How ADT Commercial Adapted Its People Practices Due to the Pandemic 

As organizations continue to navigate COVID-19 and start to look forward to a post-pandemic working environment, many have had to identify various ways to stand by and support employees. From greater workplace flexibility to companywide transparency, leaders have been called upon to instill a stronger feeling of unity. Additionally, industrious companies have maximized this time to offer comprehensive training and reallocate resources to educate employees. 

With that in mind, here’s what to consider to help frontline employees continue to progress during and in the aftermath of today’s crisis.

Focus on Flexibility

This pandemic has made many organizations reassess tools that are necessary for employees to work effectively in a changing environment. For instance, the global health crisis has demanded that organizations explore methods to effectively implement a more robust remote work strategy in the interest of minimizing any unnecessary employee-to-employee contact, or contact with the public at-large. At ADT Commercial, we pivoted quickly to ensure that leaders and employees who had the ability to work from home would have the tools to manage and execute necessary work remotely. 

However, getting to this point was not an overnight process, and as is the case with any new work style strategy, it’s imperative that organizations start at the top by training leaders on how to manage remote workers. It’s important to encourage them to ask questions about what constitutes productivity and broaden thinking around how we evolve as it pertains to remote work. 

Additionally, as we navigated this crisis at ADT Commercial, realizing that we had employees and loved ones directly impacted by the pandemic, we made sure to provide employees with a more malleable work structure that included:

  • Extra time off
  • Alternative daily work hours 
  • Regular rate of pay 
  • Voluntary furloughs 
  • Encouraging employees to use vacation time

Now, as we recalibrate working environments post-pandemic, the issue of remote work and offering more flexibility in how people work is bound to become central to the discussion. This experience broadens a whole spectrum of opportunities to examine if there are more effective ways to manage the business, from recruiting to relocation costs to real-estate needs. To that point, we must also ask: What can and can’t we effectively do remotely?

Recognize Personal Development

At ADT Commercial, we’re wholly committed to providing our employees with a clear path to career progression, and at no time has this principle proven more significant than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost immediately, our team shifted to providing intensive courses and training modules to our technicians, salespeople, service managers, and countless customer-facing employees. We were able to leverage a hybrid selection of self-paced, facilitator-led training with subject-matter experts and third-party providers from inside ADT and beyond. Through highly engaged training sessions and virtually proctored exams, our employees were able to make incredible use of their time, vying for and completing prestigious industry certifications and mastering skill sets that would directly support their career progression within ADT. 

It’s also important to implement a culture of recognition upon course or certification completion by honoring and rewarding those who perform well and showing ways in which their success will be tied to career progression and promotion going forward. 

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We place a premium on these kinds of industry-validated accomplishments and have directly aligned certain accomplishments with promotions and benefits. This encourages participation and incentivizes workers to work harder and expand their knowledge base. It also helps to make employees more accountable throughout training.

Establish Buy-In and Accountability

To drive your initiatives forward, you need to ensure you have companywide buy-in from executive leadership to local leaders. Knowing that the business dynamic has changed, there needs to be an organizational consensus on the value that results from investing in existing talent both in a traditional office environment, as well as virtually. Achieving this from the onset is crucial to helping employees remain engaged, especially when so much feels like it’s at a standstill.

Additionally, as we step out into the post-pandemic landscape, it’s critical to keep the customer-service experience at the highest standard possible. More than ever, employees need to be that much more prepared to address customer needs. 

Therefore, it’s imperative to have an established infrastructure in which leaders remain accountable for…leading. Leaders will and should be called upon to evolve how they evaluate performance in a work-from-home environment to ensure that the service experience for customers doesn’t slip, but rather improves coming out of this pandemic.

Cultivate Trust

Your top priority should always be the safety and wellbeing of your employees. And to gain employee dedication, accountability, and trust, you need to operate with transparency and provide added support and flexibility. During the outbreak of COVID-19, our team had to adapt quickly to be more effective, efficient, and above all, transparent. This meant changing long-standing processes and proactively bringing new ideas to the table to find quick, yet realistic, solutions. 

It’s important to remember that how we treat our employees today will determine retention. At ADT Commercial, we are always thinking about the long game and planning for the future, knowing full well that our actions now will define who we are as a company and employer tomorrow. We’re committed to continuing that culture of transparency, forging a solid foundation of trust aimed at bolstering the confidence and value of our people.

Michael Keen serves as vice president of talent at ADT Commercial. He has more than 15 years of experience in sales, sales training, and sales leadership. Michael started his career with Protection 1, working with the top national, multifamily, and commercial accounts and ensuring the customer experience was as advertised. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management and speech communications from Loras College.

Julie Perkinson-Carpenter serves as the vice president of human resources at ADT Commercial. She has over 20 years of experience in HR and development at ADT Commercial. Julie started her career with Avis Rent-a-Car, working with the top national, multifamily, and commercial accounts and ensuring the customer experience was as advertised. Julie holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a master’s degree in human resources from Chapman University.

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