Andrea Crisafulli wins Top Workplaces 2021 leadership award

Andrea Crisafulli, Chairman, Crisafulli Bros. Plumbing and Heating Contractors Inc.

Q: Crisafulli employees responded to the Top Workplaces survey with comments such as’ I have the ability to build my career and work with the best company in the state ‘and’ the one word that brings everything together for me at Crisafulli is “family,” “and” I am really respected and appreciated for what I do. ” What’s it like reading those comments and what’s going on in your company to inspire them? An ice cream every Wednesday, the whole summer doesn’t hurt!

A: It is important to me that Crisafulli Bros. creates opportunities to reach your potential and comfortably care for yourself and your family; the size of our organization does this by offering career paths to those who are motivated to invest in themselves. The jobs many of our team members perform are challenging; they often work long hours, in every way, and perform tasks that most people don’t want. They deserve credit for their contributions, so when I hear such feedback, I am delighted, proud and determined to show my gratitude to them.

Question: The pandemic has hit everyone hard. How did you interact and keep your team connected?

A: We focused on communicating, providing information and letting our team know we care about their health and safety. I kept thinking how important it was for them to feel supported and constantly hoping we were doing enough. I woke up at 2am and made videos or wrote emails assuring them that we were strong and that we would get through this – that it would be challenging, but together we would make it. I reminded them that they were ‘essential’, which positioned us better than many, that we were the best team in the region with a lot of resources. I wanted them to feel safe.

I have encouraged our management team to watch, listen, support and most importantly be friendly. I wanted everyone to feel connected when so much was changing around them. I asked managers to check in with their teams – to give them undivided attention, ask about their families, have meaningful conversations, and if there was anything they could do to help, please do. I wanted our crews to feel respected and appreciated because while they probably wouldn’t admit it, many were scared.

Top workplaces in the Capital Region

For more than 10 years, the Times Union has partnered with Energage to rank the best workplaces in the Capital Region. This year, more than 15,500 employees have assessed their work culture – and the results are in. View the awards:

This year’s leadership awards went to Gary Dake of Stewart’s Shops, Andrea Crisafulli of Crisafulli Bros. and Darrin Jahnel from Jahnel Group.

Read more about the research methodology.

Question: How were you supposed to change the way technicians did their jobs last year – was there a time when you couldn’t make appointments because technicians couldn’t get to people’s homes? How did you deal with it in terms of safety for employees and customers?

A: Our top priority has been and remains available to meet the needs of our customers, while doing our part to protect our customers, employees and the community.

We provide personal protective equipment and follow protocols for a safe work environment. We stagger shifts, perform daily screenings and have set up a disinfection process for vehicles, electronics, tools, equipment and workplaces. We have eliminated the need for customers to sign for payment, technicians will review costs verbally and unsubscribe for customers. We verify that households are symptom-free before booking calls, send emails the night before to re-verify, and ask customers to stay socially distant and mask themselves. We also send a follow-up email a week after each call to confirm that the household is symptom-free.

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