A Post-Pandemic World: Endeavor Entrepreneurs Weigh In On What They’ve Learned And Where They Go From Here

Redeapp’s Founder and CEO, Jonathan Erwin, recently contributed to Endeavor discussing what this past year has taught him as a leader and business owner. This post is a reprint of the full article. Content has been edited for clarity.

As a founder and entrepreneur, what has the last year taught you? How has your perspective on business and leadership changed? 

As a young business, and very much part of the digital age, the last year has challenged my ideas of how we create a compelling “workplace” for our employees, partners and customers.  Specifically what it means to have physical offices and how they may inspire collaboration, comfort and productivity. And with that comes the notion of how we manage the new world of 100% remote employees, how we create digital relationships, culture and benefit for employees that prefer hybrid / remote work environments that include both home, shared or dedicated workspace. 

As a young company that believes we have/had a solid pulse of our employee base, we have been challenged with how we now compete, hire and retain the best employees to maximize their value to the business while also meeting their work goals, expectations and work/life balance – sometimes from afar and increasingly, 100% remote.

As well, we think about how this new world of work changes buying processes and habits, and how we can accommodate those changing norms. For us, a Product Led Growth (PLG) strategy has been long in the works and recently launched to provide customers unfettered access to the entire buying process, 100% touch-less.

This year has most definitely challenged the things we hold most precious – Team and Growth.  And we are quickly adapting, embracing and meeting these challenges head on!

What would you have done differently to adapt to challenges brought on by the pandemic?

One area of our business where we saw the biggest surge was in customer support – particularly in end-user support. Our customer support tickets surged to 10x normal volume almost overnight as many of our customers faced shutdowns, closures, and layoffs. Even our customers who remained open had a significant increase in communication needs, which translated to increased customer support. 

As a result of this surge, we cross-trained our entire customer-facing team in end-user support. This contingency plan will serve us well as we will face future customer support surges. 

Looking ahead, what are you doing now? Have you launched or are you working on any new initiatives, programs or ventures coming out of the pandemic?

We continue to support our customers who have implemented our HealthePassport feature, which enables daily health screenings for employees coming to work during the Pandemic. Recently, we updated this functionality to include a status of ‘vaccinated’, as many companies are changing procedures based on vaccination status. 

Is there anything you did to adapt to the pandemic that you plan to continue doing?

Like most tech organizations, we operated fully remotely during this pandemic. While we don’t intend to continue as a fully remote organization and will keep our office in Louisville, we do want to continue providing remote flexibility.

Additionally, we plan to create more structure, resources, and practices that will facilitate our ‘hybrid’ workforce plan moving forward. Talent attraction, especially in technology, continues to be a challenge in Louisville. Remote and hybrid hiring enables us to extend our talent pool in a significant way, and we know that flexibility has always been paramount for our team. 

What are the biggest challenges you foresee as you move forward?

The biggest challenge we see our customers facing right now is talent attraction and retention. We serve companies with non-desk workers, and these industries often have high turnover rates in normal times. In the last year, this has become an even greater challenge, especially in healthcare. We will continue to build and support solutions for new hire onboarding, talent development, and retention to support companies facing this challenge. 

In your opinion, what entrepreneurial or business trends that arose during the pandemic are here to stay?

Remote work as well as the drive towards digital communication saw 5-10 years of growth in just the last year. One of the resulting work practices accelerated by these trends is asynchronous communication. 

Synchronous communication is defined as communication that must be sent and received at the same time: it insists that information is exchanged in real-time, with both the sender and the receiver being available at the same moment. Asynchronous communication is just the opposite – it’s sent in real-time, but the recipient can choose to read and respond to the communication at a time that works best for them.

Office-based communication is shifting in favor of asynchronous communication through limiting meetings, removing an ‘always on’ mindset, and using collaboration tools. Many organizations are moving away from synchronous communication to lessen burnout and reduce Zoom fatigue, and we see an opportunity to help organizations extend the same benefits to employees who are not tethered to a computer. 

Whether you work on a construction site, behind a bar, or on an assembly line, your best work (and life) happens when you have fewer interruptions and more control over your day. Gathering limits and COVID restrictions drove an overnight change in this area (hosting an ‘all hands’ or even a ‘pre shift’ meeting became a thing of the past). The resulting trend toward asynchronous communication means more digital tools in the hands of employees of everyday use, and we don’t expect that to go away anytime soon

See full article from Endeavor, here

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