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COE Distributing is Keeping Employee Engagement a Top Priority During Global Pandemic

Now, more than ever, it is crucial to keep team members engaged, connected, and positive. With so many unknowns spiraling around in the world, especially during this global pandemic, it is essential for employees to feel like they have normalcy, safety, and an outlet for communication within the workplace and among peers.

JD Ewing, CEO, and President of COE Distributing has created this engaged and positive environment and an outlet for his team, and he wants to share his expertise so that more companies can do the same.

Below are some suggestions on how JD Ewing has been helping his team cope with their stressors while keeping them engaged and positive:

1. Be fully transparent with the team. Tell them how the business is doing, whether it is good or bad. Also, be open and honest with how you are personally feeling, to build a strong connection. Ewing sends out daily emails full of business updates and numbers, ideas for the company that he wants input on, and positive messages. He also sends out two video recordings each week that let the team members know what is happening in the company.

2. Stay in constant communication with your team members. Have daily huddles every single day between departments, facilities, and the entire company as a whole. Use these huddles to discuss problems, find solutions, and just to check-in. Daily huddles are critical for a department and business to run efficiently, and they are even more critical during this time, because they are the only way team members working from home can have face-to-face interactions.

3. Have fun with your team members. At COE, Ewing has been offering two Live Breakaway with JD sessions each week, where the COE team members and Sales Reps can come together and talk about anything from what shows they are binge-watching to anything business-related. Ewing also hosts Happy Hours every Friday evening.

4. Bring your team members in on ideas and solutions. Allow them to share their opinions and offer suggestions. You never know how many great suggestions you will get that you can use to help the business grow!

5. Keep your employee engagement opportunities in full swing. At COE Distributing, book groups are still being done virtually, along with birthday celebrations, Warrior Helmet ceremonies, Employee of the Quarter announcements, and the Rising Stars Program meetings and projects. COE Distributing is also the first Proud Employee Engagement Partner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, so the company has hosted webinars and book groups with the partners at the Penguins as well.

6. While the world is definitely experiencing a new normal, there are still ways to keep the old normal in your company. Provide your team members with stability, transparency, and engagement, and you will be surprised with how much your company still flourishes, even through a pandemic.

7. Help them feel safe! If they are coming into the workplace every day, make sure the proper guidelines are in place and you supply them with the PPE needed to make them feel secure. If team members can work from home, encourage them to do so, but supply them with the tools needed for success and once again COMMUNICATE ALWAYS!

While the world is definitely experiencing a new normal, there are still ways to keep the old normal in your company. Provide your team members with stability, transparency, and engagement, and you will be surprised with how much your company still flourishes, even through a pandemic.

Bob Showalter, our Freight Specialist, became our newest COE Warrior. Jen Pletcher passed the helmet off to Bob stating that he is a true team player, helps whenever and wherever needed and does a great job saving the company money. We are blessed to have such dedicated team members, like Bob at the company. Continue reading below to see what winning this helmet means to Bob and how COE has helped him grow to where he is today!

Fun facts about Bob!

I love to work on my parent’s property; mowing grass, trimming hedges, cutting down trees, etc.

I am a SUMMER baby, so when it is warm outside you will find me lounging by the pool and spending time with my niece and nephews

What does winning the warrior helmet mean to you?

I am greatly honored and blessed with the opportunity to be a part of this great group of past winners. I will strive to continue being of help wherever needed.

What did you or what do you look for when it comes to choosing the next recipient?

Commitment to COE and the ability to help in any way possible to further COE’s goal of being the best furniture distributor in the USA!

How has COE helped you to get where you are?

COE has shown me that I can be a better version of myself daily by growing each day. I strive to do the best job I can each day and hope that I can use my knowledge to help get us to the next level of success.

What goals do you want to achieve and how can COE help get you there? Personal and operational growth.

Operational Growth – (as stated above) be a better version of myself on a daily basis. Always be willing to accept corrective criticism and strive to learn on a daily basis. As for personal growth, try to read a book every few weeks about something you know nothing about; you are never too old to learn something new.

What is your favorite part of our employee engagement programs at COE and why?

I think that most employers don’t understand that being able to “feel like a team,” especially right now, keeps us engaged and enthusiastic about our individual roles. JD does something that none of my other bosses ever did; he gives us “state of affairs” emails that tells us where we as a company stand, and this also provides us with the momentum to say “how can I help bolster sales, how can I help lower freight cost, etc.”

What are you most excited for when it comes to our Penguin partnership?

We get to interact with another company that has the same values as COE, where employees feel like they are part of a team and not just a number; I get this feeling from the folks I have met on the Partnership team. I feel like I am part of a team with two main goals: help cut costs for COE and help keep the customers happy so they will continue doing business with us.

What COE value do you think you’re the strongest in and why?

I would say teamwork. It makes me truly happy that I can help most areas of COE fix an issue, speak to a customer, etc. I pride myself with my ability to field numerous calls, texts or emails asking for assistance. I have learned that my internal customer is JUST AS IMPORTANT as my external customer.

