Celebrating Diversity – ‘Cultural Competency’ is the Key


With the holidays just around the corner, executives at linen, uniform and facility services companies across North America are planning parties to mark the Christmas/New Year’s season. But if you – like most companies – have a culturally diverse staff, how do you celebrate in ways that don’t inadvertently alienate minority staff members, thus sapping morale and fueling turnover?

Promoting In-House Leaders: Operator Outlines Strategy


It’s widely reported that today’s laundry operators face challenges in recruiting mid- or higher-level managers. The resulting dearth of supervisory help can affect both operations and staff morale – not to mention customer satisfaction. The answer, says Emeka Okeani, president of Shared Hospital Corp., Nashville, TN, a surgical supply co-op, is to seek talent in your own organization. But to do that in today’s workplaces often requires a sense of “cultural intelligence” that can allow an employer to see rising leaders that others might overlook.

Stress Management – Provide ‘Safe Space’ for Staff to Heal


Employees often bring emotional issues to work … Examples range from having political views that lead to arguments on the plant floor to concerns about hate crimes/discrimination. Other times it’s personal … worries about a broken relationship or a family illness can generate stress – and undermine staff morale. Employers can help tackle these problems by providing staff with a “safe space” to work through their stress – and if necessary get them outside help. The issue of stress management was the focus of a Nov. 3 webinar facilitated by Kortney Overzet, chair of TRSA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee. This hour-long discussion drew 20-plus attendees to look at steps that employers can take to help reduce workplace stress.

‘Zero Tolerance’: Best Weapon Against Workplace Harassment


If you treat your employees with dignity and respect, then a “zero tolerance” stance on harassment or discriminatory behavior at work follows naturally, said Melanie Shong Helm, an HR expert who addressed the second session of the three-part “Safe Space Series” on Oct. 4 sponsored by TRSA’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

Ecolab Again Named Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality


Ecolab has received a perfect score of 100% on the 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), designating it as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.” The CEI is a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This is the 10th consecutive year that Ecolab has received a perfect score on the CEI, according to a news release.

TRSA Chair Shares Perspective on Global DEI Webinar


TRSA recently partnered with several international linen, uniform and facility services industry associations to present a webinar on diversity, equity and inclusion issues in the industry. The 90-minute presentation, titled “Gender and Diversity in the Textile Care Industry: Let’s Have a Conversation,” featured TRSA Chair Noël Hammer Richardson.

‘Culturally Sensitive’ – Diversity and Staff Retention


Many laundry operators across North America today rely on a significant number of immigrants who retain strong ties to their countries of origin. A strategy of even-handed tolerance – coupled with a sensitivity to the cultural identities of these employees – can build staff loyalty and retention, according to a healthcare laundry operator who recently published a book on this and related topics associated with immigration and diversity.