• Erica Winegar

Evaluating company values during a crisis



It’s hard to believe our team has been working remotely for five months this year. Like so many people across the globe, we’ve had to adapt to new ways of working as we continue to ride the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although businesses are executing on their return-to-office plans and employees are reacclimating to some pre-pandemic routines, it’s undeniable that our world will never quite look the same. As the initial intensity of the crisis has faded, we’ve embraced the opportunity to reflect on our experiences (so far) during this historic time. This reflection included a look at Lilja’s company values and how they’ve prevailed throughout the pandemic.

Earlier this year we held our annual planning meeting, which included an exercise from Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead” curriculum to determine Lilja’s company values. After an engaging brainstorming session, we identified four values:

  • Exceed expectations and deliver valuable results.

  • Engage in a collaborative process to create exceptional work.

  • Build trust by working with integrity.

  • Lead by example.

The pandemic has undoubtedly challenged each member of our team personally and professionally, and while our values haven’t been compromised as a result of this crisis, the pandemic has certainly shed light on how they’ve impacted our business practices.

Exceed expectations and deliver valuable results.

As our team reflected on different projects we accomplished while working from home, one of the first obstacles we identified was the fact we’ve had to change the way we work. We are more deliberate, intentional and creative in the way we conduct business, whether it involves connecting with a colleague via Google Meet to hand off a project for next steps or overcommunicating status updates. Because our team members are isolated from one another, we are taking extra steps to ensure that our work quality remains high and that we are serving our clients with the same expertise and care as always.

Engage in a collaborative process to create exceptional work.

Perhaps the most obvious and relatable challenge we’ve tackled in this remote-work environment is how to continue working effectively as a team while being apart from one another. This is not “business as usual.” We’ve become extremely thoughtful in the way we conduct regular team check-ins to the extent that we issued a daily challenge to pick up the phone or schedule a “face-to-face” meeting instead of communicating via email or Slack. Not only has this been instrumental in the way we maintain some semblance of our in-office conversations, but it has also been, quite literally, an outlet for social interaction.

Build trust by working with integrity.

The importance of this value has been amplified for our company during this period. Internally, we’re placing even greater trust and support in each other to get the job done. Externally, we are reminded just how much trust our clients place in us, especially as we support them during the pandemic. Our clients look to us for guidance in managing urgent issues. They can be overwhelmed when these situations arise, and it is our responsibility to provide clear, sound advice and recommend the appropriate steps to take at the proper time.

Lead by example.

Navigating a new normal is something we all have in common, regardless of profession or stage of life. As such, we have found opportunities to share what we’ve found challenging in this situation. It means being honest about how we finesse our workdays. It means being transparent about the ways we address and overcome challenges by contributing candid thought leadership content.

Now it’s your turn.

When all is said and done, it comes down to this: Do your company values hold up? If you answered “yes” to this question, this is the opportunity to share those successes! The key is making sure the tone of your communications is respectful and considerate of the current situation.

If you need guidance for approaching your external communications, make sure to check out this post or reach out to us at hello@lilja.com. Our team is engaged and ready to support you.

952.893.7140

8953 Aztec Dr
Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347

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