A Culture of Caring

The pandemic upended not only customers’ and employees’ business routines but, for many LMIers, their sense of safety, security, and connectedness with colleagues. We recognized early on that helping the country overcome COVID-19 would take many forms—first and foremost, taking care of each other.

Empathetic Leadership

Months before the Journal of Applied Psychology published a study showing employers play a crucial role in reducing their employees’ COVID-19-related anxiety and maintaining social behavior, LMI had committed to empathetic leadership.

“When LMI shifted to remote operations in March, our leadership team prioritized the mental and physical well-being of our employees,” chief human resources officer Donna Diederich told WashingtonExec. “We wanted to reassure them and provide the flexibility and support everyone deserves right now: increasing communication from leaders, offering resources, and sending them gift packs with snacks and puzzles.” Benefits included a one-time stipend of up to $1,000 to reimburse costs associated with full-time telework like office materials and family support.

One pleasant surprise of teleworking has been getting to know her team better. “We’re inviting each other into our homes, virtually. I see their spouses, their kids, their pets. The sense that you’re understanding the full employee, the full person […] has been an invaluable experience.”

“We’re inviting each other into our homes, virtually. I see their spouses, their kids, their pets. The sense that you’re understanding the full employee, the full person […] has been an invaluable experience.”

 — Donna Diederich,
     Chief Human Resources Officer

When trusted to help the federal government overcome complex challenges, it’s never business as usual. LMI adapted quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a shift to remote operations.

“The best support I’ve ever had.”

In addition to LMI’s extensive COVID-19-related customer support, several LMIers have contributed to pandemic response efforts in other capacities. This includes project manager and U.S. Army Reserve engineer officer Lt. Col. Ed Sherman and analyst Daniel Glass, whose unit of the Virginia National Guard was activated in March.

Glass felt so supported by his leadership—vice president Christen Smith, director of national security operations Brian Martin, and project manager Dezarae Strong—that he nominated them for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award. “I wanted to take a moment to do what I could to recognize you guys for being the best support I’ve ever had, especially during [the pandemic],” said Glass, who surprised his leaders with an award presentation over Zoom.

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No Positions Eliminated Due to COVID-19 Business Impact

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