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Finding Ways to Help During the COVID-19 Crisis: Our Team at Genesis Seating

As people around the world are impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, many are finding opportunities to step up and provide help, assistance, and resources in a great time of need. Our team at Genesis Seating is doing just that.

Genesis Seating in Kentwood, Michigan, typically produces upholstery for furniture. They’re now making cloth face masks for Spectrum Health, government and non-profit health care organizations.

“We started production this week and are hoping to produce roughly 80,000 masks for Spectrum,” said Kevin Kuske, Genesis Seating Private-Label President.

“We did not need to retool any equipment, but we did need to work with Steelcase and Spectrum to develop a design, source materials that do not conflict with other health care supply chains and train our sewing team to make these masks. We are bringing back to work employee volunteers to staff this effort.”

Kuske said employees greeted the opportunity with enthusiasm.

“Our team was ecstatic to help out,” he said. “Many of them have family members and friends who work for Spectrum and other health care groups and they want them protected. We all want to feel like we are helping bring this crisis to an end, and this is the part we can play to help protect those on the front line who are putting their health at risk every day to care for those in need.”

This story was originally written and published by Spectrum Health Beat.

A Statement from L&P

Leggett & Platt is proud to join with many other US manufacturers to assist with the response to COVID-19. Between our foam lab producing hand sanitizer, furniture operations creating cloth face masks, and bedding facilities supplying both components and finished mattresses for emergency use, L&P employees are providing innovative solutions to meet the urgent supply needs.

“L&P is a critical supplier of wire components to US N95 mask producers,” explains Karl Glassman, CEO. “But, where they are able, our teams are doing so much more. We’ve redeployed raw materials for use by our branches and other companies in the manufacture of critical products, including the supply of foam bands used on face shields and the fabric required for many hospital applications.”

The Company is also partnering with other US mattress producers, which collectively have the ability to manufacture and deliver more than 400,000 mattresses a week for potential emergency use during the COVID-19 crisis. L&P is using its mattress and components production capabilities to aid US mattress producers in fulfilling urgent needs in states all across the country.

“No one person or company can do everything,” adds Glassman. “But if we all do what we are able, we can accomplish big things together.”

US mattress manufacturers have reached out to the Administration and various local governments and hospitals to determine where needs exist and they stand ready to meet those needs. Click here to read more about what some of the US mattress producers are doing.

Finding Ways to Help During the COVID-19 Crisis: Our Team at Peterson Chemicals

During these difficult times spent in isolation, it isn’t always easy to find ways to connect to each other and our communities. Despite this, our team at Peterson Chemicals in Fort Smith, Arkansas, found themselves in a unique position to give back to their fellow employees.

After learning about the nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer, the team got to work to find out how they could help.

As a chemical manufacturer, they recognized their ability to produce hand sanitizer in bulk, and they proactively took on this extra effort while still being able to provide other inputs to the supply chain. A team of about 10 employees significantly contributed to the hand sanitizer project, researching formulas, accessing chemical components, performing lab work, and becoming Hazmat certified to ship product all over the country.

In just one week, the branch moved from having never manufactured hand sanitizer to completing their first 40-gallon batch!

Their first several batches are being shipped domestically to internal L&P branches. The team at Peterson worked closely with our L&P Procurement team to gather details and materials for the shipping process. The Procurement team quickly helped secure hand pumps, containers, and shipping materials.

Having now completed the first few batches, the team at Peterson Chemicals is currently working with our L&P Legal Department to fast-track FDA registration for the product, which would allow them to also donate to the community and offer the product to hospitals, nursing homes, and other places in need of hand sanitizer.

Although their team is small, the work they’re doing for others is monumental. According to Product and Marketing Manager Courtney Hironaka, their goal is to do as much as they can. “This is a perfect example of teamwork and how much everyone here really cares about making an impact,” she says. Thank you to our Peterson Chemicals team for all you’re doing to keep us healthy!


A Healthy Future For Us All

As Leggett & Platt joins the world community in doing our part to flatten the curve of coronavirus exposure, we have worked to align our operations with CDC, local, and international authorities to ensure our workplaces are safe while we continue to operate for our critical infrastructure customers.

Rest assured Leggett & Platt is working hard to ensure a healthy future for us all.

Donate Blood, Save Lives

We are all practicing social distancing, which has led to fewer people donating blood when hospitals worldwide need it most. Won’t you join others in your communities and take time now to donate blood? Reach out to your local Red Cross or other blood donation centers today. 

A Message from L&P Regarding COVID-19

At Leggett & Platt, our highest priority will always be the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers. As we navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19, we are doing our best to limit close contact and having employees work remotely where possible.

Thank you for your patience while we all work though these difficult times together. As events unfold, we will continue to monitor the latest developments to help us all be safe as we all follow local guidance on how to best protect our communities.

Throwback Thursday: L&P’s First Factory

For the first 12 years, our founders produced their bedsprings alongside farm equipment at the C.D. Platt Plow Works plant, founded in 1873 by C.B. Platt’s father.

Finally, in 1890, the first Leggett & Platt bedspring factory opened at the corner of Second and Maple Streets in Carthage. Although the first and fourth individuals in this photo (pictured left to right) are unidentified, the rest include Kansas farmer Sam Smith, George D. Leggett, Carthage plumber Karl Speece, J.P. Leggett, and C.B. Platt.

Top 5 Tips for Giving Effective Feedback

Giving feedback to another employee can be very difficult. However, it’s also an essential part of building successful teams. If an individual knows where they need to improve, it can help them grow within their role. Here are our tips for making those discussions a more positive experience:

  1. Choose an appropriate time and place. When delivering feedback be sure to leave enough time to discuss the issue without feeling rushed. Choosing a more relaxed environment can be helpful in less formal situations, while potentially difficult conversations should usually be addressed in an office or meeting room. Never give “negative” feedback in public.
  2. Start with questions. Because you never know another person’s situations or intentions, it’s best to start the dialog with questions rather than statements. This approach also creates a two-way interaction which can result in more positive outcomes.
  3. Be prepared. Identify your goals for the conversation and what you hope to achieve. Take time to consider both the employee’s successes, as well as any weaknesses, along with specific examples. Write them down to keep the discussion on track.
  4. Focus on the goal. Effective feedback will encourage problem-solving rather than forcing an employee to change. Make it clear you’re not trying to “fix” them, you’re trying to develop them. By focusing on behaviors and how they impact the team, the employee may be more receptive to development.
  5. Don’t sugarcoat it. In an attempt to be kind, we often soften difficult feedback by downplaying it or “sandwiching” it between two compliments. This can dilute your concern to the point that it’s not even heard. Instead, be direct and assertive — then discuss ways to reach a positive, actionable solution together.