It might be challenging to stay focused while working remotely or continually reminding colleagues/family members to unmute during Zoom meetings, but what exactly does a work-from-home scenario look like if you’re the company’s CEO? This is the question that Jim Clemmer, CEO of AngioDynamics, a medical technology firm based in Latham, had to answer while his company’s employees, deemed “essential,” continued working both onsite and from home during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Honestly, I’ve had to change my game as we all have,” says Clemmer. “I’m used to going to the office every day, and now I can’t. I used to like to walk the building, talking to people—that’s how I like to lead.” Over the last few months, Clemmer has had to pivot, and he’s really come into his own, as he and AngioDynamics have gone to great lengths to ensure that employees are both safe and in good spirits during the pandemic. That includes offering online training seminars, increasing levels of communication and hosting regular Zoom meetings with the staff (with both those working from home and onsite). The company has also launched what it’s calling the Culture Crew, an employee-run group that dreams up fun events, such as virtual happy hours and online trivia games, for AngioDynamics workers, both on and off the clock.
Additionally, AngioDynamics launched “Thank You Thursdays,” its series of free, weekly pizza lunches for all plant employees. Clemmer regularly attends them to show his personal appreciation for the staff and check in on his workers. “We’ve made some tough decisions to make sure we didn’t have to do layoffs or furloughs,” he says. “But I think our employees have been really resilient through this process, and we’ve really accepted the changes.”
Clemmer has been CEO of AngioDynamics for four years, after three decades in the med tech industry. He relocated to Saratoga Springs for the role. “I used to come up to SPAC every summer and stay the weekend in Saratoga,” Clemmer says. “When I was asked to join Angio, I thought, ‘Great, I can live where I go on vacation.’”
Looking ahead, Clemmer says that he and the AngioDynamics team will continue embracing the challenges that the COVID-19 crisis presents, whatever they might be. “The key to all of this is being nimble,” he says. “The new normal will be different, but I think we’re actually looking forward to it, because our people have the right spirit.”