As I reflect on the past year, for all its frustrations, uncertainty, and dark days, I actually come away with a feeling of deep gratitude. When the pandemic hit, it was like nothing any of us had ever experienced before. Companies were being forced to send people home. Food and toilet paper were scarce. Many of us even drafted contingency plans in case we lost our jobs. In many ways, it has been a difficult year.
It’s easy to work for a great company in good times, but when things get tough, that’s when a company really shows its true colors. As someone who is not a revenue-generator for our firm, it’s not lost on me that my position is one that could easily have been eliminated. The same is true for many of my peers. But even amidst all of the uncertainty we faced this year, everyone at Kreischer Miller remained employed. I am in awe and can’t thank our leaders enough for how well they handled this pandemic.
Our managing director, Chris Meshginpoosh, conducted a town hall meeting in the early days of the pandemic and walked everyone through the steps our firm would be taking to meet the challenges ahead of us. The level of transparency he demonstrated by discussing the steps the firm was taking in order to avoid layoffs was incredibly meaningful and deeply appreciated.
We also unexpectedly shifted to working remotely in mid-March. This adjustment was difficult for most and was often exacerbated for those trying to work alongside other family members or school-aged children. In addition, the work took longer than normal, as clients were similarly not in their offices, making access to source documents an additional hurdle. These challenges were further compounded by trying to disseminate often daily changes regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, tax deadline extensions, and other legislative updates to our clients.
Our directors brainstormed a number of ways to support our team members during such a challenging time. They created a charge code team members could use for the time they were unable to work due to pandemic-related issues – no questions asked. And they routinely checked in on us via phone or video regarding not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. These efforts went a long way toward replacing the in-person team events and interactions we’re normally accustomed to and that play such a large part in developing strong bonds among our team members. We’ve found comfort in knowing that we can rely on each other, and if it weren’t for those touchpoints, managing this tumultuous time and getting through the isolation would have been even harder.
So while I’m sure we’re all happy to bid farewell to the anxiety of 2020, I am also grateful for this experience as it reinforced for me how special Kreischer Miller’s culture is. We are fiercely loyal in our commitments to one other, and I feel blessed to work here. On December 31st, I will be raising a glass to toast everyone at KM with the motto that is often heard in our hallways, “It’s all about we.”
Kristin Seeger is the Director of Talent Acquisition at Kreischer Miller and is responsible for the entire recruiting function of the firm. She joined the firm in 2007 after beginning her career in audit at KPMG and then working as a recruiter for accounting professionals. She enjoys making people smile and being an inspiration to others. When she’s not out making connections, she enjoys exercise, reading, and spending time with family and friends. Contact Kristin at Email.
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