« Back

W@H: Interview with COO/President Tad Goetcheus

May 20th, 2020 by Tad Goetcheus


 

Tom

Tad, Thanks for joining us today. You are COO and president of HRP Associates. We are doing a series on working from home. I guess I wanted to start off with asking, what has working from home felt like so far?

 

Tad

Well it’s been a little bit of a challenge. Initially I was very encouraged by what it would be like because I worked a day or two from home, I’m an in office guy. The way I went about it was treating it like an average day. Get ready, come to work, 7:30, dive right into it. But you know, a typical day… man it’s been moving fast as soon as you get to the desk and start looking at emails, voicemails, you’re trying to get debriefs from a lot of clients, our seven regional offices, and lot of employees.

We think working from home people have been a lot more focused, not only ourselves but our clients, our prospects, our partner vendors, so it’s been very busy. Very busy!

 

Tom                            

How do you think the increase in the need for responsiveness has been met by HRP and its employees?

 

Tad

Responsiveness is the utmost key. Always has been. Folks need an answer. They need an answer by this afternoon, they need an answer by tomorrow, where sometimes things are on a two to three week deadline. A lot of our clients typically have committee meetings, usually in the afternoon some once a week some a couple times a week and our information is pertinent for that. Whether it’s sourcing equipment or sourcing PPE or how to plan or how to be proactive. We need to plug into that and we also get assigned duties from those meetings. So responsiveness is incredibly important these days. And I think we really do meet the challenge. We have several operational meetings with our group internally and that is one of the first things we cover, but we’ve been very, very responsive to our clients, it’s 24/7. We’ve answered calls of COVID pops where people needed contamination services and we’ve left in the middle of the night, started out early in the morning, making deliveries. People needed services where we would drive three of four states right away to be there.

 

Tom

So even though we are working from home we are still out there, we are in the field too.

 

Tad

We are. We’re an essential service because we do Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) so not just on what we call the dirty dirt side, with contamination in soil and groundwater, but also hazmat services. Really the COVID clean ups come under the hazmat. We’re doing a lot of supervisions there for safety aspects, so a lot of different focuses in the arena that we work in, not only on the compliance side for EHS but also for civil engineering and the geology side.

 

Tom

How do you deal with the possibility of burnout?

 

Tad

Communication and burnout, we have our HR department out there actively calling all our employees and managers just to say, hey how ya doing?

We do things like a box of cookies will all of a sudden show up at your door step just because. We like to reach out to folks, whether it be email or a text message. I’ll take a drive over to where folks are working, honk the horn and we’ll have a socially distanced conversation from the car. I think part of it is you just have to be a little spontaneous, whether that’s virtual happy hours or just getting out and enjoying the sunshine and maybe doing some of that yard work that’d been sitting on the to-do list.

I really try to incorporate family time, eating meals together, enjoying some of TV shows and documentaries. This is my daughter’s a senior year of high school. We really want to make her time special, since she’s missing out on a lot of things.

 

Tom

What would you say has been your most important take away so far?

 

Tad

Probably the biggest lesson is there is never enough communication. Communication is key and it needs to be in all forms. If people are routine and they just call on a Monday morning to check in on people, to me, that shows that you care a little bit but you’ve got to have some emotional intelligence. I like calling at different times, texting, driving up and honking the horn, that type of thing. It’s important, not only for your employees, but also your clients, asking them what they’re doing. A lot of folks are going through some tough times, a lot of folks inside our company and outside our company have friends or family members who have been sick. Some have passed away, some of them are vulnerable. You need to reach out to folks and see what they’re doing. I’ve always tried to bring some laughs and some jokes. You’ve got to laugh every day. Just communicate, just use your emotional intelligence and relation skills to see how folks are doing.

 

Tom

Tad, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today.

 

Tad

Thanks Tom I appreciate it.
 


Tad Goetcheus, PE, COO/President at HRP Associates, Inc.

Add a Comment