In a Pandemic, You Can Never Be Too Prepared
In a role like mine, I have learned to always expect the unexpected. If the past two years have taught me anything, it’s that you can never be too prepared. Have a contingency plan for your contingency plan. There is no such thing as asking too many questions. Communication has always been vital to achieving successful results, and the pandemic necessitated even more frequent and transparent firm-wide communication.
As a leader during the pandemic, I’ve learned that listening to each individual’s concerns is crucial. The pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime event impacting our employees in many ways, and they are in a constant state of unease for their own safety and the safety of their families. While employee well-being is always at the top of my mind, I realized that, as their concerns evolved, so would our client-service delivery.
In early 2020, I was part of the management team tasked with creating a plan to transition our workforce of nearly 300 employees from in-office engagement to entirely remote operations, which meant equipping our workforce with the necessary technology to continue to serve our clients. Then, as the firm transitioned from all-remote activity to a hybrid work model, I oversaw the preparation of our physical spaces for our return, as well as the policies and procedures we would all follow, so that we could return to on-site activity safely and efficiently.
The COVID pandemic has illustrated the resilience and adaptability of our employees in ways we could never have imagined. Their dedication to both the firm and our clients—whether working from their homes or their offices—has not gone unnoticed. As a way to reward their dedication, we were pleased to offer our staff one remote workday per week and award 2023 salary increases earlier than anticipated. In an effort to strengthen connectivity and collaboration, we began hosting various social gatherings to give our employees a chance to reconnect while in the office, including weekly mixers for attorneys and free bagels twice monthly for all employees.
I have also been privileged to handle some of the most important issues facing our firm. In February 2022, while still operating under our COVID protocols, Gibbons underwent a change in leadership for the first time in nearly two decades. I served as a member of the Transition Committee, which was tasked with vetting candidates for the managing director position. I now work closely with both the new managing director and executive chairman to ensure the firm’s continued operational growth and success.