I’m not a huge fan of looking backwards. The keep moving forward mentality of entrepreneurship usually dominates my thought process, but as 2021 comes to a close, I can’t help but look back in awe at our accomplishments this year.
We started the year in the thick of the pandemic. We were working from home and hadn’t seen one another face-to-face in almost nine months. However, in June, we transitioned to a hybrid working model which has served our company incredibly well so far. Trust was given to our team to continue their great work from home, and they’ve delivered. Much of the success of our hybrid model can be attributed to the team’s adaptability and agility when it comes to change. We’ve been aligned and receptive when it comes to the big changes our company has faced this year and I truly believe that comes from seeing value in the changes we made.
Overall, EMI has seen more alignment on goals at a companywide level. We’ve made great strides in our communication thanks to a communication training initiative early this year. We faced struggles head-on and didn’t shy away from what was difficult or uncomfortable. This transparency led to a different level of buy-in to our decisions and we found that people who had previously felt “shut-down” were reengaged and reinvigorated when they felt they were being heard. We couldn’t have accomplished what we did this year without that buy-in and belief in what we were doing.
Of course, I can’t talk about our shift back to the office or the strides we made in communication without mentioning our company culture. They say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone and this rings true for our office culture. As much as we loved our Zoom happy hours and virtual celebrations, nothing can beat what we have when we gather together in our office. We’ve also implemented a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to help us create a culture of respect, equality, and safety not just for EMI, but for the industry as a whole. Our culture has completely changed since the start of the pandemic and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ve hired people who didn’t know that EMI existed pre-COVID and their unique skillsets and strengths helped us to grow in exciting ways and continue to do so. I’ve seen an intentional effort toward rebuilding our culture from each and every member of the team this year and could not be more grateful.
Other accomplishments include the implementations of technology within our company to an even greater degree this year. Not only have we made changes to become more data driven, but we are also more open to sharing our proprietary technology with others and are on pace to roll out a new product in 2022 that will disrupt the industry. We’ve come a long way in repositioning ourselves as true consultants in market research and our team has found their confidence and conviction in the great work we do– we’re okay with being different! Beyond sales growth and connecting with new clients, we have gotten bolder and become risk takers. We’ve made great strides in collaboration within our team. We’ve upped our branding. We’ve hired several new team members and seen managers stepping up. We’ve had an outstanding year.
This is not to say that we haven’t faced some challenges this year too. However, those challenges pushed us to become a stronger team in order to overcome them. They brought out our passion, they forced us to be agile, they reminded us of our integrity, and they held us accountable to each other and our vision. That’s something worth celebrating.
I’m proud to share our accomplishments and insights and am invigorated by the thought of what 2022 will bring. I hope hearing about what our team has been working on this year has inspired you and gotten you excited for the new year. Cheers!