We’re getting close to the end of 2020. Finally? Has it been a long year for you? Has it gone by really fast? I think every other day I have a different opinion about it.
Either way, it’s time to look at 2021. A fresh start, a clean slate. I think if there is one big mindset all business owners and C-levels need to take into consideration for 2021, it’s their people.
We’ve all had our full helping of lessons to learn in 2020. Many of us had to make hard decisions and take on uncomfortable roles in order to get through the year. Some were able to make the best of a difficult situation and adapted quickly, while others had a much harder time.
I think one of the bigger lessons to take away from this past year, and attempting to commit to business as usual, is that a lot of us are blessed to be surrounded by great, caring, forward thinking people.
I feel this way about my team at MERIT Solutions. They worked hard to help our clients earlier in the year get set up remotely. They worked hard to keep the internal communication happening and adjust our internal processes and deal with obstacles despite what was going on in the world. I’m proud to be a part of this group of people.
I feel thankful about having great clients too. Clients who trust me and my team with their technology. The clients who have been with us for a long time, through ebbs and flows, who continue to put their faith in MERIT Solutions to keep the gears running in their organizations—we thank you. To the new relationships we’ve made over the last year or two, we are so grateful that you chose to work with us and we can’t wait to see where we can go together over the next several years.
Our hearts go out to those who have been struggling and have had to downsize, or close their doors altogether. It’s not been an easy year. We hope we see you all again, building new opportunities for Hampton Roads.
I’m specifically addressing the business owners and C-levels here—I hope you are proud of your people. I hope you are thankful for them. I hope they were able to adjust to remote work if they had to, and I hope that, despite the obstacles, your business comes out on top.
As much as we want it to, when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, the world isn’t going to suddenly change. It’s up to all of us to take the lessons that we’ve learned and apply them to our lives, whether that’s our personal lives or our professional lives. Many of us make promises to ourselves for the new year in the form of resolutions—from one business owner to another, I would like to suggest one to you.
How you do this will depend on your business, on you, and your employees. A good place to start is to realize just how important they are, and how much of an impact they have on your business. For some of us, simply conveying honest, thoughtful gratitude can be huge. If you’ve felt disconnected from your remote workforce, you aren’t alone. It’s harder to sweep the office and check in on people. Doing check-ins and dishing out kudos doesn’t seem as organic when it’s done remotely, but it’s still important.
Commit to educating your staff. Cybersecurity threats have evolved to take advantage of home users more than ever before, and with many organizations already being stressed, the last thing they need is to get caught with ransomware or a phishing attack. Your employees (in general) want to be good at their job. They want to do what’s right. They wouldn’t fall for a phishing attack on purpose, but it is up to you to make sure they understand what to look for. We can certainly help you with this step.
I mentioned check-ins before. Commit to this, or at least commit managers to it. Do it with your staff, with your clients, with your prospects. Communication is critical, and a lot of people are logging into work every day alone from their homes and apartments. They aren’t getting the same face-to-face interaction that they are accustomed to. Remote meetings are nice, and right now, still the way to go, but consider friendly check-ins and temperature checks just to make sure the people you work with and work for are doing well. For your staff, throw a meeting onto the schedule, and for your clients and prospects, have a quick call just to see if there is anything you can do. If it comes from a genuine place, it will likely be appreciated.
That’s all today. I just wanted to give my thanks to my team here at MERIT Solutions, and our incredible clients. It’s a little early to celebrate the end of 2020 (I’ve yet to yell BINGO with my 2020 Bingo card) but I want to pre-emptively wish everyone a fantastic rest of the year and a wonderful, safe, prosperous 2021.