January is here, you’ve made it, congratulations! 2020 is slowly gliding into our rear-view mirror (and there was much rejoicing!) bringing about the time of year for reflection. Last month, while sitting back in my favorite sweatpants, after finishing Christmas festivities in record time (since it was our family of 4 instead of 20), I had a chance to think back on the challenges that we have all faced over the past year and the opportunities that we have been presented with to adapt and grow. I want to be clear, in writing this, I am by no means trying to downplay the severity of anything that anyone has gone through in 2020. However, in the words of Napoleon Hill “every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit”. Believing that completely, Rezult Group has had an incredible opportunity to be apart of partnerships, growth and silver-linings in 2020 that we want to remember and several we would like to highlight.
When the unemployment rate jumped by 10% from March to April, families all over the country began to review options to alleviate their impending financial burdens. As luck would have it, mortgage interest rates dropped to historic lows. One of our clients, a Global Financial Institution, immediately saw a wave of customers looking to refinance their mortgages. Unable to keep up with the demand, they quickly adapted. Opening 30+ Mortgage Underwriter positions, 100% remote! On top of scaling their Underwriting staff to meet demand, they also reinvented their onboarding and training to safely and responsibly get their new team started while adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols. Through our valued partnership, the team at Rezult Group was able to provide new opportunities for 16 top quality Mortgage Underwriters from across the county, who had found themselves unexpectedly on the market. We are grateful for our partners around the country for trusting us to deliver in hard times.
Our second example of turning adversity into opportunity comes from our partnership with an American communications technology company. With nearly 50% of the American workforce moving to work-from-home, our technology partner saw usage increase from 10 million daily users in December 2019 to over 300 million daily users by April 2020. In an industry that doesn’t allow much sympathy for bandwidth issues or downtime, our partner made an immediate move to address the influx in users, committing to (and hiring) over 500 IT resources! While many companies were furloughing staff, our technology partner opened their doors and created opportunities that changed the lives and circumstances for hundreds, while providing services to keep life going for millions!
Another instance of finding benefit in the face of adversity was one of our partners in the healthcare industry, a Critical Access Hospital, becoming the first hospital to go live on the Cerner electronic medical records (EMR) system 100% virtually.
This is not a ‘hot off the press’ story, far from it actually, the system ‘went live’ at the end of March. Yet, this example of triumph in the face of adversity has stood out to me since I first heard about it in the springtime. Cerner, for those that do not know, is a goliath in the EMR space, owning 26% market share according to 2019 KLAS reports. So why is a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital implementing one of the largest/most expensive EMR systems? Community. I had the opportunity to sit down for an interview with the IS Director at MCH to discuss everything they had gone through leading up to and since there historic go-live in March of last year. What I got out of that interview was something that, by all accounts, has been relatively looked over.
In a weekly scheduled call two weeks before the March 30th go-live date, the Cerner team broke the news that they were not going to be able to send anyone to be onsite for go-live. Their solution was to push the go-live back to the fall and continue on their current system until that point, but the IS Director had other ideas. The main concern was getting the new system live, on schedule. The team at Cerner was asked for options to keep the originally scheduled go-live date, which after a few days of logistical planning, they delivered on. They provided hospital with multi-level support from any computer in the hospital. Instead of having to ‘flag down’ a strategically stationed go-live support person, video conferencing and screensharing was available at the click of a button. The go-live went off with very few issues (to be clear, no go-live is without issues). And in the time since, the hospital has been operating full steam ahead.
Now, back to the original topic, finding benefit in the face of adversity. It doesn’t take long after pulling into our partner’s parking lot to realize it is different. Coming from metro-Nashville, where hospitals can take up multiple city blocks. On the outside, the facility is the humble small-town hospital you would expect, but there is something about it that is welcoming. That ‘something’ is the people. When they pushed back on Cerner to keep the original go-live date, it wasn’t for the sake of hitting a deadline (although I’m sure that played a role). It was for the sake of the community they serve. To ensure that they were able to provide the best care possible without concern for the pain points of their legacy EMR system. That simple act has brought national attention to a Critical Access Hospital in a city of a little over 5,000 residents and they truly live up to the ‘community’ name. Each month they offer their ‘Specials’, certain health screening services to the community at little to no cost to the patient. For instance, their special for November, being Diabetes Awareness Month, anyone that visits can receive an A1C Hemoglobin screening test FOR FREE. That level of commitment to your culture is something that can get overlooked in a year filled with adversity, but it can also be a lesson to those that are looking for it.
So, as we close the book on 2020, I would invite you to take a minute and reflect. Think back on the year that was. Try to focus on the triumphs, however big or small. Take time over the next couple of weeks to focus on the community. Make an effort to lift someone up, be compassionate, offer gratitude, and give support where you are able. After all, ‘tis the season!
I would be remised not to use this platform to say, thank you. Thank you to our clients, who have overcome the adversity of hiring/project freezes, workforce reduction, newly virtual workforces, adapting interview and hiring processes, all the while taking calls from our team to maintain relationships for when things opened back up. To our consultants, many of whom had their world turned upside down in March and found themselves unexpectedly looking for something new, thank you for trusting us to help you find the benefit in your next role. Finally, thank you to everyone at Rezult Group. We have endured the storms of 2020 together and come through stronger and prepared to make 2021 our greatest yet!