A Year of Introspection and Strength
SimpSocial’s theme for the year was originally supposed to be growth, but it swiftly changed to adaptability and resilience. We had some of the greatest growth in our history in the first quarter and were fresh off a prosperous NADA conference. The orders to stay at home in North Carolina and the rest of the country then arrived in the middle of March. Suddenly, the year wasn’t about growth but survival, as 25% of our firm disappeared apparently overnight. Our first concern was making sure that everyone on our team was safe and healthy, so we swiftly closed our office and began working remotely. After converting to a remote workforce, we were able to concentrate on the well-being of our company as well as that of our clients and partners.
Although our leadership team wasn’t involved in making decisions during the 2009 financial crisis, we were unable to overlook the upcoming recession due to the hardships the previous recession caused us in our early professions and the lessons we learned in school. Since 2018, our company’s top objective has been to actively save and get SimpSocial ready for a potential economic crisis. We reduced wasteful spending, made costs more variable, invested in automation, saved money, and developed backup plans as we became leaner. At all costs, we wanted to avoid layoffs.
Although we believed we were well-prepared, we observed as the worst-case scenarios in our backup plans quickly came to pass over the course of two weeks. However, our team consistently demonstrated our company’s key principles of grit and elevating others, as everyone promptly made the necessary sacrifices. Our executive team took temporary pay cutbacks, our entire workforce postponed their usual rises in April, we increased workload owing to cost-cutting measures, and we communicated with one another more and offered support wherever we could. This team’s altruism enabled us to respond to requirements as they developed and helped us survive the crisis’s early unknowns.
We have incomparable gratitude for our customers and business partners. They stayed with us and had faith in the digital marketing efforts they were making despite shutdowns, inventory disruptions, COVID sickness, and risks to their own enterprises. Without the dedication of our clientele, we could not have progressed or endured this long. In order to reflect the new environment in which we found ourselves, our staff changed everything and worked harder than ever before for our clients. It never means more for us to maintain our dedication to unmatched customer service and results than when it might be more convenient to “take it easy.” Instead, we strengthened this commitment to our consumers, vowing to be there for them in times of need and devoting more resources to it.
As working from home grew a little more commonplace, racism and the ongoing struggle for social justice once again confronted our country. We started to ask ourselves some challenging questions as protests spread across the country, including in Raleigh, our hometown: “What could we be doing better?” “Where are our own biases?” and “How could we better contribute to a company culture of diversity and inclusion?” We vowed to our team that we would continue to work toward building a diverse and inclusive organization and seek to be a more uplifting force in our communities. Although we are aware that there is always more work to be done and that progress never happens overnight, we are committing to this for all time. We’ve made a number of investments so far this year, including:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated with an additional company holiday, bringing our total number of company holidays to 11.
We have broadened our scholarship and recruitment efforts in the state of North Carolina to include Shaw University, North Carolina State University, and UNC Wilmington, all of which can provide us with prospects from a variety of backgrounds.
invested in a committed human resources team to strengthen our HR procedures and add greater responsibility.
SimpSocial’s Culture Committee was established with an emphasis on the four pillars of involvement in the community, the SimpSocial community, alignment, and recognition.
facilitated access to learning opportunities for diversity and inclusion for our employees.
A webinar on mental health was delivered in collaboration with Modern Health.
Several individuals on our team received regular coaching and leadership development opportunities.
We were able to assess the damage done to us after the initial shock of pandemic shutdowns. We once again focused on the future and the investments we would need to make in order to remain strong in the years to come. We started to reinvest and take more risks rather than make judgments based on fear and the unknown. The following investments will sustain us for a very long time:
Zero layoffs to assist us in resuming operations as shutdowns started to lessen and business increased.
After the first delay, the entire workforce received raises.
creation of PRO Drive, a fixed operations tool, to help our clients’ service divisions succeed in marketing.
Our organization has made new hires in a number of its departments as an investment in future growth.
We are tremendously appreciative as the year’s finale draws near. We are appreciative of our wonderful team, our customers, our business partners, and our friends and family. Although we are stronger, more resilient, alert, compassionate, and sensitive as a result of 2022, we do not know when these trying times will end. Every challenge presents an opportunity. Because of this, this year, while we confronted challenges, our guiding principles of comfortable being uncomfortable and continuous improvement served as guidance.
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