Room-By-Room Furniture Solutions

Homes are once again a focal point in people’s everyday lives. Buying trends over the past six weeks reveal that more than 19% of the new WFH workforce is not only refreshing their office space with new furniture but by also showing some furniture LOVE to other living spaces.

- Living Room -

Clean lines and soft linen fabric,
the Partridge Collection is a fresh
take on mid-century furniture.

- Dining Room -

Dine on some industrial style
with this square or rectangular
dining table and benches.

- Sitting Room -

With statement seating like the
Chesterfield, decorating your sitting
area becomes a whole lot easier.

- Ottoman & Pouf Seating -

Some call it a cushion, some an ottoman, some a pouf. These versatile pieces are perfect for extra seating, used for a side table or footrest duty.

Jump Start Re-opening Your Work Space

The way we work may never be the same – what does that mean for the physical office? We’re here to help you plan ahead, so the office is even better when you return. This email will cover the topics of how to properly clean surfaces, as well as choosing seating that can be easily cleaned. 

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

Cleaning a surface simply removes visible debris, dirt, and dust. Sanitizing a surface makes that surface sanitary or free of visible dirt contaminants that could affect your health. Sanitizing is meant to reduce, not kill, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Disinfecting a surface will “kill” the microscopic organisms as claimed on the label of a particular product.

Cleaners and disinfectants recommended by the CDC to combat COVID-19 when cleaning guidelines are followed as directed:

  • Detergent or Soap and Water (prior to disinfection)
  • 1:5 Bleach/Water Solution
  • Alcohol-Based Cleaners (at least 70% alcohol)
  • Quaternary-Based Disinfectants
  • Hydrogen-Peroxide Based Cleaners

NOTE: As always, when using any disinfectant, it is important to test a small area and do not saturate the surface of the fabric, and remove all residue with a clean, damp cloth so the surface of the fabric will not be damaged.

For additional information on COVID-19, please visit CDC.gov.

Zella Collection
Tower Collection
Color Stack Collection
Mario Collection
Slash Collection
Hamilton Collection
Stacked Collection
Aero Collection
Blow Mold Collection

New to Work from Home? Small Space? No Problem.

Here are a few tips on Maximizing Your WFH Office Space.

Work from Home or WFH, as we call it, is becoming a household term as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the work-scape.  

This article can help you succeed in overcoming any space challenge with a bit of intentional placement and key touches that make an office of any size come alive. We have outlined a few tips for making the most out of a small space. 

 

1. Desk Placement

The placement of your desk is by far the biggest component of your overall office design.

As a rule of thumb, most interior design experts suggest placing your desk to the right or left of an entrance door. The old-age advice of not having your back exposed to the door. If space permits, placing your desk with the approach side facing the door can be visually appealing within a room as well as getting the best visibility of those entering the room. 

A standing desk can make a substantial difference in how comfortable you are in your space throughout the workday. You might start the morning sitting, but feel more comfortable standing after lunch.

These Standup Standing Desks from OfficeSource are what we recommend. 

2. Importance of the Right Light

The placement of your desk is by far the biggest component of your overall office design.

As a rule of thumb, most interior design experts suggest placing your desk to the right or left of an entrance door. The old-age advice of not having your back exposed to the door. If space permits, placing your desk with the approach side facing the door can be visually appealing within a room as well as getting the best visibility of those entering the room. 

For computer work and other focus intensive tasks, chose a light source dedicated to what you are doing.

This Flexible USB Light with Dimmer from OfficeSource is perfect. Convenient and portable, the flexible neck is adjustable for viewing or reading angles and is powered by any USB port.

3. Add Color for Depth

Small spaces can lack depth and character. Accent items that have a pop of color are a perfect solution, like this beautiful Perching Stool from OfficeSource. The bright blue, orange, or green are the perfect choice to brighten any room. 

 

Framed or canvassed art can also add color and warmth to your space. Hanging pictures above eye level to draw the eye upward and create the illusion of a higher ceiling is also a fun designer trick.

4. Creative Storage Goes a Long Way

If there is one addition to your small office that can really make a big difference,  it is creative storage.

This storage combination of Two Door Storage Cabinet and Open Hutch from OfficeSource is a great choice. Perfect for a small refreshment area, storing your favorite book collection and showcase decor items. The double door storage is perfect to clear the clutter from your workspace and store supplies.

Looking for space to keep your work bag handy?  Skip the typical coat rack, and try this Bag Hook from OfficeSource. Keep your items close and off the floor.                                                       

5. The Space Below Your Feet

Keeping the space under your desk clean and tidy can create the illusion of a larger space. Cords and cables will be tidy with Cord Management from OfficeSource.

Lastly, add motion, productivity, and fun with the Wobble Balance Board from OfficeSource.

Cabinets under your desk can be great space savers, but can also eliminate the open floor space feel. A solution is the Mini Pedestal from OfficeSource that mounts under a work surface.  

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