The season of Thanksgiving is here and we are reflecting on what we are most grateful for, especially in a year that has been filled with more challenges than normal. Like everyone else around the globe, we have faced COVID-19 and the obstacles that were brought from moving our work to fully remote and all digital. In addition to the health crisis, we were also in the middle of launching new company-wide improvements, processes, and procedures that set our clients and employees up for greater success. Put those two things together and “challenge” might be considered an understatement at times. However, as we look back on the last year, there is and was always something to be grateful for, one of the biggest being our employees.
We might be biased, but we have some of the best people around and we are always grateful for them. But because this has been such a year, we wanted to dive into why we’re thankful for our employees and how we try to express that thanks in our everyday routines.
How We’ve Changed Our Approach To Company Culture
Culture has always been important to us but right now, it’s the glue that holds us together during the crazy times of working during a pandemic. A culture of gratitude and appreciation is even more important now. All of us are dealing with different things in our work and personal lives and we need to understand the good and the bad our employees face. We genuinely care about our employees and what is best for them so we’ve had to pivot the way we approach company culture to make it just as successful, if not better, in a new fully remote environment where people are more isolated than ever before.
This year we’re more focused and intentional on our values and who we are. It was easy to see those values when we were all together in an office, but now they really have to be front and center in everything that we do. We are definitely articulating, validating, and reinforcing our culture and company values more now than we have before. Empathy and understanding are at the forefront.
Setting Boundaries and Expectations
We’re more centered on boundaries and reminding people it’s okay to say “no” and put their needs first. We live in a society that glorifies being so busy we have to work late every night or skip out on lunch. While we absolutely have a get shit done mentality and a whatever it takes attitude, overworking doesn’t mean overachieving. It’s important to remember that we have to get shit done with purpose.
Many times, the work we find ourselves doing after normal hours can wait until the next day. We encourage our employees to shut the computer and office door at the end of the workday to focus on themselves and their families. We encourage the use of vacation days so the R&R we all need is a priority. Self-care is important, and we are making sure to remind people of that a lot more now that boundaries are harder to come by.
Focusing on Mental For All Employees
Mental health is a top priority for us when it comes to taking care of our employees. Even though we’ve been in this situation for 8 months, it doesn’t mean it has become any easier. Many of us are dealing with heightened anxiety and in some cases, extreme isolation from other individuals.
We’ve provided a paid Mental Health Day to our employees and are also retaining an outside counselor everyone can utilize in addition to the mental health services offered in our Employee Assistance Program.
We’ve made personal check-ins more of a priority in order to make sure our employees and coworkers are good. If we see someone struggling, we can be there as an ear or a shoulder and remind them how much we all care about them. Relationships over results! We are making sure everyone is seen and heard even though we are all separated.
Employee Appreciation Days
Employee Appreciation Days are where we all get together for a paid virtual lunch and talk about anything BUT work and then give the team time to watch their favorite trash TV, read a book, take a nap or do anything they want to do that doesn’t involve working. We believe resting and recharging are imperative to productivity… especially this year.
Transparency and Communication
Transparency has never been more important. We’ve worked to provide a higher level of communication/transparency throughout the organization and more direct lines to the CEO. We’ve done this by:
- Monday company-wide meetings where the leadership team can share what we’ve been working on, things coming down the pike, addressing any issues that have popped up, wins from the previous week, employee recognition, and COVID related news/announcements. It’s also a great forum where the team can get involved and share anything they need, give peer recognition, ask questions, etc.
- Weekly 1:1 time with the CEO. A time to share feedback/suggestions, ask for help, gain clarity and guidance, or just talk about what’s going on in our personal lives.
- Again…checking in! Slack messages to see how people are feeling and how the family is getting along.
Establishing a Sense of Community Even Virtually
We have our traditional virtual Beer Bucket Friday to make sure we are all still connecting and have a sense of belonging. Having fun and sharing laughs at the end of the workweek helps us feel united and takes some of the workweek stress off before heading into the weekend. We’ve also created channels in our Slack that allow us to share random and fun tidbits throughout the day:
- #Random Slack Channel – funny memes, jokes, or updates from reality shows to throw some humor into our days.
- #Pawsitivity Slack Channel – pictures of our furry friends that keep us company throughout the workday.
- #General Slack Channel – a way for us to share company information, project/employee wins in real-time, and keep people in the loop of what’s happening company-wide.
Expressing Gratitude in Simple Ways
All and all, everything comes down to us trying to find ways to show how much we care and to express our gratitude for our employees no matter how big or small. It really does make a difference in establishing and uplifting morale in the workplace.
Why We’re Thankful For Our Employees
Day in and day out our employees make this company what it is. Our success is only possible through their commitment. Everyone embodies the KC Core Values and brings hard work and dedication to the team, company, and clients.
They invite everyone to the table and everyone works together rather than against each other. We own our pieces and understand how it fits into the bigger picture. It’s been such a pleasure to watch our employees have each other’s backs, go the extra mile for one another but also hold each other accountable.
Their passion for the job spills over into the initiative the team shows throughout the day. From people offering to start study groups/certification training sessions to help coworkers excel in their cert journey, to suggesting employee engagement ideas they’d love to see folded in it’s clear they are passionate about what they do and why they do it.
Our team puts our clients and their needs first. They take the approach that a client’s problems are their own to ensure we are tackling everything in the most efficient and effective way possible. Customer success is at the heart of what we do and we are so grateful our employees have that mentality and share our mission to empower businesses through Salesforce.
Finally, they have been patient and trusting throughout this year of uncertainty. As working locations have been adjusted, processes have been revised and the team has shifted, our employees have come in ready to make a difference, accept and embrace change and challenge us to do better. Our employees are proud contributors and hold us to a high standard and we couldn’t be more proud and thankful.
Looking Forward to 2021
We’re looking forward to closing out 2020 strong and we have exciting plans for 2021. We love our employees and we’ll keep the ball rolling to show our appreciation for them even when it’s not the Thanksgiving season. If you’re interested in joining our team, or know someone that might be, feel free to check out our careers page on our website.