The Ecolab team is hard at work making a difference for our customers as they start to reopen their operations. While our field team is working at customer sites, other associates are supporting the reopening efforts on the frontlines in unique ways. Mercy Munene, financial analyst, Institutional Field Finance, is assisting the field team by driving key financial initiatives to ensure customers are prepared to reopen their businesses that were heavily affected by COVID-19 closures, like restaurants, hotels, and resorts.
Mercy leads and manages budgeting, processes, and strategic planning across field operations in the U.S. One of her objectives to help customers reopen is to provide a pipeline of financial guidance between sales managers and customers. She says, “I train the field associates to access, read, understand and communicate financial reports to customers in order to determine what products and services they should consider applying to prepare for a clean and healthy environment and a successful reopening based on their budget. In doing so, customers can make better and more strategic business decisions. We're all doing our best to achieve success and help our customers do the same.”
“My role is pivotal. I believe an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Building the field team’s wealth of knowledge has been our team’s focus.”
Aside from work, there’s a lot on the plate of this mother of three. Mercy is managing field support during a pandemic alongside being a mom and teacher in the wake of COVID-19, and it can be a tough challenge. She says, “We’re a family of five. Juggling work and the home responsibilities can be daunting. I find myself working at varied hours, not the standard 8:00AM - 5:00PM. Two of my children are in middle school and the other in preschool, so the level of needs are varied. At one time I find myself as an educator, preschool teacher, parent or some days multitasking all of them at the same time and working too.” She has this advice for others in a similar situation: “My advice would be to stay positive about the changes because the pandemic is out of your own control.” In particular, Mercy is focusing on communicating well and practicing healthy habits.
Communication is key
Mercy explains she tries to be a transparent and active communicator at work, “I manage day-to-day work by having open channels of communication with my managers and customers as we prioritize the changing workflow - prioritization is key in meeting the immediate demands. I also designate workspaces for my husband and I to work that create harmony and a sense of routine, and my husband and I also take turns to watch the kids.”
Practicing healthy habits
When she’s balancing working from home with life, she does her best to maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes integrating healthy habits with family and avoiding mental exhaustion by separating work and home when possible. She says, “I maintain a healthy lifestyle by practicing social distancing, doing a lot of family activities together such as cooking new recipes, exercising, long walks, and creating moments to teach the kids new skills. I keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family. Most of my relatives are in Kenya, and I am always checking on them and provide support where needed.” She emphasizes that it’s not always easy, “Our work and our personal lives are so intertwined today”, but she’s leaning on soft skills more than ever to get through it.
We’re all in an important and unique phase of history with the COVID-19 pandemic and movement to address racial injustice. Mercy recognizes the unparallel circumstances, “I joined Ecolab in 2018 because I was impressed by the brand recognition, culture and what Ecolab stands for. Ecolab prides itself by working to create diverse and inclusive teams, and I was very fortunate to be offered a position. I am employee of diverse background. In the recent times, companies have been challenged on the issue of diversity and inclusion. Ecolab has been at the forefront to acknowledge the issue and committed to breaking barriers. I realize too that with the pandemic this is a rare situation and I can create memories with my children.”
“I also empathize with my customers because they may be going through a very rough patch adapting to the new norm or in a situation like mine. Being supportive and understanding without being intrusive has helped me navigate changes and create an impact.”
Our team is making an impact all around the world in unique ways, and we couldn’t be prouder of our associates – whether they are in the field at customer sites or supporting behind the scenes.