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Survey raw responses: keeping morale high

Unedited responses from APPA’s survey on Grounds/Landscaping, conducted April 2020.

Given the current challenge, what are some ways you are keeping morale high among your grounds/landscaping staff?

Frequent phone calls.

Safety memos.

They are off on paid leave.

Staggering shifts to keep them safe; OSHA training to ensure that everyone know the rules.

All contracted work continues.  Replaced some athletic field work with other activities on campus. 

We are rotating weeks so everyone can plan accordingly.

They are happy to be working and not laid off like their peers at other campuses.

They are being paid to stay home. They are anxious (bored) at home and want to come back. 3 – Weeks so far.

The college continues to move forward with Landscape/Grounds projects.  The majority of our staff is third party – College staff continue to receive full salary and benefits.

2 5 hr. days.

Teamwork and campus pride to keep it maintained.  Scaled back services to lower not immediate impact areas.

Frequent communication with staff

1. Daily zoom open house sessions

2. Distributed cookies for those working on campus

3. Constant appreciation for those coming to campus for work

4. Reduced work load with unchanged pay status

Rotating and flexible schedules

We afforded the following to our teams:

– Constant updates (daily as needed) on the impact of CV19 on campus and the region

– provide all needed PPE immediately to the team related to CV19

-conducted meetings with the unit and Senior leaders.

– determined what the proper social distancing should look like for the crew.

– added additional sick time to the their accrual banks for use at their discretion

– insured that the fleet vehicles were and are properly disinfected daily. With only one operator allowed in any vehicle.

– eliminated all crew gatherings including at start and end of shift, all employees report directly to their work zones and no one works in groups unless operationally needed.

– Offering lunch or treats during the work shifts

– started half on / half off scheduling to limit further exposure to one another.

– The largest want from the team was open and direct communication.

Assured employees will receive full pay for working 50% time, and that employment for all will continue through 6/30. 

Staff are on a weekly rotation, with 50% reporting & 50% not (but still receiving pay).

Allowing/encouraging them to work on site, safely and distant (Mow turf, etc.).

Continuous communications as to the direction of the college during the pandemic. Planning to bring personnel in on a shift basis the cover the grounds/landscaping needs.

I have noticed that many of our campus customers that are on campus are taking the time to not only praise the efforts of the grounds and landscaping crews, but also the entire Facilities function.  Although most faculty and many administrators that are off campus during this time, they know that we are here doing our jobs.  Yesterday the Student Affairs sent us a video that they produced that included many, many students (most international with nowhere to go) all saying “Thank You!”  We are a close-knit group!

Premium pay for work.

Ensuring their safety, and actively listening to their concerns.

Opportunity to catch up on projects have been put off due to low staffing levels has made them more energized.

Talking with them in the field.  Daily updates with the Grounds Manager.

They continue to be paid their normal pay plus 1.5x their pay for time actually worked on campus

This week we are working with a flex schedule to just maintain trash and lawns. Next week all Grounds staff are going to be reporting for 40hrs. Unless sick or have child care needs.

Morale has been good.  The team is passionate about maintaining the health of plants and the way campus looks.  They were able to enjoy the colors this spring, unfortunately the rest of the community did not.  

Our grounds are entirely contracted, and we have asked them to stay away from campus. This is per the Governor’s orders and clarification guidance provided specifically relating to outdoors landscaping work.

Discovering creative opportunities for working remotely focusing on training to improve and broaden skills

Buying Lunches, freedom of task selection

Once a week emails. I come in 2 x a week to be able to see everyone. Constant texts and to do lists. Staff is staggered.

Working two each day instead of full staffing of 6.

Lots and lots of communication.

Discussing what our University’s future will be once we are past COVID-19 because we know it will be different and we want to shape it.

They really want to be at work!  We are being flexible with hours and days worked.  They seem glad the grounds are green and they have room to work.

Having them assist on move-outs to help open up apartments for medical staff, etc. thus helping them feel they are contributing to fighting the pandemic.

We are rotating among our staff to maintain minimal basic operations.  That is essentially picking up trash blowing around campus and emptying a few refuse containers.  2 staff working 4 hours each day.  It difficult to maintain morale when staff are not able to perform the seasonal work they know they should be doing and the challenges they are going to face if the State does not allow them to get back to work soon. 

We are keeping these employees engaged through on line learning, skill building during down time, and cookies (lots of cookies).

Moral has been good with grounds, they are working on their own without any interaction from the community.

Custodial Services has been the real challenge given they are tasked to be right in the epicenter of cleaning and remediation of the COVID-19 virus.

Most of them prefer working as to doing paper work at home.

The challenge is many fold. While answering 100% to the previous questions half the crew is at work this week while the other half is at home. All paid. So half the staff here on campus at a time.

Right now, everyone is being paid, regardless of working status.  

Daily communication.

Flexible hours and reduced hours.

Just letting them know we appreciate their work.

At least they get to be outside and social distancing is relatively easy.

We are rotating staff to keep the grounds at a minimum level and allow most of the staff to stay home.

With or without students we still want to maintain the high standards of how our campus presents itself

We are able to complete jobs which were challenging before, because of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.  These include street sweeping and pothole repair.  We are also able, due to decreased client demand, able to spend more time in the greenhouse to prepare plant material for the upcoming season.  Being able to complete these tasks with little (or less) time pressure greatly increases job satisfaction for the staff.

Keeping staff informed, remaining calm, and listening to their questions and concerns.

Rotating staff every two days so that all are on campus at least once a week. Trying to keep sense of normalcy – going forward with some seasonal plantings in specific areas, while letting other areas go dormant. Using the opportunity to test operational changes (fertilizer usage, less frequent watering) and the effect on the grounds.

Our staff is on alternating week schedules, to allow time with their children and or families that are at home, while still being paid full time. 

We also have provided campus printouts from administration on “Thank you’s” for the essential staff that keeps the campus maintenance to par. 

On top of PPE, we provided individual hand sanitizers to each team member, to let them know that we care for their safety.

We have placed campus signs to let community members know that they are welcomed to walk through the campus, at a distance from our staff in the field, and to not linger on campus as we are trying to protect our essential workers.

Our CFO provides a lunch stipend for staff when working. 

We are working are staff one day a week and they are getting paid 1.5 times for the day they work and the balance of their work week is aid at straight time while at home.  We will increase number of days as the grass grows and needs more care.

University has offered a stipend to those who work over 20 hours per week.

Currently taking advantage of low foot traffic and repairing turf in areas typically not available this time of year.  Staff working staggered shifts to create social distancing, only one person per vehicle and cart.

