Connecting with Employees in 2020 (Video)

Published January 2021


Connecting with Employees in 2020


Wendy and Steve Connecting with Employees in 2020
President Wendy Fry and Founder Steve Kath hand-delivering holiday gifts to every employee across both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

March 6, 2020.  On that date, MN reported its first positive COVID-19 case.  Man, have there been a lot of bad surprises and tough days since then.  However, as I reflect on the entire pandemic, I have to give a little pause to consider a couple things I’m most fortunate for.

First, I feel incredibly fortunate to have been one of the essential businesses that made it through Governor Walz’s Non-Essential designation when he shut down Non-Essential businesses on March 16.  I really can’t imagine what it must be like to not be given this fighting chance to survive and convince our customers that we’re able to safely do business.  I know how truly fortunate we are for that!

Second, I have received much clarity on how fortunate I am to employ the individuals we do at The Retrofit Companies, Inc.  After seeing the response to the pandemic, the resilience they have shown since it began, the creativity to find solutions to multiple new problems, and the talent to turn a stinker of a year into a win, I know how very lucky we are.  From planning for field personnel, office safety protocol, touchless pick-up and drop-off, CARES act interpretation and implementation, they have nailed it every step of the way.

Once the dust settled on trying to make sense of all the moving parts, it was time to start re-connecting with our employees in 2020.  Typically, we celebrate milestone anniversaries at the annual employee appreciation party.  But, unfortunately due to COVID, we had to cancel the party last year and again for this year.  So, I started with 2019 Anniversaries I had yet to recognize.  I went out and individually visited with all recipients.  Then, I moved on to 2020 anniversaries.  Through this activity…one I likely never would have done without COVID, I was able to connect with some of the employees I’d never visited with.  It was very rewarding for me to actually look them in the eye one-on-one and thank them without a public production.

Finally, when the year was coming to a close, we went to each employee personally, to thank them for their hard work and dedication during this crazy time.  We caught some of the employees at the office and then went to some homes.  Many visits were on weekends or evenings and we caught many employees off guard.  It was so fun, entertaining, and hopefully not too disruptive to their time off.  I guess you could say that thinking I might have to live without some of the employees with us today helped to realize how very much we want to take care of them like they take care of us.


Wendy Fry,


The Retrofit Companies, Inc.