Promoting Business Growth During a Crisis with a Healthy Culture
It’s no secret or surprise that the success of a business’s growth is directly matched by the people who work there. It’s all about company culture, which we here at Gerber Finance fully recognize. Our mantra is: “It’s all about the people.” This holds true for both our workforce and the partners we support. And in today’s times, where working remotely has been the new normal, this dynamic cannot be emphasized enough.
The challenges we are all facing are real
Adjusting to a new normal has not been without its challenges. Teams have been physically separated with few face-to-face interactions and are multi-tasking at a whole new level. Team members are now homeschooling, caring for young children, managing their homes, and sometimes caring for ill family members – all the while carrying the weight of the stress this pandemic has put on everyone.
Providing support to your team
Whenever there is a challenge, there’s one question that’s always at the back of our minds at Gerber Finance: How will we be remembered as having taken action during this challenging time? The most important thing to us is ensuring every member of the team feels completely supported. Here are a few examples of the virtual programs we have lived by to help keep our community alive.
- The Buddy System: It helps to have company-wide meetings to connect with everyone, but what about those one-on-one conversations you used to have in the conference room before or a meeting or in the kitchen over coffee? To keep everyone connected, we implemented the “Buddy system,” where two team members are matched up for the week and have regular check-ins, coffee chats, and just very needed catch-up meetings.
- Gerber Family Meal: This is where team members prepare their meals separately on their own ends and get together to play a game of “Family Feud” over dinner. It’s the best way to have some fun and laugh together.
- Flexible Calendar: For those who have to work while parenting, homeschooling and care giving, we implemented a “Flexible Calendar.” This allows for team members to create their own hours where they can set aside an hour or two to assist their children during the day.
- Gerber Academy: Three times a week, we gather on Zoom for presentations on different topics given by one of our team members. These presentations cover a range of topics that include other countries, interior design, how to make donuts, and Eliza Hamilton. It’s a great way to get together and share knowledge and experiences.
- Story Time: We have this every single day at 4 p.m. The children of Gerber Finance take turns reading their favorite books. This has truly been a win-win for everyone. It’s such a nice way to stay connected, for the kids to bond, and to give working parents a bit of a break.
These programs have helped our culture tremendously, and ultimately, our business growth. Even with the promise of a more usual way of life seemingly close to the horizon, these programs will help us with the transition to getting back to the office.
Staying connected with your clients
We truly feel that our relationship with each client is a partnership, so we’ve always made it a point to have in-person visits every other month. It keeps the communication open, allows us to maintain a connection, and identify areas of key business growth. So, not being able to meet face-to-face was a huge adjustment for us.
To maintain that feeling of being connected, we’ve made it a point to be creative and consistent. Right now, it’s the little things that make a huge difference in someone’s day, so ordering your client a cup of coffee for delivery, getting lunch from their favorite local spot, or sending a drink to their doorstep for happy hour makes virtual meetings that much better. It can go a long way in lightening the mood, keeping your relationship strong, and having those conversations that would normally take place in person. The bonus is that by doing this, you’ll also be supporting your client’s local community.
Check out our first episode of our brand new podcast – “We Grow Together” – where we discuss “culture in crisis” with our Head of Culture, Augusta Melendez (or Gussie), who expertly touches upon these points and more.