Creating New Ways to Do Business During COVID-19 and Times of Uncertainty
COVID-19 is presenting new and unique challenges for businesses, making it important to find new ways to work and interact. We at
Creatively Supporting a Remote Workforce
With 90% of our AKA team already working remotely prior to COVID-19, we are experienced with turning our homes into offices to virtually collaborate and connect with team members and clients. We are known for our ability to be a remotely-based company with a corporate culture that strives to set ourselves apart from other consulting firms with open communication and regular contact. Our executive team strives to be transparent from the top down and realizes that this transparency is indicative of AKA’s sustainability and growth. We have achieved such a positive corporate culture in the following ways:
Professional Development: To stay on top of goals and performance, AKA career coaches meet with all our team members regularly to review goals and measure progress toward those goals.
Open Communication at AKA: Each month, our senior leadership holds a company-wide meeting to share updates, cover recent events and make general announcements.
Constant Team Collaboration: To keep our virtual culture intact, leaders within each internal “pod” organize meetings to review various internal topics and skills that keep projects moving forward. Informal “Lunch & Learns” are virtually hosted to bring our technical and functional teams together.
Personal Growth: AKA supports team members using their free time to acquire a new skill, earn new technology certifications, work on internal projects, or draft a blog post.
Innovating for new customer experiences
Although AKA is rooted in a remote work culture, when COVID-19 hit, we had to look beyond our comfort zone to adapt as a company and use our innovative expertise and to prevent any potential negative impacts to our team or projects.
To ensure business continuity and customer service, we had to transition from our normal balance of both on-site and virtual client project execution to entirely virtual online client trainings, user acceptance-led testing, virtual webinars, and more. Now, we know this is a viable option for executing projects for any client in the future.
COVID-19 gave us the opportunity to reassess and redesign our service offerings, like our
Even with these innovative changes, we still had a some client projects come to a temporary halt due to COVID-19. With the downtime, we took the opportunity to identify other needs both within and outside our organization and address them with positive results. For example, we stayed productive by accepting Microsoft’s challenge to develop a solution to help organizations bring their employees back to work safely, while ensuring visitor safety and forward progress (stay tuned for us to announce when it goes public!)
Upholding culture in tough times
With employees working remotely on client projects and internal operations while spread throughout North America, AKA was (and continues to be) in a good position to mitigate COVID-19’s business impact. Through our ongoing collaboration, we quickly realized that the daily personal lives of our team were being impacted by the pandemic. Knowing the importance of upholding our culture, we put together virtual one-on-one sessions to check in with each other once a week to keep spirits high, Virtual team building “happy hours” with casual conversations and team-building exercise were a welcomed opportunity to unwind and relax at the end of the day. AKA also encouraged team members to take any unexpected downtime for product and technical training, and personal growth opportunities.
Boosting team morale
Thanks to COVID-19, the opportunity to virtually connect on a deeper level and get creative around meetings and events has made our teams more flexible and inventive. We (Alexis and Lana) met remotely each week during quarantine to generate ideas for fun events and activities to boost our team’s pandemic morale. One notable activity we created was the “Step Challenge”, to encourage anyone at AKA to up their walking game with a side of competitive spirit. We were able to engage each other’s fun and casual side, ultimately leading to a tighter (and lighter) bond while also continuing to cultivate our professional side. By the time life returns to normal, AKA will have emerged with an improved culture and team relationships.
There’s no time like the present
COVID-19 presented AKA with uncertainty that we embraced as opportunity. Our unique culture gives us a sense of purpose while coming together to enjoy both our work- and non-work-related activities. AKA adapted to make our already outstanding company culture even better, and innovated by making improvements to how we do business. With COVID-19, we found that we care about each other even more and we’ve found new ways to move our business forward – now and into the future.
Want to join us on this adventure? Take a look at the
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Article by: Alexis Bertrand and Lana La | 212-502-3900
Alexis Bertrand is a Senior Functional Consultant, and Lana La is an Associate Functional Consultant with AKA’s Dynamics CE (CRM) practice.