We ask that grounds and fields are kept to standards so the employees that take care of these areas only need to come in once or twice a week to accomplish that.

Paying folks to stay home while not working. No furloughs YET.

Communicating w entire team at least once per week.

This has been hard. The growing season has started and we can’t do a lot of our work. Staff are all receiving 100% of their normal pay, when working a reduced schedule and we are allowing staggered and flexible shifts.

Walking campus every day – visiting folks working across campus- saying hello and thanking them sincerely for their hard work and telling them how much I appreciate them.

Bi-weekly briefings for ‘transparency’ with shout outs for exceptional work.

We only come in one day a week… we try to take care of as much landscaping as much as we can in ONE day safely…

Continuous communication. Including the coordinators in the management meetings.

Being a small institution, our Grounds staff is typically pulled in many directions and is not able to fully dedicate themselves to traditional grounds/landscaping duties. The Grounds crew has been on campus and able to perform landscaping duties (while appropriately socially distancing) for a larger portion of the day than they otherwise would be able to do. This fact alone has increased morale. Grounds staff are also able to watch webinars and research other best practices while working from home. So while COVID-19 has impacted the College’s ability to complete many projects, it has enabled our grounds crew to get ahead in some areas that they would otherwise would not have had time to do.

Although they are all reporting to work, they are not working full schedules.  They are working between 16-20 hours per week and we are paying them for 40 hours.

Daily Communication, Early out days on Fridays, providing extra PPE when requested. 

Recognition pizzas!

Providing daily safety tips.

Providing daily boxed lunches.

Flex scheduling. Most staff is working 3-4 days/week.

Providing online training opportunities that can be done from home when not scheduled to work on site.  It enables employees the ability to keep from using a lot of their leave balances and it also gives staff the opportunity to expand their job related knowledge.

Continue to support social distancing, making sure crews are communicated with. Providing adequate funding to allow some high priority projects and equipment purchases to happen. Doughnuts, popcorn and other little thank you moments.

We have had a full stop of non-critical activities on our campus.  The grounds staff continues to be paid while sheltering in place.

Allowing them to work on projects they enjoy, open lines of communication, sending other departments’ non-skilled workers to assist with non-skilled tasks for additional grounds support. Utilizing skilled maintenance workers to assist in snow removal, etc.

Free meals and steady paychecks.

Calling staff weekly to check-in.

Sending thank you notes.

Constant communication regarding updates and changes.

Running split coverage and reducing staff to 50% -5 days on, 5 days off.

Because most of them are out and away from everyone we haven’t seen much concern from the staff unless they are at risk themselves or a family member is at risk.  We are promoting self-care!

We have reduced the staff that are on campus. We are on a rotations. The crews that are working from home are doing online training and are on standby.

Instilling a sense of shared sacrifice in knowing the campus may look a little less cared for, but everyone is not expecting “business as usual” right now.

Allowing more flexible work hours and PTO options.

Providing assistance with other Facilities related essential functions (disinfection, waste stream, etc.).

Providing occasional take-out lunches and enjoying together in the shop with proper social distancing.

Continuing to communicate with our teams. Involving the team in the decision making around priorities. Responding to concerns around operational needs while maintaining physical distancing.

Our staff recognizes the state mandate for work at home has a caveat that the work CAN be done from home.  Obviously, grounds and landscaping cannot.  We are being liberal with vacation requests, and otherwise keeping folks focused on jobs we can’t usually get to when customers are on campus.  For example, we are rebuilding the softball infield surface, which the staff has wanted to do for a while, but was unable to schedule.

Constant communication, being less goal oriented on a daily basis.

Teams and Zoom meetings and telephone conversations.

Only working on site 2 days a week and at home online training the other 3 days.

Give them the tools to create social distance – stagger schedules in shops, go to 4, 10 hour days, get them the masks, hand sanitizers, and any other equipment they need.  Staggering schedules gives individual crews more vehicles and equipment to create social distance (one person per truck/utility vehicle).  Walk the campus about every other day and stop and ask how they are.  Walk to the shops about every other morning and say hello – at a distance of course.  The University has been a bit slow to put out information so as soon as I know something I take it to them directly.  I want them to hear it from me not some second hand source.

Focus on employee safety.  Balancing realistic expectations for workload.

Providing more people to help with tasks from other areas.  They are not working on their own during this time (all while keeping social distance of course.)

We are doing the best we can to reach out to employees and keep them of information as we receive it.

Meal vouchers.

All staff work 2-3 days a week and are paid for five days.

All are being paid full time but not working 40 hrs. Per week

Keep staff focused on seasonal base business. Meeting daily with work group leadership to review daily, weekly game plan.

Working reduced teams every other week to social distance and remotely train in between active weeks.

Tackling jobs that are not usually possible at this time of year/ some are never possible due to campus population being around. Parking lots are empty so we’re able to clean up winter debris completely with no cars in the way. This gives staff a sense of accomplishment and some satisfaction seeing a job done well.

Training from home for staff not on campus; rotation weekly.

With rotating shifts and reduced hours, both have helped reduce strain on families.

Open regular and honest communication. More emails and texts. Trying to touch base individually with each grounds staff member.

The majority of our grounds/landscaping services are outsourced and they are happy to be working and as is the nature of their job, they maintain recommended distances and drive to the campus in different vehicles.

More communication, passing along of Campus information that they wouldn’t normally receive to help keep them informed (planned dates for graduation, etc.)  Also, any buildings that do have daily traffic.

Letting them know they are essential personnel and encouraging their sense of ownership. Also, getting some of the projects and “nice to dos” done so they feel they are accomplishing something. They are seeing something positive.

They are all still fully employed. No furloughs at this time. All staff are paid for 40 hours a week. We are working with a skeleton crew rotating all staff each week. No employee is working more than 15 hours per week at this time.

Frequent check-in’s from manager, supervisor.

Keeping in contract (emails, text, phone, zoom).  Keeping communication up to date.

Have 1:1 conversations, thanking them for all the hard work; recognizing the maintenance of the campus – their efforts; brining in donuts in the morning.

We are currently working 4 hour daily shifts with minimal staffing picking up trash and cutting (mowing) to keep the grass under control. The crew is still at full pay.


Virtual training.

This one is tricky, as our grounds crew doesn’t quite understand why they are considered “essential” and therefore why they need to continue to report to work.  On days like yesterday where we had severe weather go through, it’s easy to remind them! 

It’s business as usual.

We are getting a lot of projects done sooner.

Work normally done in the early morning can extend later into to the day due to the lack of pedestrian traffic.

