Products: Greenheck is a worldwide leader in manufacturing high-quality air movement, control and conditioning products. The company offers a comprehensive line of ventilation equipment including fans, dampers, louvers, kitchen ventilation systems, energy recovery and make-up air units. Its equipment is used across a variety of commercial, institutional and industrial buildings in applications from comfort ventilation to manufacturing processes.

Location: Headquartered in Schofield, Greenheck manufactures its products in eight facilities across the globe. The company also has five strategically located U.S. distribution centers.

Employees: Approximately 2,000 employees in Wisconsin

Balancing employee safety and essential production: Greenheck worked with local health departments and followed CDC guidelines and state-level orders to determine the appropriate, proactive measures that would allow the company to create safe environments for its team members working on site. Greenheck also created an Emergency Absence System that covered a range of criteria in all of its locations, allowing the company to absorb an increase in absenteeism, accommodate unique needs related to COVID-19, and retain its team members. And, like many businesses, Greenheck worked quickly to transition many of its office team members to working from their homes.

Operational adjustments in response to COVID-19: Greenheck quickly assembled a central COVID-19 Response Team and sub-teams focused on a variety of areas. “We tasked those sub-teams with researching, recommending and implementing changes and new SOPs,” explains Greenheck Director of Human Resources Carrie Strobel, who leads the company’s COVID response planning. Some of those adjustments included creating a 15-minute separation between shifts, CDC-recommended hygiene protocols for disinfecting workspaces and common areas, adjusting production/office layouts for social distancing, and implementing a three-tiered level of response based on the current level of active cases in any specific facility/community (temperature taking, masks, contact tracing, etc.). “We also partnered directly with our local health departments to proactively put preventative measures in place and coordinate in advance likely response scenarios,” explains Strobel.

Maintaining open communication: Strobel stressed the importance of Greenheck’s very public and formal commitment to providing fully transparent and open communication to its team members with frequent messages from the CEO and leadership team.  “We then doubled down on our communication efforts to ensure we are transparent, informative and collaborative.” Some of the communication tools Greenheck uses include talking points for personal conversations between supervisors and shop team members, digital message boards, informative videos, email, intranet and, most effectively, a private Facebook group with daily messaging, videos and updates.

Persistence and adaptation: Greenheck’s COVID-19 Response Team and sub-teams will remain in place as long as the pandemic persists. These teams, Strobel points out, are constantly evaluating different areas of Greenheck’s business to ensure safety, continuity and customer service. “Our team members have done a tremendous job of being flexible, engaged and committed to each other and the company. Most of our adjustments are the direct result of responding to new CDC guidelines and the decision to have a tiered response that adjusts protocols in response to the current levels of risk (restricting amenities, wearing masks, etc.) to limit the level of endurance-related fatigue,” she explains.

Business impact of COVID-19: Greenheck serves the commercial construction market and is fortunate that its customers still need the company’s products. As a result, the company has been able to retain its team members. “Our business units around the country have had a number of COVID-19-related orders for elder care facilities, hospital renovations/expansions and other emergency or national infrastructure construction projects. And our employees have stepped up time and again to get those orders out the door quickly, effectively and with a new sense of purpose,” explains Strobel, adding that while some market segments are down, other segments, like data centers and warehouses, are seeing increased demand.