To say this year has been rough may be an understatement. People are trying to grasp what the future will look like and how unforeseen changes will impact plans that have already been revised, improvised or entirely scrapped. The only definitive thing is that everyone is tired of hearing the phrases “unprecedented” and “new normal”.
Disruption can be uncomfortable, but it can also lead to some beneficial outcomes. Maybe 2021 is the year you finally revisit your strategic plan with your team or make time to set up the sales platform on your website. No matter the size of your business, here are three ideas for optimizing change from the past year to work positively for you in the new year.
Improve Work-Life Balance
Not having daily meetings, after-hours work events and travel for conferences means that schedules are empty for the first time in…years? This forced slowdown has given us a clean slate as we reconsider how to spend our time. Take a look at your schedule and decide what will add value to your days. Consider spending more quality time with loved ones or enjoying new hobbies.
Embrace Continual Change
Businesses have tried to maintain stability by controlling the variables they can, but what happens when a change (aka a global pandemic) continues to impact work longer than expected? Staying flexible and adapting is much easier when your culture is open to trying new ideas or processes. If this year you’ve tried to move all those records to digital files or let your employees try out a flex work schedule, evaluate what was worked and improve upon those processes. Just like a muscle that grows stronger when it’s stretched, businesses become more resilient when boundaries are pushed.
Check-In with Your Team
Solid communication with your coworkers and employees was important before, but is even more vital now that people are physically more distant. Work still looks different than expected, so continue to find ways to create open conversations with employees. Surveys, one-on-one Zoom calls or even short emails asking how things are going can help you understand your workplace needs and improve employee morale going forward.
How has this past year affected MADE? Looking ahead to 2021, our team reflects on the lessons we've learned and how they will impact the new year.
Michelle Ledford - "I am so proud of how our entire team has navigated a year full of change. Perseverance has been our focus and is what has helped us overcome all the challenges along the way. Has it been easy? No. But we have proved to our clients and to ourselves that we are adaptable and committed to reaching our combined goals. Our team learned quickly that we are capable of turning on a dime and our clients learned that they could lean on us even more to ensure their businesses thrived, not just survived. These are lessons we are all taking with us into 2021."
Allen Reed - "One of my big takeaways from 2020 is how we, as an agency, were able to continue doing what we’ve been doing with little to no disruption. Even though we were working remotely at different points, we were able to put tools in place to access files, hold virtual meetings and client presentations, and keep connected to the team throughout the day. This has added to our efficiencies and something that will continue to help us be flexible as we move into 2021."
Cindy Joyce - "My experience has been two-fold. First, can we get an Amen for great technology? Our agency was able to move from office to home office within in a matter of hours and didn’t miss a beat. Secondly, the shift in time management and overwhelming amount of media happening around us, due to the pandemic, caused me to be more thoughtful of my words and the content I was consuming which has led me to be more purposeful and thoughtful in my actions. My eyes were opened to kindness around me that I was missing before and I feel like I’m coming out of this pandemic a better and stronger individual with an invigorated drive for change and renewed sense of purpose."
Ashley Miller - "This year has further driven home the idea that it's okay to ask for help, and that although sometimes we may feel that we are all having separate experiences, we have many commonalities. We can learn so much from each other when we talk to each other as our authentic selves. Sharing in the craziness of 2020 together has brought us even closer to our clients, and I am thankful for the opportunity to have walked alongside them as we navigate these changes together."
Erin Hollenkamp - "A lesson I've learned is to slow down and enjoy the process. Canceled events and uncertain future plans has helped me adapt to be more intentional with my time and lean into creative solutions. I look forward to being able to apply these experiences to make 2021 another year of growth."
What are your marketing needs for 2021? Share your thoughts in our 3 minute survey to help shape the content we provide in the future.