Please note Anchorage Alaska is just coming out of winter and moving into what Alaskan’s call “breakup”.  Still plenty of snow & ice melting on a daily basis, prepping for spring sweeping.  Our Grounds staff just switched from winter night shift to summer day shift.  All staff are adhering to social distancing, and all work out of individual vehicles / equipment. 

All of our landscaping is contracted out.

Providing meaningful goals and objectives, has helped to keep the focus on the task at hand, rather than all of the things that are out of our control, and we have great staff that are invested in their job.

We are lucky!!!!  We have jobs!!!!

Diverse task workload.

Open communication.

Trying to continue with seasonal plantings.

We have completed some group sessions with all of our facilities shops educating people on the coronavirus and the guidance provided by the CDC and NYS.  We have been sharing and communicating the University procedures in several formats (in person, memos, and video instructions).  Keeping people informed is the best method to address anxiety.

Adjusted schedules to 4/10’s to accommodate one less trip to campus each week.  This was a schedule the majority of staff have wanted to work for some time.

Zoom weekly Staff Meetings, communicating with staff, accommodating staff schedules, and providing work place safety needs.

Frequent communications to keep them informed of any changes and other campus information, keeping them tied as closely as possible to the entire academic enterprise. Periodic special notes of thanks and that we value them. Working on some kind of additional hourly compensation for those “onsite required”, maybe $2.50 per hour but back-dated to original start date in late March—loyalty pay to acknowledge their campus commitment.

Keeping them informed regarding changes. I randomly reach out and group chat. I reassure them the differences we make in regard to admissions and the ongoing beauty of our campus. We discuss how much we make a difference. Our desktop is the Grounds and we discuss how visible it is to everyone. It’s not behind a door or between walls – it’s for everyone to see and enjoy.

Providing liberal leave and allowing up to 10 hours of self-guided training away from campus.  Staying connected with them on a personal level.  Checking in on them and their family’s wellbeing personally. 

They are staying home with their families.  They have concern for the campus but have more concern for family members.  Two mechanics survey the campus on M-W-F to check for any emergency situations so that they can be immediately addressed.

Getting paid for 40 hrs. only working 20 hrs.  Rotating teams of 9 employees per day, 5 days a week.  Donuts, candy bars are distributed by Director Mon/Wed/Friday.  Director on campus on those days and social distances from staff, check in, make sure they are being heard.

Grounds staff are receiving special pay in addition to their regular pay.  They are rotating working on site and working remotely, but they are paid their regular salary to stay home.

Awards and possible incentive pay.

I find that people are feeling better coming to work as compared to staying home.

And with the campus empty we can work on those projects we always wanted to do but are not vital or we had little time or money for.

They are happy to be here.

We have implemented two weeks on and Two weeks off.  We provide meals, and PPE.

Clear and honest communication. Timely and accurate information. Providing adequate supplies and support of all sorts.

Requiring supervisors to meet with staff twice a week using Teams/Zoom to check in on employees and give updates.

Zoom meetings with the entire facilities team once a week. Weekly huddle on Monday mornings with supervisor for grounds only keeping social distancing and masks worn.  Gift cards for Tim Hortons/ Dunkin Doughnuts etc.

Provide them PPE following the standards required in our community.  

Job security by keeping them onsite working.

During the morning yard meetings the crews discuss the health of themselves friends and families. All staff are allowed time off when they want to use personal time and paid time off to quarantine if exposed.

We are sending folks home on rainy days, which has been several days a week over the last few weeks. Those are the least productive days for us anyway and rainy day work is challenging with distancing guidelines (often folks in cramped quarters/vehicles).

Affording for a rotation work schedule allowing 2 people per week, to be off paid.  Also, allowed modified work schedules (Tues-Sat to Mon-Fri).

Good communication, open discussions.

Keeping staff employed and for now still being paid even though they are working 50% of the time.

Small staff, so recognizing their efforts made and eagerness to work.

Since our grounds staff are members of a school district here in Texas, they are off with pay. However, they are required to report as needed in regards to maintaining the school property suitable to the district. It should be noted that when they do report they are paid at an additional pay rate which was approved by our school board.

Our grounds staff is working on a weekly rotation.  Three of nine report to campus each week.  Weekly conference calls are held with all nine to keep everyone informed of campus activities and information.

If anything, because Campus has suspended classes and staff that can work from home are, this has allowed us to concentrate on wish list projects.  We’re quite happy to see these completed.

Guarantee full pay through May 31st, only scheduling 10% of grounds staff.

Reduced hours/ days of work (only reporting 3 days) with option to use personal leave if the wish to not come in at all.

The crew seem to be enjoying the fact that their efforts are longer lasting given that no one is on campus to mess things up. No feet trampling the grass, hardly any liter or trash to patrol, and they can blow or trim without having to stop for people passing by nearly as often. The campus has hardly ever looked better…just so few here to appreciate it…

Morale seems high, we are focused on our employees’ health and social distancing and everyone seems to appreciate the efforts.

On line training, working on plants in Greenhouse (one at the time), wellness calls.

Our school is splitting shifts to minimize social contact and supplementing with paid administrative leave.  Half the crew works 5-11 am five days a week and the other half works 11-5 five days a week.  Everyone works thirty hours per week and gets 10 hours of paid admin leave.

Paying them while they are home.

Reminding them of the blessed nature that we’re still able to work during this time.

We do shout out photos featuring the university staff website of projects that Landscape and Grounds is doing and recognize the staff who are continuing to do the work.   We have days were the director buys ice cream and all the fixings for social distancing socials across the shop. The biggest way to improve morale is to communicate with facts from CDC or the local health department and provide information they can share with their family about the virus. Trust is the biggest morale builder. 

Online training and google face meetings once a week.

Weekly zoom meetings, and multiple individual check-ins per week with each employee.

Allowing all facilities staff to report to work at normal times however they are working only 6 hours per shift being paid for 8. The school is closed to the public so staff are scheduled to work separated from others. One staffer is 83 years old and being paid to stay home.

Working them three days a week to keep the landscape manageable.

Grounds staff are being given choices as to where to work. Supervisor (privately funded) provision of Coffee or Lunch. Increased on the job training possible due to the lack of students on campus….

Unfortunately, we are not succeeding in keeping morale up.  It is a constant battle of the grounds staff saying it is unfair that they work and the other shops take “vacation”.

Focusing on positive news.

University is still paying out for a 40 hr. week. Contact when on duty and through email. Staffing is staggered. 2 on 2 days a week and rotate through staff to keep up with debris and mowing.

