When things get hard, it’s natural to consider giving up. To choose an easy route over perseverance. Can you relate? As I sit and think of how I’ve never led a fully-remote team of creatives, how I’ve never created engagement for our people solely through a computer screen, or how our company has never fully-supported customers from the comfort of our own homes... until this year, I can’t help but think: perseverance is in our DNA. We didn’t choose an easy route (was there even an easy route to 2020?!), we chose the route that prioritized people.
And here’s what I found to be true in that process: an office building is only a space for employees to operate out of, but it's not the company. The company is the people. And our people have persevered.
One way we do this is through communication. Communication is critical for connection, and let’s be real, connection has been a struggle on personal and professional levels around the entire world this year. So, how do you create connection when physical distance is a reality? Intentionally.
If you want to create a core culture that employees can count on and a customer base who knows they can count on you, then you must lead with intentional communication. It’s important to think about the needs of your organization and acknowledge how compassionate, open communication can help you address those needs. Because our culture is so important - in fact, I would argue it’s the most important thing at Infotech - we had to find new ways to connect with our employees virtually. We introduced frequent virtual Town Halls with leadership to keep employees informed and in tune with our business and financial plans (literally, employees could ask our Presidents and VPs anything in these Town Halls!); we created spirit weeks and weekly engagement challenges to share stories and pictures with each other; we held a racial equity forum to give a platform to our Black family members as our nation discussed systemic racism; we even found a way to host our annual Infotech Hackathon via Zoom – where nearly half of our employees participated, with most telling us it was the most engaging Hackathon in our history.
These new platforms have all been successful, but was that simply luck? No. It was intentional. Intentionally prioritized by our leadership team, intentionally planned by employees committed to our brand pillars, and intentionally communicated so employees were constantly reminded that we are leading with compassion. Our employees can’t ignore the real life happening all around them, and neither can we. When a year like 2020 happens, it’s critical for companies and leaders to understand the connection between perseverance and communication.
When you lead with open communication, you build trust and offer transparency.
When you acknowledge employees’ personal lives and the impact they have on the work day, you create a personal connection that sparks hard work.
When you prioritize intentional communication, you create connections that help you persevere as you continue to live out a culture worth embracing.
As we enter a new year - 2021, we’re coming for you with great expectation! - I am hopeful things will be different on many levels, but one thing I know will not change is Infotech’s commitment to embracing open communication with our employees, our customers and our community. And no matter what comes our way, I know we will face it together with a spirit of perseverance as we continue to model what the Infotech culture is all about.