As we continue to cope with the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been reflecting on the past year and how we survived as a business. Though every company should be prepared for the unexpected to happen, it is difficult to anticipate an event on the scale of a global health crisis. At RQM+ (then R&Q), we were very determined from the very beginning to preserve our values, and we’re gratified that this approach paid off. This post is part of a series sharing how we addressed some of the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Our first priority was to hold on to our fantastic team members – a 450+ strong group once we acquired Maetrics. As a consultancy, our people are our revenue generators. Frequently, in the Spring and early Summer of 2020, we were being asked whether we were going to furlough anyone. We’re so happy we didn’t! Our team members are incredibly special in all ways, making them very difficult to find and precious to retain. Market demand has since risen to a level where, if we hadn’t retained all of our team, we simply would not have been able to keep up.
In fact, we have been actively recruiting throughout the pandemic. Our criteria for hiring go beyond experience and expertise, which are relatively easy to find. The challenge is to find the right personalities for our business. We have multiple core values which we recruit for and consider to be critical to our success, however a specific trait that I believe makes all the difference is being a ‘giver’ rather than ‘taker’. This is how we have built an extremely sustainable culture since 2008. I define ‘givers’ as those having a true service mindset, who consistently try to help those around them in any way they can. In short, we have to be there for each other. This mindset has been incredibly valuable in the last year.
Of course, some of our team members were under-occupied with client work for a period early in the pandemic. So we used every resource to improve our internal processes so we would emerge stronger when demand picked up. We also introduced initiatives to share the expertise of our subject matter experts – possibly to a greater level than had been done pre-COVID – and made the process interactive, lively and personal. Our new bi-weekly live panel show (RQM+ Live!) is one of these initiatives and provided some of the personal interaction and industry engagement we were all missing.
We were always set up to provide effective remote support and considered this to be one of our core competencies. This became an advantage for us in 2020, and provided yet another opportunity for us to help our clients by sharing our best practices. In 2021, we took the opportunity to launch a brand new website that highlights our expert content through brand the brand new Knowledge Center, Solutions Centers, and more. Now we’re looking ahead, trying to visualize life post-pandemic, and ensuring no matter what that looks like that we continue to find unique ways to engage and maintain the strength in our personal connections.