and breakroom visits, it pivoted to having frequent town hall meetings on Zoom, virtual happy hours for cross-departmental teams to gather (some even had a show-and-tell of their newfound quarantine skills, like baking bread) and leadership encouraged each department to have daily huddles to stay connected while working remote.
Much of these measures remain in place today, nearly 12 months after those initial days of crisis management.
MacDonald-Miller has safely and steadily grown operations and headcount, surpassing pre-COVID count on all fronts. In January, MacDonald-Miller hosted its annual employee appreciation event, MacFest, via Zoom, with over 750 households logging in (including many field crews) for an evening of employee rewards and recognition followed by a live-music concert.
MacDonald-Miller continues to offer wellness resources, Zoom town halls and regular COVID response updates from its safety team, and remains committed to finding innovative ways to make the best of a very difficult year.