We split the crew in half, working a one week on, one week off format.  All staff has access to free lunch at the campus dining facility and we restructured our work day from an 8a/5p shift to a 7a/4p shift. (This is normally done once graduation in May)  We are currently in the third week of this shift change.  We have eliminated/stopped all projects for the foreseeable future and are strictly focusing on maintaining the campus while scaling back on some of our normal areas of mowing.

Morale does not seem to be a problem.  Staff appreciate being able to work.  Their job is somewhat easier without the usual crowds.  Leadership has expressed appreciation for their effort in several ways.  Resources and guidance for working safely have been provided.

With the large amount of unemployment, staff is very happy the university hasn’t cut back.  So morale is good.

Frequent updates and sharing of stories.

Communicating on a regular basis.

Landscaping/grounds is outsourced.  Vendor is only paid for work rendered.  We are keeping their morale high simply by keeping them at work so they can be paid.  Additionally, we have emphasized social-distancing and the use of masks/face covering.

Continuing to communicate regularly.

Routine Zoom meetings and morale-building emails to ensure regular communication and transparency. Calling team members just to check in. Showing our team they are essential by providing guidance and strategic restructuring to ensure business continuity.

Compressed work week, alternating schedule to keep staff save, physical distancing.

They have all been instructed to stay home. We are contracting services.

Fortunately we rotate staff so as no one person works more than 2 – 8 hr. days a month.  One exempt manager reports 4 days a week once every 4 weeks. Hourly staff receive Admin. Leave plus Overtime. Managers receive comp time.  Staff not reporting and admin teleworkers receive 8 hrs. Admin Leave pay.

While all staff report, they have been split into 2 teams. Split days per team allows for maximum social distancing. The College has made great a great good-faith effort by paying 40 hour weeks for staff that are physically working 20. The overarching goal is to reduce the volume of staff on campus at any one time. We are also infinity flexible and sensitive to staff childcare issues, and modifications to start times as needed.

Not much we can do because of a variety of other extenuating circumstances at our university that has already caused morale to plummet… the COVID19 restrictions and workload hasn’t really impacted morale all that much, compared to the other issues we are dealing with. 

I do share some of the many funny COVID-19 memes coming out there, as humor is a great way to deal with a really bleak situation.

Continually thanking and encouraging an outsourced crew.

Recognition that this is an historical event both at work and at home. Providing guidance that our mandate before, now and after the pandemic is and always will be the provision of safe, secure, clean and healthy learning, living, social and living environments. Confirming that we are professionals and must balance between operational delivery and continuous improvement. After ensuring assigned on-campus tasks are completed, and most importantly in consultation with each employee, management is assigning each employee to pre-pandemic approved continuous improvement and/or employee engagement projects. Feedback from employees is that they are grateful to be acknowledged as contributing to our mandate in extraordinary ways in an extraordinary time.

Physical support from remaining management members and critical maintenance technicians.

They are working 4 – 9 hour days M-THz and 4 hours on Fridays for their 40.  Some are working 4 – 10’s.  Offering lots of schedule flexibility.

Weekly Town halls.

Direct visible leadership.

Our landscaper and soft-scopes folks are contractors so they arrive when needed. The Director of Operations is the Contracting Officer for this contract.

Being gracious if they need time off.  The campus has a reasonable COVID-19 two week paid leave benefit.  Model and encourage social distancing.  Providing them with some extra paid lunches through the campus dining unit.  Providing PPE. Using staff from other units that need work to help them with spring cleaning. 

Employees are actively getting work done, but obvious strains outside of workplace exist due to pandemic concerns.

I bring in only 3 of the available 16 each day so they only report to work one day/week.  We are fortunate in that the University has agreed to pay employees through April whether they are working on campus or at home or not at all.  Everyone has been willing to pitch in

Weekly staff meetings via phone conference.

Webinars and landscape online training.

Emphasizing less opportunity for transmission of virus when working outdoors and distancing as compared to within an indoor, enclosed environment.

Working on outdoor projects results mores in a ‘feel good’ state at days end.

Trying to keep PPE’s available to employees during a shortage.  Humor.  Listening to concerns and adjusting procedures as needed. 

Regular communication & appreciation – they have great pride in their work.

Text, call Bi-weekly.

Daily communication.

While this is not a morale answer, the staff is divided up and some come three days a week and the others two days a week. It rotates like this each week. So far, it is working very well.

We had a meeting before and after they announced a soft closure of campus and agreed that we were lucky to be able to continue our work and not let the landscape deteriorate in our absence. Attitude reflects leadership, and my worst fear was that they would not allow us to work at all which would’ve been detrimental to the asset that is Campus landscaping. Also being deemed as an essential duty rather than essential personnel has given them some pride.

It’s not a problem. They’re working part-time and getting paid their regular full-time wages and benefits

Doing weekly Zoom meetings, being available anytime to talk to them on the phone or texting them.  Being positive about the situation. Reassuring them that things will get better and we will have a lot to do to get campus back in shape for students and customers.  Providing free online education classes.

Weekly email updates, along with some humor written in. I’ve also called a few staff to check in if I haven’t heard from them in a few days.

We are platooning our staff and management in to provide support.

Once a week providing lunch.

Encouraging them to keep campus looking good. The University is still open for business although most faculty and students are working remotely.

Engagement, Discussions, letting them know we care.

They love working outdoors and they appreciate that we value their work as essential to maintain the environment. They see others in private landscaping getting let go. So I keep them up to date on the organization’s response and answer any questions have. I meet with them once a week and spot check on the job and get a great response from them.

Staff works one day a week.

#1.  Alternating weeks – half-staff one week, half the next.  Off week group is expected to be ready to come in if we need them and to work on professional development activities while paid to be home.  #2.  Split vehicles up so that everyone has their own – this helps staff be in control of their own environment throughout the day to stay isolated (we’re able to do this because of #1 (fewer staff week to week)).I am not over Grounds and Landscape and Ground. But I am aware of staffing

Weekly check-in and information on webinars that allow cross training.

Sending motivational emails on a weekly basis using wording provided in the weekly emails from the APPA president.

Providing all the tools and support needed to remain safe including additional vehicles so that each groundskeeper is alone when traveling campus.

Allowing flexible schedules.

Attending crew meetings and expressing appreciation.

Management is providing new steel toe boots per union negotiation. 

Try to convey the importance with our work even among what is happening across the nation and the world.

Help them feel valued while others may be losing their jobs.

1.5 times pay, lots if thank you’s.

