In my previous blog post, I talked about three fundamentals for a successful Internal Leadership Meeting and recapped our 17th Annual Manager Meeting January 7-9 in Orlando.
Since that time, I think it is fair to say no one could have predicted how much the world would change in just two months. When the National Basketball Association suspended operations on March 11, and both Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League following suit a day later, it was clear how much COVID-19 was becoming a part of daily life in America.
As a company, we continue to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Interim Guidance for Businesses on best practices for social distancing, our company has altered a number of our service offerings to protect the health of our employees and our customers.
In March, the pest control industry was designated an “Essential Service Provider,” as outlined in the Department of Homeland Security CISA document. Therefore, our industry’s goal is to protect public health by providing an essential service to homeowners and businesses.
Because pest control is essential to public health, we understand the need to help restore confidence among businesses and business owners when it comes to sanitation and safety.
As a result, we debuted “TRULY Sanitized,” a new service offering to disinfect, sanitize and eliminate viruses on non-porous surfaces such as countertops, tables and door handles. The service kills harmful germs and bacteria, prevents and eliminates mildew, and disinfects a wide variety of viruses including, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes human coronavirus (COVID-19). We recommended the service to businesses that have frequently visited areas such as lobbies, kitchens or checkout counters.
MIND THE STRESS LEVELS
While these are the things we are doing as a company, there are three things I wanted to share from a non-service perspective, due to my background outside of pest control, in counseling.
- COVID-19 is just as much as a physical and economical epidemic as it is a psychological one. A change in daily routine alone breeds stress. Stress can never be exterminated; just merely managed — much like bugs. Persistent stress can lead to depression, which is best combatted by three fundamentals of overall well-being:
- Consistent sleep patterns,
- And exercise.
- Business owners’ first priority should be company culture, now more than ever. We are over-inundated with conflicting, largely negative news, and the impact to daily life is, well … to use an overused word, uncertain. This uncertainty creates fear, and can be detrimental to companies. It is critical that leaders prioritize the culture of their company, and bring positivity — despite the crisis. The second priority is cash flow.
- All workers should look to find a new norm, a new routine. Getting “in a groove” will bring normalcy, which is much needed. Trite, but powerful practices include:
- Structure the day and stick to that structure.
- Set “work hours.”
- Get dressed in what you would typically wear to work, even if work is in the living room.
We are all in a state of survival during this storm. However, once we find the new norm and gain our “sea legs,” we will be able to propel forward as individual companies and as an industry. I look forward to getting back to all the projects and objectives that we were working on before the crisis. Shifting back to a proactive mindset of marketing, growing routes, and building a business will help us get there sooner.
Scarlett Nolen was promoted to president of Truly Nolen of America in March 2019. Nolen has worked for the company since 2012 in multiple roles. Most recently, Nolen was the district manager for the “Growth District,” a district of new service offices throughout Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Prior to joining the company, Nolen graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Experimental Psychology and Summa Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.