Moving Us Forward

Apr 21st, 2020

Written by Deb Josephs

When we chose a new company tagline, “Moving TV Forward,” earlier this year, we had no idea that only weeks later the world and our working world would be vastly changed.  “Moving TV Forward” was chosen to represent the progress we’re making as a company, and an industry. Today, the concept of “moving forward” couldn’t be more applicable to both the business and our personal lives. While initially a market-facing message, it’s now become an internal ethos to make sure we come out of this stronger together. 

As everyone has during this quickly evolving period, we’ve had to just as quickly switch gears. Our mission is not merely to keep moving the business forward, but, as importantly, move our employees forward. It’s only through this will we be able to help move our partners forward, and ultimately come out even better together. 

Our efforts build on two core areas: communication through transparency, and engagement

COMMUNICATION THROUGH TRANSPARENCY 

We’re staying connected by ramping up our communications across the company, creating greater transparency, elevating trust, and ensuring our employees are heard. Technology plays an important partwe’ve embraced Zoom and Slack for daily communicationbut it’s our leaders who are the drivers. They’ve increased check-ins to maintain productivity in all areas of the business, reached out to employees who may need emotional support, and are participating in a bi-weekly leaders meeting to address challenges and share best practices.  

Additionally, Ampersand’s executive team leads a live weekly townhall called “Coffee, Cocktails and Conversation,” bringing the entire company together to provide updates, answer employee questions related to the COVID-19 crisis, share achievements and more. 

We’re also staying ahead of how COVID-19 is impacting our industry. Our Research and Marketing teams deliver the latest COVID-19 insights and digestible content that not only equip our Sales team in the field but provide our agency and client network the information they need to fuel their decision-making. Weekly updates from COVID-19 business and consumer behavior data to blog posts (like this one) help us stay connected to our employees, partners and clients, and our purpose. 

ENGAGEMENT 

One of the first questions we set out to answer as a People team was how we could best embody the “power of AND” by creating engaging experiences. We went from 17 offices to more than 650 home “offices, so recreating a sense of unity was critical.  

The little things have had the biggest impact. For example, a #parent Slack channel has kept parents connected and supported with an opportunity to share the latest tips on working at home 24/7, with kids who are still in school, albeit virtually. With ideas from how to support kids during this challenging time, to planning a virtual birthday party, new activities for spring break, and how to juggle work while prioritizing and supporting their children’s education, this channel has received some of the best feedback from employees!  

Building on an effort that started in our Midwest region, we launched the “Step into Spring Challenge, a month-long company-wide initiative where employees could earn points for each health-conscious activity they completed. Employees are also finding ways to support each other by starting the day with group Peloton rides, sharing recipes and activity updates in our health and wellness Slack channel.   

Most recently, we hosted a virtual concert with a local musician – giving employees a reprieve from their day to day and supporting a local artist. It was a hit! 

The time apart has forced us to take on a different approach to how we conduct business but also has given us space and time to reflect and adopt new skills. Now, we’re working on an initiative that will encourage our people to share what they’ve learned (skills like knitting, hobbies like bird watching, or personal discoveries!) or taken away from these unique and very personal experiences.  

There’s a lot of good coming out of this shared experience. It’s a reflection of our values and who we are as a team and a Company. 

MOVING FORWARD TOGETHER 

While we cant anticipate precisely when we’ll all be physically together again, we know we can get better together even when apart. We’re embracing finding comfort in the uncomfortable because that is the only way we evolve, innovate and grow, both in and out of the office. 

We look forward to the continued collaboration with our partners and sharing more while we move forward on this journey together.  

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