Meyer Najem’s focus on building strength in community has never been stronger. As COVID-19 challenges our daily lives, we refuse to let it affect the care, intention, and pride we take with each project. Whether there are five or five hundred workers on a jobsite, we will continue to lead in innovation and create safe environments for employees, clients, and industry partners.
In a new reality where hardly anything remains ordinary, our company continues to be a trusted partner and an integral part to clients’ visions throughout projects during COVID-19. No matter the circumstance or challenge, we are ready to get to work, so our clients can too.
Communication and Collaboration
There is nothing that our team digs more than a challenge. We take a collaborative approach to solutions. Thriving in an environment needs creativity, positivity and trusted expertise. Communication and collaboration are tools that are just as important as the construction equipment we use.
“We are working in an entirely different construction world now,” said Michael Najem, Senior Superintendent. “When it comes to cleanliness and communication, we have upped our game several notches.”
For Michael, jobsite meeting topics range from stairway etiquette to proper sneezing to strategically staggering workers on different floors. While we have implemented new company-wide jobsite procedures, project managers and superintendents have taken those further. On Michael’s jobsite, no one is allowed in construction trailers, hand shaking has been replaced with nods, and texting or phone calls are the preferred method of communication.
Across all jobsites, hand washing stations have been installed, temporary bathrooms are cleaned twice per week, and highly trafficked and touched areas are sanitized daily. Jobsite workers are provided masks, eye protection, and sanitized bodysuits.
“As soon as we learned about COVID-19, Meyer Najem sprang into action. New procedures were implemented quickly. We’re proactive, and that makes a big impact when it comes to safety and protecting workers,” Michael said.
As a company, we have always utilized several forms of technology to achieve the best possible construction experience. This includes AEC industry technology, document management, and collaboration software. During COVID-19, technology has been adopted across more areas, and that won’t decrease.
“One hundred percent technology integration is the future of project management. Technology will play even more of a significant role in the future,” said Jeff Mroz, Senior Project Manager at Meyer Najem.
At Jeff’s senior living facility project, new technology initiatives are being used to keep face to face interactions at a minimum and unnecessary traffic out. The construction jobsite is in the middle of a senior living facility that has residents currently living there. The construction entrance at the 127,000 square foot project is now equipped with a video phone, and anyone who enters needs clearance. Extra restrictions have been added to protect residents, including a third-party cleaning service coming in at night to deep clean. Construction work has been phased to accommodate social distancing, and additional time is being taken to strategically plan work schedules.
“Every time I enter the jobsite, I think about the health and well-being of the residents. Each one of those residents is someone’s parent or grandparent. I am constantly thinking about what actions are taking place on site and how that may affect others,” said Jeff.
Anticipating future obstacles has always been a proactive step in leading and managing jobsites. With both clients and workers, there is constant communication through teleconferencing, FaceTiming, phone calls and text messages, which limit face-to-face interactions as much as possible.
Thinking from multiple perspectives each day helps project managers and superintendents ensure everyone is protected. The use of technology has helped streamline communication and increase productivity.
Increased Safety, High Morale
Our leadership team takes an aggressive approach to safety and has a relentless motive to improve it. Everyone returning home safely and healthy at the end of each day is our number one priority.
Project managers and superintendents have noticed heightened awareness on jobsites. Workers are interested in every safety precaution available to them when it comes to protection from spreading the virus. Because workers are concerned about bringing home germs, everyone is taking new procedures seriously and following them closely.
There has been a whole new level of support and reciprocity among the jobsite crews when it comes to caring for one another. Collaboration and creative ideas are coming from the crews each day on how to stay safe. Project managers and superintendents gather thoughts and insights to re-adjust and prepare for the next day on site.
“During breaks and lunches, the team environment and camaraderie has really been up. The fact that we have all only been surrounded by family on our off time gives us an opportunity to share relatable stories and have a few laughs,” said Adam Brandt, a Meyer Najem Project Manager.
Responsible Leadership Allows a Community to Thrive
Listening is a trait that has proved valuable time after time on projects. If our clients have special requests or concerns, it’s our responsibility to take action and pride in shaping how business should be done. We are transparent, innovative and honest with our clients and employees.
Intentionality and outstanding communication is crucial in today’s times. To us, a community is more than a collection of buildings. It’s a place of passion, hard work ethic, and collaboration.
As leaders, continuing to reinvent how we keep our workers safe is imperative to a safe and productive work environment.
Working Beyond the Virus
Our team will continue to lead with confidence, adhering to guidelines from the CDC, WHO, DOL and OSHA. We stand behind our work, our approach and our passion for people and successful projects.
“A new normal will present itself when this is all said and done. We need to proceed with caution and be aware of our surroundings, more than ever. It’s our job to do that for our clients — now and always,” said Jeff Mroz.
Deemed as essential workers during COVID-19, our workers have had impressive attitudes and work ethic during unpredictable times. What they can rely on is working towards a goal, as a team.
“To me, it’s about so much more than just a job. It’s about continuing to show up as a team to keep the economy moving. Everything we do causes a ripple effect. We have to stay healthy and safe for our community, I know Meyer Najem will be the leader in that,” said Michael.