This year is certainly one we won’t soon forget. With so much change both to our personal and professional lives, so many of us have—and continue to—work hard to find the balance we once took for granted. The integration of home and work has become normative, and although this has presented many challenges, it has also provided us space to pivot where needed for the sake of ourselves, those we love, and those with whom we work.
Less than ten months ago, I started with FortressIQ as the Head of Customer Success. My entire onboarding process was virtual. Now, as we finish up this year, I have yet to meet my colleagues—or our customers—in person.
As our primary customer champion, this has been disappointing since face-to-face communication is often the gold standard for relationship building. I do miss the opportunities to meet those we work with in person. However, as I reflect on this past year and how we have pushed into a new normal, I can also see how we have embraced this challenge. Working virtually has enabled us all to move forward together, including our customers, suppliers, partners, and internal team.
Building all of these new relationships over a 13” laptop screen has not been easy, and this makes me even more grateful to our customers, who have made this leap to video such a seamless transition. We are working harder than ever to keep all of you safe as we communicate, and to keep our relationship with you as strong as possible.
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am more cognizant than ever that 2020 is unlike any other year. I’ll be sitting down at a mostly virtual table this holiday, enjoying the company of family and friends over video chat. Likely, many of you will be in similar situations, trying to simultaneously navigate technology, family, food, and perhaps some online holiday shopping.
And because it’s standard practice around Thanksgiving to express gratitude, I want to do so here even as I continue to pivot across our many new norms. First, I’m thankful for our essential workers—those who put their lives on the line so that we can seek safety and peace as best we are able. The healthcare, grocery, delivery, and other frontline workers are nothing less than heroes.
Second, I am thankful for our internal team, who continue to strive to deliver excellent products and solutions while building ongoing relationships with our customers. More than ever, we are putting increasing resources into enhancing and improving how we work virtually. We’re also offering more understanding and flexibility on a personal level to our employees and partners, being responsive to the challenges, needs, and scheduling conflicts of each person.
And, to ensure that we continue to prioritize the needs of our remote workers, we’ve reinvested in employee health and wellness. This includes a virtual 5K and other motivational (and fun!) challenges. We know that when our bodies and minds are healthy, our relationships are healthy as well, and that we work with excellence and joy. Going further, we also recently created a “culture committee” that surveyed our team to find out what they needed. As a result, we sent out care packages, instituted a work-from-home stipend, and enhanced our employee benefits.
Third, I am thankful for the resiliency and adaptability of all those we work with across our internal and external ecosystems. It has been truly inspiring to see how, even during a pandemic, people strive to—and do—work for the good of others and seek strong interpersonal communications.
As this year comes to an end, I am captivated by the word “empathy” and how critical it is to the flourishing of a company and all those invested in it. At FortressIQ, we continue to lead with empathy, embracing the changes as they come and deepening the trust factor among all those with whom we work. This is our highest priority.
So thank you for your understanding, adaptability, and continued support this past year. I am confident it has laid a strong foundation for the years ahead.