Conquering 2020: How BambooHR Customers Thrived Last Year

Peter Drucker said it well: “If you want to do something new, you have to stop doing something old.” Well, in 2020, many organizations simply didn’t have the luxury of doing things the old way. Whether they liked it or not, the landscape of last year required them to get creative and innovative.

For most, the pandemic and its challenges aren’t over yet, but 2021 is looking brighter. And even in the midst of turmoil, it’s worth looking back over the terrain you’ve covered: HR professionals put their heads down, made high-impact decisions with only ambiguous information to rely on, and guided their companies through a literal pandemic. HR truly was the hero organizations needed in 2020.

We are so proud of our BambooHR customers and all they accomplished in the face of adversity this year. Here are a few ways our HR heroes have innovated and improved their organizations throughout 2020’s challenges:

Making the Most of Remote

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and 2020 proved this to be true for our customers. They didn’t see COVID shutdowns as a stumbling block; they took it as a challenge to push their creativity to the next level.

OfficeSpace Software didn’t let the fact that they couldn’t physically be in their office space ruin their fun. Instead, they had employees host several virtual events throughout the year. Together, they enjoyed yoga, workouts, and movie nights. They even created their own late night company talk show.

If you thought COVID could keep the Kirkwood Public Library down, think again. They faced their fair share of challenges this year, including having to quarantine their materials for four days upon return (who knew books weren’t exempt from quarantining?). But they pulled together to create new programs like DialAStory, where patrons can call a number and listen to stories, recipes, and songs over the phone. They’re even beating last year’s fundraising numbers, despite this year’s challenges.

Some organizations like International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. are finding remote work so effective, they’re planning to reduce their office space in the future. Similarly, Star City Games has more office space to work with since moving some employees to full-time remote, allowing them to imagine an entirely new office layout.

Elevating Hiring Practices

Although it was a good problem to have in a year where some faced furloughs or layoffs, many organizations had to revamp hiring and onboarding processes to keep up with demands while observing COVID restrictions. BambooHR customer SMC doubled their workforce in 2020—no small feat even in a normal year. To make sure they could bring new hires onboard without missing a beat, they streamlined their paperwork and training using BambooHR. These improvements not only made sure their 2020 hires had an excellent experience, every future SMC hire will also benefit!

Video interviews and onboarding have made a big splash in the hiring world this year too. Many of our customers—including International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. and T.NETWORK—have found ways to effectively embrace the use of video in hiring.

Automating to Innovate

Some customers, like Fastroi Oy, found transitions like going remote relatively smooth since they were prepared. Kristina Arola said, “This year I can say that I was lucky and ready in human resources management. It was easy to actively deploy the BambooHR functionalities. This year compelled me to ensure that our HR processes were finalized in onboarding, electronically signed work agreements, and appraisals.”

Other companies like Home Access Health Corporation—whose at-home lab testing kits and related services became even more crucial at a time when patients were not able to visit their physicians during the pandemic—say cloud-based BambooHR tools helped them overcome challenges. They used announcements, electronic signatures, the mobile app, and more to keep communication rolling and employees working.

In a year when health and government guidelines were top of mind for everyone, many found ways to use BambooHR to ensure employee safety. Kirkwood Public Library created a health questionnaire for employees. The Hayes Approach used announcements to keep employees informed of updated company, state, and local policies.

Riding the Highs and Lows

The Hayes Approach’s seven person team manages HR for more than 40 small businesses, so they’ve had a front seat to the highs and lows of the rollercoaster businesses have been on in 2020. Some of their clients have boomed and others have lost 90 percent of their business. But the challenges have only made them stronger. They’re more adept at managing daily HR tasks for clients. They communicate (both internally and externally) more than ever before. They didn’t lose a single client this year and even picked up a few more.

Other companies, like Hazlett Tree Services, realized early on that they had some advantages—like having a naturally socially distanced outdoor work environment. At the same time, that advantage has also come with a challenge: most COVID guidelines aren’t created with their type of work in mind. As such, their HR heroes have been tasked with making reasonable adaptations to guidelines and getting employees on board.

Leaning Into Company Culture

As we would expect from our HR heroes, many of our customers give the credit for their 2020 success to their colleagues. Community Counseling Center’s executives and employees pulled together to work hard and avoid layoffs—a testament to their strong service culture that was so crucial in providing essential care to their mental health population.

Many of our customers understand the role company culture plays in helping employees navigate tough times. This year, SMC and Star City Games crystalized their core values and company culture. Even relatively new startups like T.NETWORK ensured that organizational changes didn’t negatively impact their employee-centric culture and focused on creating alignment through enhanced communication.

Even with the pandemic raging and new challenges mounting, Miedema Auctioneering used BambooHR to continue culture-critical tasks like recognizing birthdays and anniversaries as well as tracking performance. They understand that during tough times, small things like remembering to wish someone a happy birthday or recognizing someone for their excellent performance make a big difference.

While HR is still mission-critical in good times, 2020 has made it crystal clear how crucial HR heroes are to organizational success during challenging times. HR has led the charge throughout the change, brought calm to the chaos, and kept employees informed and healthy during a year when there were many challenges. We are so incredibly proud of all of our BambooHR customers and how they navigated 2020. Throughout 2021, we’re excited to continue highlighting the successes of our HR heroes on our BambooHR blog. We are confident that in showcasing the ways HR is innovating to improve their organizations, we’ll be inspired to do the same! We hope you’ll join us.