2020 was – well, you don’t need us to tell you how 2020 was, as we were all impacted differently, but in one word – a lot (yes, we recognize that is two words… but hey, 2020). In a way, the Covid-19 pandemic defined the year that would be, but Kobie took a big step forward to innovate for our clients, build relationships with prospects that turned into clients, launched new products, established impactful partnerships and reinforced our company’s culture. Here’s a quick snapshot of the changes brought in 2020 and the wins we celebrated together.
On March 12, Kobie made the decision to close our physical headquarters office in Downtown St. Petersburg, FL, followed by the close of both call centers in Texas and Florida by March 22. This allowed for social distancing of all teammates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Though the challenges presented by the coronavirus were daunting, Kobie banded together to keep each other safe while continuing to provide high-quality results for our clients.
In just two weeks, all Kobie sites switched to 100% working from home. This was possible due to the great work of our IT Team for upgrading our internal resources to support everyone’s needs while remote (the likes of video support, increased VPN access, full set-up support, etc.).
Through 2020 Kobie never slowed down and instead accelerated with a focused determination on success.
Throughout the year we hired 87 new full-time teammates to join the team, added new clients to the Kobie family and increased our client satisfaction score year-over-year. We also secured our 10th year on the Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies list, as well as the Business Observer Successful Private Companies list.
While Covid-19 was challenging, it had a galvanizing effect on our business, our client relationships and our culture. We believe culture is what sets the stage for sustainable growth. Our employee engagement scores increased by an unprecedented 24% in 2020, with a whopping 82% participation rate.
As we transitioned into the ‘new normal’ of working from home, no travel, cancelled events and video conferencing – we also transitioned how we traditionally handle thought leadership. In order be there for our clients and provide meaningful thought leadership, we created and hosted Virtual Collaborations. These were one-hour sessions on a topic that our clients requested where we provided live insights and allowed our clients to talk among each other. In addition, we had to cancel our annual OnPoint Loyalty Conference, typically held on the beach in St. Pete. Instead, we came up with the concept of OnPoint In A Box. A conference brought right to our client’s and prospect’s doorstep. Here they could watch the digital conference when they wanted to, where they wanted to and at the pace that worked for them.
Kobie worked hard to engage teammates by encouraging everyone to meet over video calls and communicate with one another frequently. We used channels like Microsoft Teams, social media, and Trello to keep everyone connected with one another. We also utilized Vimeo more often to create and share video messages from company leaders as a fun alternative to simple emails.
As WFH has continued, we surpassed our own expectations to lift the cultural spirits. We created promotion boxes, which were delivered to teammate’s houses and used QR codes for them to watch congratulatory videos from their teams. We supplemented our weekly internal newsletters to be focused on taking a break from the laptop. We implemented summer hours and closed the office at 2:00 pm on Friday’s to give teammates a consistent work/life balance. We created initiatives like No Meeting Meetings – where teammates are paired in different chat rooms to have ‘hallway conversations.’ Teams individually started ‘lunch meetings’ where everyone has Uber Eats delivered to their house, or virtual coffee dates and happy hours to take a break from the day-to-day work.
Every year, Kobie hosts a fundraiser in support of the SPFC (St. Petersburg Free Clinic). Due to the global pandemic, we had to improvise in order to continue the tradition. Wellness was the theme for this year’s fundraiser because we wanted to look after our teammate’s mental and physical wellbeing. Thus, the 30×30 Wellness Challenge was created. We asked teammates to pledge to be active for 30–minutes a day for 30 consecutive days, with a dollar-for-dollar match. Our initial goal was to raise $25,000, but after raising the goal ten days into the challenge, we ended up raising over $118,000! Our dedication to giving back to the St. Pete community is one thing that makes Kobie unique, and united us during COVID-19.
It’s hard to know what 2021 will bring for Kobie. Looking back at the past year however, we get a sense of comfort knowing all we accomplished and have gone through in such an uncertain, unprecedented time. There were highs, there were adjustments, and there were great feats we all made together as a team. We are looking forward to navigating new trends and behaviors in loyalty and meeting our goals in the new year.