One year later, pandemic perspective.
Twelve months ago, the world turned inside out. We announced to TKXS employees that, for the foreseeable future, we’d all be working from home. At the time, none of us imagined that, a year later, our offices would remain largely empty. With the abrupt advent of COVID-19, it was hard to know what our future held.
Nothing was "normal." While we closed our doors, we were still very much open for business. We wore “masks,” although none of us felt festive. We scrambled frantically for what were once ordinary household items like toilet paper and bleach and hand sanitizer. And rice. A run on rice? What was that about?
Achieving our potential.
Still, as everything around TKXS came to a standstill, we did not. TKXSers moved forward, doubling down on our commitment to helping our partners achieve their potential.
“Achieving our potential” during a pandemic involved all kinds of things. We took care of each other. We lifted each other up. We told dad jokes. (What did the drummer name his twin daughters? Anna One, Anna Two.) We shared “quarantine dinner” recipes, bantering via Slack about nutrition and bacon, and slow cookers and air fryers, and hot sauces and spicy mustards.
We “shushed” our pets and kids — and grinned at our pets and kids — making silent and not-so-silent appearances during Zoom meetings. We welcomed teammates’ new family members virtually. We welcomed new teammates virtually, too. Many TKXSers have never stepped foot inside our offices. We smiled and waved and gave each other “virtual” fist bumps, making allowances when teammates needed extra support or just a bit of grace.
“Achieving our potential” during a pandemic involved all kinds of things. We took care of each other. We lifted each other up. We told dad jokes..."
Growing with TELUS Agriculture
Importantly, we never relented. We continued to find ways to help our partners reach their potential. We became a part of TELUS Agriculture, embracing the opportunity to play a larger role in finding ways to feed and sustain our growing population. Again, we accomplished all of this in the midst of a pandemic.
Even with all the uncertainty, we lived up to our five corporate values. We Spoke Out. We Stayed Curious. We Teamed Up. We Owned It. And of course, we Served Others.
Serving Others is one of the most remarkable things our team accomplished during the pandemic. Even as each of us faced our own extraordinary personal challenges – adapting to working from home, creating makeshift workspaces, home-schooling kids, and caring for family and friends – TKXSers still found ways to “Serve Others.” Not only did we remain steadfast in our community commitment, but we found ways to dig deeper and do more with less, recognizing that there were always others with greater needs than ours.
Looking back, I’m not sure I even remember all our pandemic fundraisers and events. I know we sported t-shirts to help families in need stay at the Ronald McDonald House. We walked, ran and biked to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. We supported the Carolinas Food Bank early in the pandemic and later, during the holidays, held a flash Friday fundraiser supporting other area food banks. Just last week, we raised money for the American Heart Association by playing Family Feud on Zoom.
We did a lot of good, and we had a lot of fun doing it. We stayed true to ourselves. And learned and grew along the way.
Like everyone else, I’m eager for the regulations to be lifted. But not just because I want to get back “to normal,” but because I miss our team. I miss the hallways and the elevators. I miss seeing everyone’s faces around a conference table. I miss the break room (and what we have on tap there). Mostly, I’m eager to get back to (and in some cases, meet in person for the first time) the exceptional humans who inspired me and each other and our community through some truly dark and difficult times.
Because of this team, these past 12 months haven’t been all bad. In hindsight, there were many, many bright spots. And because of this team’s extraordinary efforts and dedication, I see even brighter days ahead.
THAD ARMBRUSTER: Focused on defining and delivering success, Thad inspires clients and teammates to achieve their potential by taking full advantage of technology, tools and relationships. As TKXS' CEO, he is a significant cultural influencer, always striving and supporting efforts to make TKXS the kind of place where people enjoy their work and the people they work with.