Bluetooth headphones and three way calls, so we can work at a distance but still feel like we’re working together. We usually share jokes and music while pulling weeds and trimming bushes.

Clocking in and out with text messages from the parking lot.

Zoom, for meetings and coordination. 

Morale has actually remained fairly high. Crews understand the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of social distancing. They have pulled together nicely to complete what work they can with minimal staffing.

Splitting crew in half and alternating weeks to socially distance. 

They are currently not working for the most part but still being paid as normal.

Listening to concerns, discussing anxieties and educating when needed.  Clarification of information presented in WH press conferences.

Extra $2/hour for those who come in.

Primarily—if not exclusively—we are trying to be honest, open, and clear with our staff about the current, developing, and most likely future scenarios for the institution and the grounds/landscaping team.

We have been communicating to them how much the campus community appreciates them being on campus working. We are also being flexible with their schedules.

Our crew is split into 20% manpower, with 20% coming to work each of the five workdays.

Staff are being compensated as normal but only having to work roughly 1 day per week.

Staggered work hours: 3 days at university, 2 days at home. At home doing DUDE paperwork and over last month 24 Safe Colleges courses.

Pay them even though they are not on campus full time.

Provide opportunity to complete training remotely.

Morale is high.  It has helped that it is spring and the weather has been nice to work outside.

Weekly touchpoints.

Interactive training.

Weekly planning meetings.

Check-in meetings to discuss how people and families are doing.

Flexible Schedules, recognition of efforts, sweet treats on Fridays, encouraging signage.

We’re rotating schedules (every other week) and still attempting to complete small tasks like spring floral displays. 

Thinking Positive.

University has paid staff to stay at home until April 30. 

Morale is difficult.   Smaller campus which under normal circumstances has one supervisor, one manager (director of operations additional duty) and 12 staff consisting of a grounds worker, 2 specialists and 9 operators.  Currently working with one specialist, one operator and one supervisor.

University of Alabama Grounds is working all personnel during the week by rotating 50% 3 days a week and 50% 2 days a week one then the next week we have the personnel who work 3 days’ work 2 days and the personnel who worked 2 days’ work 3 days.  So over a two week period everyone is working at least 5 days

The university is providing free lunches to those working.  They also are only working 24 hours per week.

Split team into 3 work groups. Groups are working 3 days and off 6 days. We are currently just getting grass cut.

End of the week email updates to all staff.

The use of Teams and Zoom for collaborative meetings.

Regular all staff meetings virtually.

Weekly 5 minute video updates from management.

Continues thank you for their support of the University during these trying times.

As essential employees, they are continuing to get paid and proving that they are needed on campus.  With future budget cuts looming, we have a solid platform to justify keeping the positions and funding.

Each person is asked to work one eight hour day per week. They are scheduled on different days and times to limit their exposer to each other and are always practicing social distancing and proper ppe.

Any information I receive I pass on, good and bad. We try and keep things light in morning meetings. We have worked with our staff to develop plans, such as splitting the operation into 2 crews working 4 days on 4 days off.

Flexible work schedule, people who want to work we try to involve, people who do not want to work leave at home. Inform workers of daily reports from administration

1) Meeting with small groups frequently to reinforce maintaining physical distance, disinfecting equipment and address any concerns.

2) We are able to assign a vehicle to each staff member, greatly limiting staff contact.

3) We are doing all we can to maintain a safe work place.

Having weekly face to face meetings using Microsoft Teams Meetings.

Our Landscaping team is enjoying working on an unoccupied campus. This time is allowing them to get projects completed that they would have to either subcontract out or simply would not be able to get to due to previously short windows of opportunity.

Because of these projects, their pride in the campus appears to be growing…so in a way, their work outcomes are keeping their morale high!

Having a positive attitude, give information out in the morning meetings and give staff time to ask any question that would be on their mine.

Giving out tasks that they can complete in a timely manner.

Giving them all opportunities to work through rotations.

Communicating with them on current university/department info.

They are only working one day a week and are getting paid their full salary while off.

Keep social distance don’t hang out together at the same spot and just be positive.

The leadership must always keep a positive and encouraging attitude. We also call the workers who are home and check in on them and see if they need anything. A sense of humor helps, too—even if you don’t feel like it. It’s good for the staff and also the leadership.

Communications … staff is being paid to stay home and work one day per week on a rotating shift based on seniority.  Volunteer crews. Come in twice per week to perform basic tasks.   We have 4 people working Monday through Friday.

Social WebEx’s.

By having constant contact letting them know we will be back to normal as soon as possible. Providing them the PPE to do their jobs. Continuing to still get fully paid while on a shortened work week.

Making sure we communicate everything we know about the situation and what the future might look like. Continuing training and upgrading the skills of our staff.

Explaining why some people are staying home and getting paid while others have to come in while getting paid the same amount.

Regular communications.

Working shortened work weeks.

Focusing on small areas to make visible improvements, when the College staff returns back to work.

Allow on-line training “work at home” days on either Friday or Monday, so staff can provide spousal support for their family.

Working partial days to allow employees flexibility to juggle family and personal needs.

Notes of appreciation. Boxed lunches and snacks.

Communication. Being as transparent as possible about the things we can be transparent about. Making sure we are thinking about their health. Keeping them gainfully employed.

Constant communication.  

Keeping busy.

Communicating with them as much as possible.

We rotated staffing for the first two weeks so people are happy to be back to their routine.  Spring has sprung in Atlantic Canada and being outside is pleasant. Finally, there is no one in the way! 🙂

Communicating with the staff that report to work as much as possible to keep them informed of the latest news at the campus.

Communicating with them. Being transparent.

Virtual learning/training.

Weekly check-ins with front line staff.

Weekly departmental updates.

Provide updates as they become available. Show that I care.

Implemented a rotating schedule so staff work a couple times each week.

They are excited actually to still be working, taking home a pay check and receiving 1.5x in pay.  Bringing in donuts. Our Dining hall is providing free breakfast and lunches three days a week for those still working on campus.

Weekly lunch provided.

Catch up on trainings;  we have issued a snow plowing RFP and met a prospective bidder on site; answered RFP questions; paid 3rd party invoices; kept up on emails; attend applicable zoom virtual meetings (like snow plow above).

Paying them for 40 hours when they are only working 20.

Reduced work weeks, focusing on most important tasks first then reduce day as can, our university is allowing a full weeks pay for limited duty.

This has been a challenge. We have divided our Softscape crews into 3 teams that work 2 days and then home 4 days and some are having to do work that is not in his/her normal daily routine. Many are not happy about this change. When working on campus they are receiving $2/hr. pay augmentation. We’ve been providing lots of updates that include mentions of happy to be employed and opportunity to learn new skills.

