Facing COVID-19: Excellence Through Execution, Safely and Efficiently
This article originally appeared in the October issue of Enerfab Insights.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past several months of dealing with COVID-19 it’s that our world changes quickly and so must our organizations. Whether it’s going completely remote or executing our projects with fewer people and more safety restrictions, this pandemic has forced all of us to make difficult decisions and make them quickly.
But more important in our industry than most, speed can’t come at the cost of safety or quality. Risks in our industries are still very present, even as we emphasize social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.
So, how do we work quickly with limited team interaction while maintaining our safety and quality culture?
Easy-To-Understand COVID-19 Protocols
The first thing we did at Enerfab was to articulate our COVID-19 safety protocols clearly. The unknowns of this pandemic created a lot of confusion. And the only way we can keep our focus on the many risks associated with our work is for these new standards to be as simple and straightforward as possible.
Our clear, new standards have proven effective. Our teams have worked continuously through the pandemic, and our craftspeople have remained committed to our high safety and quality standards.
Simplify Project Decision-Making
The second critical step was to simplify the decision-making process around projects. Our project processes have been honed over 100 years of work, but we no longer have the luxury of having our team in the same room to navigate the nuances of each bid and each project.
We had to give our team leaders the tools and the autonomy to make the same good decisions faster. And it’s only fair that, as company leaders, we clearly spell out what’s expected of them in doing so.
The result was a nine-step checklist that allowed them to gauge new opportunities at every step to ensure each project is the right fit for our company as well as our customers.
What About Post-COVID-19?
Let’s get this out of the way first: We are certain that aspects of our business will be changed forever because of this pandemic. And we are striving every day to make sure those changes are for the better.
While COVID-19 forced many of us to make difficult decisions, things like clearer safety standards and simpler project-decision-making processes can benefit our organization well past the time of social distancing and masks.
Resiliency for our business means leaning into this way of working and re-applying these same principles when we’re on the other side.