Listen to our full conversation with Melanie on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
For this podcast series, we spoke with leaders from across the bedding industry to hear what they are doing to support and motivate their teams and themselves during this uncertain time. What are they doing to keep their employees safe? How has their approach to leadership evolved?
In this episode, we talk with Melanie Huet, EVP and chief marketing officer of Serta Simmons Bedding. As one of the leading companies in the mattress industry, Serta Simmons Bedding quickly recognized how important it was for the company to embrace that leadership role in this critical moment in time. From making a sizable donation of relief beds, first to New York City and then throughout the country, to working on developing new innovative cleanliness and safety programs for retailers – the company has been doing all that it can to support the efforts to curb this crisis. From Melanie’s perspective, one of the most motivating aspects of this response has been seeing the team’s ability to really come together, step up and be agile.
“Our world was turned upside down overnight. To be able to get into the hospital relief bed business, which we were not in, we had to design a product – which Rick Gladney, our head of commercialization, did in about 24 hours. Then we had to secure materials from around the world, so we had people working all night long and long days looking for the different components required for these types of relief beds. Then we had to figure out, with a much smaller manufacturing footprint, were we going to ship them? Where were we going to produce them? And then, hopefully, cross your fingers, that operating site would stay open for the next 48 hours without a COVID-19 infection. It was truly difficult and truly inspiring because the team just came together and functioned better than I’ve ever seen. And in fact, we decided to take that and use that as a blueprint for agile teams so that, when we get to a more normal state of business, we feel like that’s maybe a better way in general to run projects in our company.”