In early Q1, as COVID-19 began to directly impact the U.S., we saw a need at DMD to ensure we could continue to support our healthcare clients as they in turn worked to maintain consistent and critical communications to physicians, nurses, patients and other healthcare audiences. To ensure this consistency, we knew we would first need to ensure support for our DMD team.
Beginning in March, we focused on providing a number of initiatives to support our team, several of which we feel are progressive even in this unprecedented situation. We hope to not only provide ideas to any organizations or individuals who may still be looking to extend pandemic support, but also to emphasize the importance we place on the individuals who make up the DMD team.
Our Core Values Drive Us - Especially in a Pandemic
The DMD team is guided by eight core values ranging from a focus on passion and dedication to customers, to the importance of a“family first” mentality. With family life bearing the brunt of pandemic lockdown measures, we have doubled down on our family first value and provided support to help not only our team, but their families as well.
“As a mom of two small children the understanding and respect I have been shown through this time is humbling; not just by management, but the entire DMD family,” said Samantha Weightman, account coordinator. “They not only said they would do what it takes to thrive through the pandemic, but put it into practice.”
“DMD was very understanding knowing that outside of the DMD family,” added Darlene Levison, special services manager, “we all have family at home, whether small children, teenagers ,elderly parents, etc.”
Emotional, Mental and Physical Well-Being
Expanding support beyond the day-to-day projects and work hours has been especially important at DMD. From the start, the DMD management team incorporated resources and tools to aid in the emotional, mental and physical well-being of our employees:
- Weekly sessions with Randi Platt, M.Ed.of Hornstein, Platt & Associates Counseling and Wellness Centers: Our highly attended, optional sessions with Randi have covered such topics as fear and emotional response, coping mechanisms founded in focused meditations and breathing exercises, and preparing for the changing dynamics of the pandemic. Additionally, following the murder of George Floyd and nationwide protests, these sessions have provided a necessary - and welcome - forum for discussions on racism and how to support our colleagues and communities.
- “Ready, Set, Stretch” with Justin Ehrhardt of CrossFit Rise: These short, 30-minute fitness sessions remind us to get out of our seats, move away from our laptops, and take a moment to concentrate on our physical health.
- Ever-expanding list of resources on the company wiki: “With the internal resources as well as the encouragement for us to share these resources with our friends and family it has helped both my personal and work life.” said Terry Mulholland, product owner. Resources are often shared across teams and our company, then added to our pandemic support page on the DMD wiki on an ongoing basis:
- coronavirus-related health guidance
- tools (read: survival guides) for families
- Covid Coach, an app created for anyone and everyone by Veteran Affairs
- meditation resources and apps
- Weekly, themed happy hours: We’ve learned a lot about our colleagues in the last few months through our happy hours. We’ve shared baby pictures and our children’s art projects, played trivia, and even held a couple jam sessions with our musically inclined teammates.
- Investment in telehealth services: Our work in the healthcare industry has always made it clear how important it is to have access to healthcare. In Q1, DMD immediately expanded employee benefits to include telemedicine, with no copay, for all our employees routine health services.
- Increased awareness and recognition at all levels of DMD: Not a meeting or call goes by where we aren’t all checking in with one another, sometimes lightly and sometimes with deeper engagement depending on how everyone is coping on any given day.
With family life bearing the brunt of pandemic lockdown measures, we have doubled down on our family first value and provided support to help not only our team, but their families as well.
“Our lives are in upheaval with everyone working from home, some with young kids, some with partners, some absolutely alone - each scenario is unique and with its own challenges.” said Ninon Flasch, senior manager, facilities & administration. “Time and again, our management team encourages us to take care of ourselves and our families, and they keep showing us how important this is by continuing to identify and provide resources.”
What’s Next for the DMD TeamPerhaps similar to many organizations, and beyond ensuring support for our team in the present, we are looking ahead to the next six to 12 months. Our internal discussions are not just about the logistics of when we can reopen our office and allow employees to work onsite again, but also on how we can build on the foundation of support we’ve created during the pandemic, ensuring that our employees feel supported through emotional or mental challenges that might lie ahead as we work out a “new normal.” The self-work we’ve done as teams and as individuals is helping us create new strengths and, although it comes out of what will surely be marked in history as a great tragedy, we’re excited for where these strengths will take us next.