A lot of thanks you’s and free lunches every day. Not to mention they are getting premium pay (1 1/2).

Calling them every other day to stay in touch.

We are currently cross training staff which has been a very useful tool for us.  It allows staff to learn all of the skills they need which may open up additional opportunities for them with raises and promotions within the organization when things return to normal day to day operations. 

We have created bi-weekly packets of educational materials for “work at home” opportunities within our field. ISA arborist reading material, planting and pruning material, turf care material… etc. We also are offering a chance for people to get certified (or recertified) with pesticide applicator licenses. We try to reach out with texting and encourage them to do the same with each other. We had a “parking lot Mini-meeting” during the last packet pick up, and it was just good to see everybody.

Currently they are still getting paid while on leave at home.

We are working 4 hour rotating shifts in order to lower interaction chances, they appreciate the efforts from the College on this and very much appreciate that they will be paid for a full 8 hour day of work even though they are working 4 hours

Engaging with them daily to keep them up to date.

Morning huddles at a distance.

We are taking extra precautions to insure the health and safety of our staff.  Social distancing is easy to maintain.  We have temporarily eliminated tasks requiring multiple team members to work together.  We are sending our staff out to work solo.

We are no longer ride-sharing.  Each staff member has their own truck, gator, cart, etc.  They use the same one every day.  Same with hand tools. 

Our staff is responding well.  Everyone is healthy and grateful for the opportunity to work.  Everyone is working 40 hrs. /week.

Administrative staff that works with grounds staff is very visible and available to discuss any concerns or issues.  We keep reinforcing the CDC messaging; wash your hands, clean common touch points, keep hands away from your face, etc.  We have also provided gloves, surgical masks, cleaning materials, and other PPE/non-PPE items.

The university is paying all grounds workers while they are sheltering in place, so that has helped keep moral up.  Management/supervision are working remotely and getting paid as well.  Our Grounds Foreperson is the only one reporting to campus daily to canvas campus and take care of any requests that come in. 

Providing lunch.

Emphasizing communication keeping everyone informed.

They know that they are fortunate to be working. With spring growing season they do not want get behind!

Our current challenge is to assure persons that we will have employment.

One way is to ensure personal morale is to focus and recognize that we are able to P.M. areas previously deferred.

Paying extra wage (premium pay) for working on campus.

Communicating and updating frequently.

Still paying a 40hr/week salary – whether you’re working from home (training) or on campus.”

Regal communication with the staff each morning and mid-day.

Written recognition of Executive staff to grounds staff.

Application lunch for staff.

It is amazing that this event has caused the staff to find solutions by working in teams of two, without being instructed by their supervisor and following the social distancing policy. It is mowing season in our area, so our focus has been on that and entry way appearances. Capital projects have been placed on hold.

COVID-19 has given our staff a cause to hold the course until this is over, which helps morale.

Split staff into 4 parts who each work only one day per week.  Supervisors making contact with each of their people weekly to make sure they are ok.

Greeting the staff every day. Keeping them informed as much as possible.

We have weekly Zoom meeting and supervisors email and text to check in with people.

This is tough.  Our staff are used to interacting with many campus constituents.  Now our campus is vacated.  We have to continue to remind them the importance of their role and now more than ever they are making an incredible difference.  They know that have role in recruitment and retention of our students.  We have to keep reminding them.  It is hard.

Ensuring everyone works safely, requiring social distancing, each member have their own assigned area, providing lunch, purchasing safety equipment when requested, purchasing each person their own tools, providing cleaning materials to clean large mowers , etc., before each use, and natural pride of grounds staff in maintaining and improving their assigned areas.

College has policy that allows those who do not feel safe working can take COVID leave. All Grounds staff have elected to work – as opposed to being required to.

Regular communication about what’s known and unknown. Opportunity to address issues while few are on campus. Importance of the season – spring is a key time for campus beautification.

Additional Recognition.

Not applicable.  All staff except for the Manager and a Supervisor have been sent home.

Lots of communication with video and phone calls.

During these challenging times, the grounds staff have greatly appreciated leadership’s transparency in strategic communications, making PPE available throughout including masks and face coverings prior to the local health department mandates, and increasing service levels in restrooms that are frequented by these staff.

Hazard pay for coming to campus.

Weekly virtual meeting with staff to provide opportunity to talk and ask questions.

No one has missed a paycheck.

We take precautions, but morale is the same even if there wasn’t a virus going around. It doesn’t really affect us.

We are paying employees regardless of whether they actively work on campus or not.  No layoffs or furloughs.

Stay in contact periodically with updates and sharing positive personal relationship elements as needed.

I have daily meetings, and we talk about where we catch up. I always praise the good, and direct them to where we are lacking. We are doing basic maintenance.

Thank you’s and employee recognition lunches.

We are redirecting tasks among maintenance staff.  Giving them different jobs to break up their day.

We have our staff coming in every other week and on the weeks they are at home they are assigned training. This allows them to continue being paid and social distance themselves from others. We are also cross training the staff to perform different tasks while they are at work.

Recognition of work and we provide them with pizza and popcorn.

The Crew is split and we work Alternate Weeks. Communication is key as we distance and work individually on Sections of Campus.  Trash Collection is kept to minimum runs.

We are a cohesive group so losing the team mentality, without any Crew meetings is the new reality and we are adapting to texting and phoning as our method of planning our work.

Very difficult – weekly calls and e-mails, as well as rotating through who comes in to work and who doesn’t.

I continue to advocate for my staff. As government orders change/extend I continue to look for ways to redefine “essential” operations. Leverage definitions for “public works” or department of transportation services that are considered essential to help define the department’s work. I think supporting the employees while they’re unable to work is helpful from a morale standpoint.

Maintaining full pay and benefits through May 1st.

This will pass, normal operations are just around the corner. This as well as constant praise on a job well done.

I check in with the team members daily, we organize video presentations to send to the school community and administration to build team morale and keep us all connected. We hold weekly meetings at which I ask each team member personally if they have any questions or concerns.

We are separating what crew we have left and staggering what days they need to report. This way they can stay at home half the work week without taking PTO.

Rotations of smaller crews.  Providing proper PPE.  Regular communication and words of support and encouragement from managers, administration and board or regents. 

Rotation of staff, letting them go home once the ground maintenance is done, flexible shifts, PPE. Not looking for perfection with trimming and hedges.

Continue to complement their work prioritize work in a manner that does not overwhelm them.

Provide information and educate.

