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Situational Leadership Helps Windsor Frozen Foods Contain Flood Damage
Recently hurricanes ran through parts of Florida and up the Eastern seaboard, and the Windsor Frozen Foods (WFF) plant in Bloomsburg, Pa. saw heavy rains, which caused the nearby Susquehanna River to flood its banks. Despite floodgates and other preventat
"Any time that we have any type of a pending disaster, we have what's called a crisis management plan, and what that does is outline exactly whose in charge of what task at any given time," said Marsha Sherman, human resources manager, Windsor Frozen Foods. "When you have that on paper, it's not always tried and tested, and you don't know how effective that's going to be. Our crisis management plan has a command leader, myself, listed on the paper, but I'd never been through a flood. I don't handle maintenance so it doesn't really seem like I would be the best choice in reference to a flood disaster like we had. (Plant Director) Howard said, how can we put Ninth House training to use with our disaster and really handle it the way that it should be."
As plant director of Windsor Frozen Foods, Howard Tufel was tasked with identifying those employees with former experience in flood disaster recovery who would be able to take on and exercise active leadership roles in the company's emergency efforts.
"We got in here on a Saturday morning, and we knew it could be a possible disaster," Tufel said. "About 9 o'clock, it was going to be a disaster so we circled the wagons and called everybody in. I sat with Marsha, and we came up with our game plan or strategy. We had eight to 10 hours before we had to evacuate the facility. It couldn't be an empirical approach of 'You do this, you do that.' We had to rely on the expertise within the facility and use this Ninth House approach, which all of our folks have been trained in."
The Ninth House Situational Leadership II training course is delivered via a blended learning approach containing e-learning, classroom training and Web-driven content reinforcement. The Situational Leadership II course differentiates between four employee development levels, leadership or management styles and offers learners different criteria and standards for each style to help identify strengths and weaknesses to aid effective placement within an organization, all of which was critical in an emergency situation where quick, accurate delegation of authority is essential.
"The last flood, it took them a week to get up and running in production. It took us three days this time," Sherman said, crediting Situational Leadership II with the company's successful salvage and cleanup operations.
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