Relentless Effort: Not Just Words on a Wall
“We are a team of good people who put forth relentless effort to serve others.”
This is our company’s core value statement. If you walk into the employee side of our office space, you will see it prominently displayed on our walls. We recite it with ease and wear it with pride.
But like many things we hear repeatedly, they can lose meaning after a while. In our 30-plus years, we have always acknowledged our company as a team that hired good people. And the very nature of our work naturally lends itself to focus on serving others. But, over the past 15 months, we got to really live out the “relentless effort” of our core values. Beginning on March 13, 2020 when we transitioned to a remote work environment, our commitment to relentless effort got to shine in unprecedented ways. We worked relentlessly to connect with and serve our clients any way we possibly could. We worked relentlessly to stay reliable, present and engaged, not missing a beat when the world essentially shut down. We worked relentlessly at being a team by keeping our employees safe and creating an environment that allowed each one of them to balance office responsibilities with all the challenges that came with a worldwide pandemic. We worked relentlessly at keeping our team intact for an eventual return to the office, which will now officially happen on July 13! So yes, we feel just a little bit of pride that we made it! We DID put forth relentless effort and because of that, we are now a team of 70+ strong heading back to our office to be together again.
It may be cliché or overused, but we’ll say it: coming back to the office again is important to us because we truly are “better together.” That doesn’t mean that we couldn’t get our jobs done in our homes—because we did. That doesn’t mean that some of us didn’t focus a little bit better without the in-office distractions—because we did. But it also doesn’t mean that while we tried our hardest with our Zoom happy hours and our Zoom meetings and our Microsoft Teams chats that our culture didn’t suffer—because it did. What we’ve learned is that we truly are “better together.” We are at our best when we collaborate in the same room. We are at our best when we take ping-pong breaks with our co-workers to clear our heads. We are at our best when we all get to applaud and welcome the newest employee in person. We are at our best when one person starts singing and three others join in (yes, this has been known to happen!). We are at our best when we get to turn around and ask our pod mate a quick question and receive immediate feedback. We are at our best when we pass a colleague in the hallway and ask them how their vacation was or give them a high-five for a job well done. We are at our best when we get to comfort a friend who has just lost a loved one. We are at our best when we get to meet a new addition to our coworker’s family at the annual family picnic.
So, maybe the next time we recite our core values, we will feel the relentless effort part with a little more emotion. A little more zeal. Dare we say, a little more pride? We came to know it in a way we have never known before! And very likely, we won’t forget. After all, it’s written into our core values. It’s the very heart of who we are.