Learning from the challenges of a global pandemic

Adversity is a great teacher, and 2020 served as a master class in confronting and making the best of a global pandemic that’s disrupted the very way we conduct business. We are not past this crisis yet, but as we approach the one-year mark of California’s Shelter in Place Executive Order, and as we are hopefully witnessing the beginning of the end of uncertainty, I’ve been reflecting on what we’ve learned and what we can pass on to the larger business community; including the importance of culture, investing in and connecting with your employees, anticipating client needs and practicing agility.

When the Shelter in Place order hit, it was paramount that businesses discover new ways to maintain connection as a team and with their clients. Randle Communications, like other businesses in the creative space, develops our best work when it’s reflective of the team’s best thinking. The dynamism and synergy of a team environment is one of the major reasons why we operate a large office in the heart of downtown Sacramento.

With the prospect of being cut off from in-person communications last March, many businesses were left in a reactionary state, scrabbling to bridge the physical divide to maintain connection with each other and to address client business from home.

As business leaders reflect on the one-year anniversary, it’s important to cull some lessons from the crisis and harvest some benefits. That includes taking a closer look at how to minimize disruptions in the future.

Business continuity plans should be designed with an emphasis on communications and culture to succeed. Randle’s business continuity plan was built with our longstanding commitment to fostering a positive work place culture at its core. For 11 straight years, we’ve been rated an A-Plus Employer by the Sacramento Business Journal; the only company in Sacramento to receive that honor. It is a reflection of our tightly-knit workplace where people enjoy working and succeeding together. It was that commitment to culture that drove our quick response to the pandemic.

We invested in new platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to ensure continued work production, but also made it a point to host virtual gatherings that focused on personal discussions, happy hours, fun team building exercises and many other activities. Nothing can take the place of face-to-face interaction of course, but these opportunities helped foster and maintain cohesion and teamwork. A strong team will always produce extraordinary client results.

Team Randle participated in a virtual wine tasting with Sean Minor Wines. We’re thankful for opportunities to keep close as a team in our unusual remote setting.

It’s been a long year. And now as we approach an anniversary that none of us will celebrate, I can say with certainty that our business is better because of the challenges we faced and greater connectivity we have created with our team.

Our internal communications are more robust than ever, and we have a renewed appreciation for the value of personal relationships that lead to better professional results. As a team, we have taken pride in staying focused and disciplined at a time when it would have been too easy to become distracted. That focus has meant success for our clients in the face of disruption and uncertainty.

No one would ever choose to endure the experience of the past year. But every challenge offers an opportunity for learning and growth. There is no COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate the business community.  But there are proactive measures to be taken. My key takeaway is that businesses that make a long-term commitment to investing in a positive workplace culture are well-positioned to deal successfully with the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic. Culture makes a stronger, more resilient team, ready for 2021 and beyond.


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