Back in March, before the country got sick and before we all went home to work, AP Intego was named a “2020 Top Workplace” by the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York, where we have our largest office. We’re one of 66 to hold the honor this year. We’ve always known we are a great place to work, of course, and this recognition, one way or another wasn’t going to change that. An award derived from a third-party administered, employee-driven survey, however, is helpful when sharing our story with the rest of the world, which is my job.
The D&C was about to hold its winners’ celebration event, and our press release was ready for distribution. Social media posts were drafted (mouse hovering over the button). Then, as we all know so well, it profoundly and suddenly didn’t feel right—tone deaf even—to win. Anything. Just like that, our world and the worlds of the other 65 winners in the Rochester area changed. And—just like that—a “workplace” became an idea (and a goal) instead of a physical place.
On April 1st the winners list was published and as the saying goes, it was a noise only a dog can hear.
A couple of months have passed since that Friday in March when we all went home to start commuting down the hall instead of the Interstate. Despite the actual elapsed time, it feels like, at once, both a moment and a lifetime ago. However perceived, here’s what we’ve learned about our company since:
Our cultural and technology DNA, evolving as it has over the years, has enabled us to quickly adapt and make the transition home easily. Sure, there were a few bumps, but by that Monday morning we were safely distanced, communicating freely, and serving customers just like before.
Except it wasn’t like before, was it?
This leads to the next thing we learned. We discovered we had a few more gears to shift up into and rev our creative problem-solving skills, a deep reserve of empathy, and our gritty determination to help our tens of thousands of customers—exclusively small businesspeople—during the most existential crisis of their professional lives.
Companies are people. Just people. We were honored as a 2020 Top Workplace because of our people. Coronavirus prevented us from celebrating with the D&C and the other honorees. Witnessing what my colleagues are accomplishing during these strange, otherworldly past weeks has been more of an honor than winning any award could ever be.