The team has been split into two teams and they work alternate shifts. The campus has made arrangements to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for the mandatory staff working on campus, which is a morale booster. Also, the teams seem to enjoy spring planting and landscape duties while there are few people moving around campus. It gives an opportunity to put a little more care and innovation into their work details.

Allowing them to work, but having them work apart.  If more than one person is needed for a particular assignment, they are to keep apart more than 10 ft.

1. Continuing to thank them for their hard work

2. Confirming their job is safe

3. Guaranteeing them pay through June 30th, 2020

Paying them for time they are away from work.

The weather has been pretty nice here, so that helps.  Each person working (whether a newbie or a vet) is assigned their own vehicle.  That doesn’t normally happen.  Also, they’re getting to do some trimming/pruning that they don’t normally get to do during the semester, so that’s fun.  Also, being on a rotation means they’re doing 28 hours of work for 40 hours of pay.

They are happy anyway, they get to work outside and the social distancing is what they like.

Constant contact with staff via phone, text, emails.

Provide regular departmental/university updates as they happen.

Listening to staff’s hardships and successes, providing encouragement.

Instituted major at home training requirements, loaned computers to staffer who did not have one, monitors individual progress daily.

Provide extensive flexibility with deadlines/scheduling.

Reduce work to critical needs:  trash removal

Being more flexible on hours.  Being more flexible on locations i.e. when everyone is here there are areas that we cannot mow during certain hours.  That has changed for now.  No more punching a clock.  This avoids the crowd around clock.  And of course, pizza, pizza.

Compensation time and 4 day work weeks.

Point out the advantages of focusing on maintenance without providing event support or dealing with high traffic levels

By still paying them!

They are appreciative of being able to continue working for their sanity and sense of normalcy. They are enjoying being able to perform their work on an unpopulated Campus (reduced disruptions and obstacles).

Able to work on special projects without having to avoid faculty, students and staff.  Make all needed PPE available and provide information and links pertaining to Covid 19. 

Listening to concerns.

Weekly updates.

Allowing staff creative opportunities or self-directed working days. Slower paced work, more frequent breaks.

Reinforcing the mission of the University and the role that we play in that mission.  Expressing gratitude that we have work at a time when so many do not.

Fostering the idea of “cleaning the corners”.  Getting to those things that are difficult when students are here which you always needed to do. Implementing improvements that will be unsightly for a time but outstanding in the fall when the students come back.

Encourage them to focus on our ongoing operations.

Communication and check-ins, reduced shift schedule while still being fully paid, mandatory online career development opportunities while they are on a reduced shift schedule, free and confidential counseling from our University’s third party healthcare provider, Facilities Operations team support, strong leadership.

Encouragement of a job well done and expression of gratitude from supervisor’s daily, special t-shirts are being made, free lunches from University food services, providing online learning opportunities.

Saying thank you, some have commented it is easier to work with fewer people on campus.

Continue with meaningful work.

Positive communication, changing routines.

Rotational shifts; zoom meetings.

Remote meetings.

Simply keeping them informed of the situation as it evolves.

Allow them to shop for groceries early in the morning before the grocery shelves are empty without charging leave time.  Allowing them to stay home and taking care of their own or family member health issues without charging leave.  Have a fund set aside by managers to provide a one-time cash award for those who lost a second income.

We talk more often about personal safety, and making sure that everyone is maintaining social distance and wearing the appropriate PPE.  We are checking in to make sure everyone is healthy and as comfortable with the work environment as possible.

Trying to communicate through text, phone, and social media. Try to provide on-line training opportunities and encourage books to read.

Able to perform most work without people around.  Less traffic (wear) and other landscape impacts from campus users including athletics.

We are still able to maintain and present the campus at a high level.

Opportunity to be more successful with intensively used turf areas including athletic fields. “

Providing monetary incentives and occasionally food!

It’s business as usual for them, except for the social distancing practices. 

Daily circle up and check in; teams leave notes for each other on the white board in the breakroom regarding work completed and positive affirmations; call staff not on duty to check in; continuous communication through text, email and cell phone, continuous planning for business continuity.

The existing campus community has been complimentary on the appearance of campus. Daily reminders of our focused efforts in supporting the existing campus community and outlining our impacts to our customers. Sympathizing with staff concerns and briefings recommendations from staff on day to day challenges.

Just trying to take it one day at a time. We work whomever can show up, whenever they can show up, and be as flexible for everyone as possible. We are concentrating on public-facing grounds primarily, and scaling back on center-campus grounds.

Going about work every day and being safe and with support from our FM.

And keeping our campus at high level of care.

Weekly snack treats with note of thank you.  Since dust masks are hard to find, I was able to find bandannas to give to all the Landscape employees.

We are a rural community and small department so we are able to easily social distance while maintaining.  Staff has been issued PPE to use as needed and policies have been put into place based on CDC guidelines.   

Continuing to pay staff while at home.

Because we could accommodate social distancing requirements in the grounds job assignments we were able to take students from other areas on campus, particularly food services.

Moral has been good. Schedules have affected but, work ethic and continued staff spirit is good. Open communication on priority work that needs to be completed is key.

We are having no issues with bringing crews in to work. They seem happy to be at work and not home. In some cases we are telling employees to stay home as to not have too many employees on site.

Staying Positive.

Working on trip hazards, replacing broken sidewalk squares in high path areas, and focusing on recruitment walk.

We rotate the staff members who are coming in each week.

We provide and remind our teams of counselling resources provided by the college. I have taken more time to have conversations with my team to check in with them on their emotions and have them share how their families are doing. I have reminded my team on the power each of them has over this pandemic by vigilantly practicing: social distancing, wearing face masks or bandanas, washing their hands, using hand sanitizer, avoiding touching their faces, and staying home. Our college has allowed our grounds team to work from home working on prepared training materials developed by their supervisor. Currently, out of a grounds team of ten, three (including the supervisor) are coming in to work. The two team members working with me stated they would be too stir-crazy staying at home. As for their supervisor (me), I will try to do everything in my power to keep our 39 acre campus maintained at a minimal quality level. I have received interest from some team members to work one day a week to mow the campus turf.

Difficult to do!  Distribute PPE; individual modes of transportation; clocking in & breaks in varied locations to promote social distancing; provide meals from time to time.

Regular meetings to provide updates from our senior leadership.

Our Staff is all contractors except the Manager. When I talk to them they are not voicing any concerns at this time. With so few people on campus they seem to be more productive.

We have gotten creative with the schedule to allow them multiple days off in a row to support their families.


