These are unprecedented times. We have changed nearly every aspect of our personal and professional lives in a matter of a month or two and it is important to understand that everyone deals with change differently. For some people, being able to work from home is a welcomed change. For others, having to leave their homes and interact with people during this health crisis can be a stressful experience. Now, more than ever, we must remember to be humble and kind and show grace in all our interactions.
When we first started having conversations about the potential impact to our business from the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew creating the ability for associates to work remotely was going to be a big part of any successful equation. Fortunately, over the previous 12 months, we’d been working toward creating more mobility for associates, so we had much of the equipment and processes in place to begin deploying.
As a leader of operations and technology at UMB, one of the things that was amazing to see was the sense of pride my teams had in the role they were asked to play in this incredibly important endeavor. Associates worked nights and weekends without a single complaint, configuring and distributing laptops, upgrading network access and so much more – all on top of their “day jobs.”
Another big part of the ongoing strategy is having alternate worksites for our operations teams, in order to maintain critical operations in the event of potential exposure. The operations teams have worked hard to keep everything moving forward, ensuring a seamless transition, if needed, and continuing to show great flexibility every day.
Why were people willing to work so hard and make such sacrifices? Pride! Pride in their work. Pride in UMB. Pride in the level of service they provide. I continue to hear stories about associates across our footprint going above and beyond every day, and all I can think is how fortunate we are to be a strong organization that hires the right people in the right roles and gives them opportunities to show what they are capable of.
We don’t know the challenges that every person is experiencing. As I drive home, I think about how every front door is a window into someone’s life. Someone who may also be wrestling with their own challenges. As we continue to work through this new normal, we need to show patience and assume positive intent in all interactions. Our leaders must continue to be the calm in the storm, and continue to check in with our associates to ensure they have the tools and the balance they need to stay safe and be successful.
There have been many challenges in the history of our country and company. Rest assured, UMB is strong and, with humility and kindness, we will all get through this together.
See recent coverage in the Kansas City Business Journal,‡ Phoenix Business Journal,‡ St. Louis Business Journal‡ to see how UMB is helping support our customers, associates and communities during this time.
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