It’s newsletter time again. I am always surprised how fast the month goes, it seems like we have just put out the newsletter and here we are again. There is a lot that has gone on this month, so let’s get started.
COVID vaccinations. We shared with everyone the need to get the COVID shot as soon as possible because one of our biggest hospital customers in Houston has made it mandatory for our personnel to be vaccinated before they can go on site. The hospital is very serious about it to the point of firing 153 of their employees. We saw a movement toward that policy with a number of the hospitals throughout the offices, and now today we received notification that REPTRAX will be enforced at all of THR hospitals. That might be the first indication the north territory hospitals will start requiring the vaccine as well. We have not had any other customers specifically require the vaccination yet though there are still some rumblings leaning that way. We are currently seeking clarification from the THR hospitals. We stand behind our policy. However, if the customer requires one of our people to be vaccinated, then they must be vaccinated. We work for the customer, and we need to follow their policy if we want to continue to keep them as a customer. The Houston office has the highest LSC response with 80% vaccinated. Grand Prairie is at 68% in the office and 58% for the rest of the staff. Central Texas is 42% fully vaccinated and Arkansas offices are 35% having their first shot and 7% awaiting their second shot. I truly hope it does not come to a point where we are forced to furlough anyone turned away by a customer’s policy in order to provide an eligible, fully vaccinated person.
Offices. All Lone Star offices are open to 100% now. As of the 21st, we are fully open in all locations. I am happy to see everyone back in the office even though there are still some employees working from home offices part time. We are in the middle of a construction project in Grand Prairie and we have lost some offices temporarily, so some folks still need to be working remotely. Of those that can come back, some have opted to work remotely a couple days a week so they can work more efficiently. As I mentioned when we announced coming back full time, not only do I agree this is a good idea, but I encourage that if you have a place where you can work undisturbed and your position allows you to work remotely, do it. We accepted less than an optimum environment for some people working from home during the pandemic because there was really no choice. But now it is a choice, and that choice only makes sense if it really does make you more productive. It saves you travel time to work, gas, less stress, and may leave you more time with the family. Your car insurance should go down as well because you are traveling less. There are a lot of advantages for you, but it needs to make sense: are you really more efficient? As outlined in the Telecommuting Policy (see a copy in Q360 / File / Document Management) you must commit to providing an appropriate work environment. If you are still managing kids while on zoom calls or having to join conference calls while your spouse is having a call in the same room, then that does not make sense. We must do what is right for you and right for the company. We both need to have some gains from you working remotely. Still, working in the LSC office is the better choice. Please refer to the Telecommuting Policy for the details of the expectations for working remotely. Contact your supervisor or HR if you need them to send you a hard copy and see if it is fit for you.
Survey. We did our company Emplify survey last week and the results are in. Overall, our score went down slightly from 82.85 to 81.19 for a drop of 1.66 points. On the surface, that does not seem so bad. But as you drill down to the results, you see we dropped in some specific areas. The COO’s will be analyzing them next week and will share the results with their offices. They want your honest, candid feedback and have committed to actively listening to you and your response with the same honesty and candor. I know we have had a lot of surveys and you really don’t want to take them again. Let me say a big THANK YOU for taking these Emplify surveys every quarter and thank you especially for the comments. Your survey choices are helpful, but the detailed remarks are extremely useful. Remember, we can only drill down to a sample size of 5 people. If responses from a group are fewer than 5, we don’t get any results for that group. These surveys are completely anonymous. We don’t know what answers you choose, only if you participate. Thank you to those that took the survey.
Profit Sharing. As you know, we put in place a profit-sharing program for the entire company and will be explaining the details in some future webinar. It has been slowed down by COVID, though we were still able to do something for you at Christmas time 2020. Over the next quarter, we will roll out the program where we do part of the Profit Sharing into the 401k and part in cash. We did a 401k distribution in April, and what we would like to do is make both a 401k and a cash distribution at the same time each quarter that we make a profit. We just need to make sure this pandemic is behind us. More to come on this over the next couple months.
Chief Technology Officer, CTO. A new position within the company has been established to lead Lone Star’s technology vision and the company’s technological innovation and development. The CTO will recommend and implement the technical strategy roadmap that will align with company business goals and objectives in support of continual growth. This new position has been filled and we will be making the announcement on the 7th of July when he starts with Lone Star Grand Prairie. This position will be instrumental in our future growth and the direction of the company.
That’s all for now everyone. We are having a good year and during next month’s company meeting we will detail the progress we have made as a company to date. Thank you for what you do for Lone Star Communications. We are only as good as our employees and this team is the cream of the crop. Ray
-Ray Bailey, President