Ongoing Communication regarding social distancing, cleaning guidelines and PPE.  The importance of and weekly zoom town hall meetings with all staff and management. 

Paying Administrative Leave for any reduced hours.

Providing 80 hours of additional sick leave for the care of anyone with COVID-19, symptoms, or child care.

Remote Zoom meetings daily to connect staff who are working independently (physical distancing) virtually with co-workers.

Allowing administrative functions such as time sheets, work order completion, research and other office/computer tasks to be completed at home or off site.

Unfortunately, I have not been in contact with many of them.  I will be sending them individual text messages today or tomorrow to check on them.

Morale is pretty good still.  Trying to offer more praise and appreciation for the fact that the crew is having to cover more ground with the reduced staffing levels.

Most of our crews are seasonal, we only have a small working supervisors on staff. They are busy now with inspections only. They will be full time once spring cleanup starts and extra staff will be brought in really only to take care of lawns and weeds. Our Province (Ontario) is under essential only work restrictions.  PS we do not use the APPA level of care Standards.

Staying close to staff questions, and communication.

Our grounds team is content being able to stay focused cutting grass and completing landscape work without being interrupted with calls pulling them off the job to take care of other needs. 

Encouraging staff to conduct training modules from home.

Seeing that management is with them and walking around to chat with them.

Currently not reporting so keep calling and encouraging them.

All of our grounds, maintenance, and custodial departments are currently keeping the same schedule. 3 days on campus 2 days off campus.

Being at work to show support.  Engage with staff.  Join in the work where I can assist.  Cooked biscuits.  Tell people, “thank you.”  Make sure people are being safe, being honest, and asking for input to accomplish our task yet follow new guidelines.

Constant communication.

Make sure they have some type of COVID-19 leave to burn first before they need to use any of their personal leave. We have made scheduling as flexible as possible – Work weekends or any time of day shifts.

We will get thru this pandemic, we have sufficient amount of PPE currently, and reassuring that they are valuable employees.

We respond to any and all reasonable requests.  We have provided hand sanitizer, masks, allowed people to discharge sick leave without a doctor’s note, allowed one person to discharge leave without pay per his request.  Basically we have listened and worked with the crew so that it is a safe and productive time. 

Providing the tools and PPE necessary to complete the job.

They are happy to be at work. They are isolated from others and productive. Box lunches and boxed snacks are often provided.

We continue communicating and updating all staff on a weekly basis. We remind them of how valuable each and every one is to the university and how every role plays an important part of facilities.

Offering full pay if they have COVID-19 related reasons that they cannot come to work. This does not require them to use sick or vacation time.

Keeping them informed. Offering multiple of site educational and training options.

Staying in touch with them remotely.  Also, some have taken an opportunity to return to work as custodians during the stay-at-home period.

Constant candor and communication.  Keeping them informed as much as possible.  Not having too many expectations for their performance but also laying out what needs to be done every day to keep us prepared for the growing season. Showing gratitude for them being here and also allowing latitude to take care of themselves and their families, whatever that means to them.

Full disclosure of available information related to COVID-19 and the desire to keep everyone working if social distancing, mask wearing and shift modifications are practiced.

Staying mission focused (serving students and research), leadership meets with small groups regularly, leadership fostering open and honest conversation, providing meal cards, providing consistent and relevant PPE, SOP and training, doing small remodeling projects/creative projects, cross-training skills, focusing on the beauty of nature around us, fostering kindness and understanding between team members, providing guidance to frontline managers on having difficult conversations.

Grounds is one of the few essential services that is allowed to continue in our City and one that is easy to keep social distancing with, so I think that they are thankful for this little bit of “normal” in their lives.

Continuing to do meaningful work.

Our grounds staff are also our moving/event set-up staff. With all events being cancelled, it has allowed them to devote their time totally to grounds. They are in their happy place.

Reduced services for other areas such as mail and garbage pickup. We are planning to continue planting in the coming months.

They are getting paid for their normal schedules.  The College reaches out regularly through email.  Supervisors make regular calls.  Leadership sends regular departmental updates and information for the team.

Providing lunch on a weekly basis.  Maintaining a focus on being complimentary and supportive. 

Continue to pay staff.

Keep them involved in planning the maintenance performed.

We have split our crew into 2 groups, each working 3-1/2 days each. This ensures social and physical distancing while also providing us the ability to maintain our grounds and landscaping.

They are happy that they have not been laid off yet. As our land is still frozen with occasional snow flurries they have been sweeping campus, normally contracted out, picking up debris, filling potholes, etc.

Buying lunch.

We have given those webinars to work on and only call them back as needed.  Frequent communication with their supervisors is occurring.

We are a State funded institution and the Governor has seen to it that there has been no change in our pay status/benefits through this past month.  This has been a primary motivator as I believe folks are thankful that haven’t had to worry about those issues.  Hopefully this continues.  We have been facing difficult issues with severely reduced staffing/increasing workloads/very slim budgets for the past several years.  I feel this has perhaps prepared us in some ways to adapt to a constantly evolving situation and the current situation was less of a shock to our system than perhaps others who have not had the challenges we have faced prior to COVID-19.

Personally reaching out on a weekly basis to check in.

Facilities newsletter.

Sharing pictures of campus beauty.

CONSTANT communication! Give them an opportunity to voice their opinions, etc.

Others outside of campus staff and students still frequenting the campus grounds.

Good training and guidelines by Insufficient PPE especially given older staff with potential health issues and concerns adding to the risk.

Contact staff on a regular basis and engaged through Zoom meetings.

Email links to training courses that can be done on line.

Landscaping is contracted so nothing has changed on that front. Our in-house Grounds crew removes outdoor trash and sweeps sidewalks. All staff are reporting to work but team of 4 split into 2 teams alternating days. Their days off are covered by Administrative Leave (doesn’t use their own leave pool) and they are earning 8 hours of additional pay for days they do report to campus. That alone has kept morale stable, but we are constantly thanking staff that are coming in, reminding them of social distancing and other safety guidelines, and our Communications department has helped facilitate the Food for our Front Lines initiative where West Baltimore restaurants are donating lunches 2 days/week for our essential staff.

Communication, communication, communication.

Providing food for some meals while they are working. Supplementing grounds keeping with other Facilities Management staff.

Team meetings within the Baseball Field Bleachers with Comedy from the Assistant Director about Non-work related activities.

Our company has public recognition electronic postings and our grounds crew was the recipient of a recent “shout out” for how beautiful the campus looked, contribution by another department. This was circulated.

Best practices for social distancing, PPE, etc. are all in place.