Staying True to Our Values in Times of Change

At GS&F, our five core values drive everything we do. But as we continue to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to adapt to maintain the culture that helps us thrive. It’s not impossible—it just takes a little creativity!

During these uncertain times we’re letting our values lead the way, and we hope you’ll do the same. Here’s what’s worked for us alongside some ideas to try out as you adapt to the changes this time continues to bring.

Be brave. For yourself, your team and the audience.

Of all our values this one keeps us on our toes most, especially during these uncertain times. Fear of the unknown could be paralyzing, but we’re working even harder to lead our teams and our clients to act out of hope and courage—not fear. We’ve always had a team mentality but we’re leaning on each other more than ever before, finding new ways to carry over our community into our new dispersed workforce. And we’re inviting our clients to lean on us so we can navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in collaboration, filling gaps and getting the job done.

“Getting together on Friday mornings is a great boost to the overall morale of the GS&F family, so after some testing we created an agency-wide Google Hangout so we could keep our Friday morning meeting tradition while working remote.”

—Chad Grant, IT Director

Be proactive. Radical accountability leads to radical freedom.

 As we work to steward our clients’ brands with poise and honesty, we make sure we’re being accountable to our teams, too. Just like our clients look to us for gut-checks, best practices and more, we look to each other to bring past experience to our work, stay updated on current events, and maintain the same level of organization as we work quickly. Whether it’s responding to a client need with inventive ideas for our new normal or following up quickly to an urgent email, accountability keeps us on track.

“Before any virtual meeting ends, I like to spend the last 2–5 minutes calling out any follow-ups and next steps needed from myself and the team. This not only adds personal accountability, but it also allows everyone to walk away knowing exactly what tasks they own to keep the project moving forward.”

—Stevee Curtis, Account Director, Social Media

Be a student of the game. Push yourself to know more about everything.

Because it affects all of us, the coronavirus’ impact has all of us learning along the way. None of us have ever worked this way before, so staying curious is key—both personally and professionally. Many of our teammates spend time during the day reading up on industry trends, attending webinars, digging into old case studies, and learning new best practices. And some of our team members are picking up old hobbies, expanding their creative mindsets in new ways.

We can then communicate what we’ve seen and experienced to our clients. We’re all students now, so we’re seeking every day to learn from the world around us—even as it changes.

 “Embroidery has always been something I’ve found beautiful and #stayinghome has allowed me to explore this craft in depth. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to translate my ideas onto cloth.”

—Yanet Mireles, Art Director

Act with integrity. Be transparent and real. Follow the golden rule.

 Face-to-face interactions are key for maintaining an environment of trust. We’re meeting with clients and our own teams consistently over video calls, and we’ve found that seeing familiar faces brings a lot of joy and life to these tough days. We’re all trying to tackle new challenges and new territory, from figuring out how to be productive at home to creating a good plan for your brand’s media moving forward. We’re working with our teams and our clients to make this time meaningful and powerful—together.

“In the situation we’re currently facing, the ability to be both proactive and responsive is key to gaining trust.”

—Billy Derham, Account Director

Don’t take yourself or the work too seriously. Laugh often.

There’s so much to feel apprehensive about now, but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice this part of our values. Having fun is part of who we are, and we’re not about to let COVID-19 and our dispersed workforce stop us! Whether it’s a yoga class taught via Zoom, a laugh during a client call or sharing photos of our canine coworkers, we’re dedicated to finding ways to bring light to the mix. This helps us come together within our teams and with our clients to make it through this time with strength and confidence.

“Now more than ever we must keep perspective and laugh as much as possible. Fun fact: a closet full of props is helpful!”

—Kyle McCluskey, Account Supervisor

Finding Consistency

In this time of great change, there’s one thing you can keep the same—your values. Of course, bringing them to life may look a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic. But when you embrace the chance to reconnect with why your values are important and what they truly mean, you may look back on this time as one in which you became stronger—and came together like never before.

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