As the holidays approach and 2021 winds to an end, it’s natural that we each reflect upon the events of the past year and take stock of where we’ve been, and where we’re going. In the spirit of the season, a few of the product and business leaders from Enlyte have shared their lessons learned, surprises, and challenges faced in 2021, while looking ahead to goals for 2022. From navigating year two of the pandemic to accepting our “new normal,” our experts are thankful for the teams and relationships we have strengthened while expressing hope and eagerness for the possibilities the new year will bring.
Q: What was your biggest lesson learned in 2021?
Rebecca Morgan (VP, Product Management): “Sometimes challenges stick around for a little while. Sometimes these challenges continue to evolve, creating new problems to solve over time. We certainly saw this with the effects of the pandemic in 2021. While we were able to put the initial phases of the pandemic behind us, we encountered new and interesting challenges in our industry including mask and vaccine mandates, staff shortages and turnover and return to offices around the country. Each new challenge created an opportunity to explore unique and innovative ways to solve problems we had never encountered before. As the pandemic is far from over, I expect we will continue to experience new and unanticipated challenges within our industry.”
Norman Tyrell (VP, Product Management, Casualty Solutions): “2021 was more like a continuation of 2020 and not a flip of the page back to “normal.” What is interesting about the pandemic is that in the course of a few months, it was able to radically alter the course of almost every area of our lives. It’s clear now that things are never going back to just the same as they were. Mostly that is a good thing and represents an opportunity for us all to take stock of what really matters and what is important in our lives. As an example, I am constantly grateful for the fantastic people I work with at Enlyte and amazed and reassured that despite everything, we have been able to continue to deliver on the important work we do for our clients every day.”
Dave Torrence (Executive VP & GM, Pharmacy Solutions): “That you can’t let a pandemic be the enemy of the possible! You have to press on, be bold and dare to do what others wouldn’t. We did amazingly transformational work despite unthinkable circumstances.”
Shahin Hatamian (Senior VP of Product Management): “My biggest lesson learned is how humans, and by extension businesses, can be so resilient to weather some of the toughest challenges imaginable, when we work together towards a shared goal. Although our business was impacted due to the slowdown in driving and workplace activities, we were able to manage our overall results while delivering on our commitments to our customers. This could not have happened without the help and sacrifice of the thousands of our employees and our unifying culture that made us work together as One Team.”
Nina Smith (President, Customer & Market Operations): “Working from home since March 2020, caused significant blurring between work and ‘me’ time. My biggest personal lesson in 2021 was to be intentional about putting boundaries between my work and personal life.”
Q: What surprised you most in our industry in 2021?
Rebecca Morgan: “The thing that surprised me the most in 2021 was just how normal our “new normal” felt. While the pandemic continued to rage, life in our industry normalized – not the same normal of 2019 but a normal that will be with us for a while. Most of our industry continues to work from home and we don’t expect that to change anytime soon. After the initial drop in employment in 2020, in 2021 employment continues to surge and we don’t expect that to change in the near future. We’ve comfortably settled into changes in our industry time and time again and proven that we can adapt to nearly any unexpected change that comes our way.”
Shahin Hatamian: “What surprised me the most about 2021 was the rapid growth of the economy and the pace of return to normalcy. It is also evident in the rate at which companies are hiring, especially those in the tech sector. The demand for technical talent has risen so significantly that many companies are willing to pay a salary premium to steal talent from each other. While this tactic may work in the short term, in the long run the companies with the best overall culture, career paths, learning opportunities and the total compensation (not just salary) will be once again the attractors of talent. As the economic pendulum swung far into the negative when the pandemic hit, we are now seeing a spike in the opposite direction, which I believe will subside as the world finds its equilibrium.”
Nina Smith: “This was not so much a surprise, but I was encouraged at the resiliency of our industry as we were all directly impacted by COVID. Although key industry events were not back in full fledge mode this year, I was able to attend the National Work Comp & Disability Conference. It was wonderful to reconnect with colleagues from across the industry.”
“You have to press on, be bold and dare to do what others wouldn’t.
Q: What are you looking forward to most in 2022?
Dave Torrence: “Doing it all over again! It’s great to set significant goals as a company and then watch our teams achieve them. We are a company that is forward-focused and always striving for even greater levels of excellence. I’m looking forward to being a part of the team that achieves great things together.”
Shahin Hatamian: “I am looking forward to 2022 as the year when we define the new norms about how we interact with each other. I may be in the minority in believing that Zoom meetings alone are not the future of work. Humans are social creatures that need personal interactions to stay motivated. While virtual meeting places provided a great stopgap for the pandemic, I believe the world is now desperate for more meaningful social interactions. A hybrid approach to the office is a great start, but we all need to try to take advantage of the opportunities to meet in person more often, of course with all the safety and precautions that are necessary.”
Nina Smith: “In our company, I’m looking forward to all of us ‘role-modeling’ one company, one team. I would also like to hear MORE about what lies ahead, what we’re doing together for our clients and our industry overall and LESS about the way it was/used to be.”
Alex Sun (CEO, Enlyte): “Ours is such a personal business. Be it the friendships you make with clients and partners or the incredible bonds you have with other members of the Enlyte team. For me, an important aspect of making and maintaining these relationships is spending face-to-face time with folks casually – over dinners etc. As all of us start to ‘open up’ a bit I can see those connections coming back and I very much look forward to it.”
Bold. Resilient. Together.
If 2020 was about weathering the pandemic, 2021 was about embracing the new, post-pandemic world, and working together to address the unparalleled challenges. We learned to solve problems with creativity and thinking outside the box. We learned to prioritize what was most important to us, and not to take anything for granted. We learned we had to be bold, and step outside our comfort zones. Most of all we realized how resilient we all really are, especially when we work together to overcome obstacles. While it is uncertain what the new year will bring to our industry and to our everyday lives, we can be assured that the challenges we faced yesterday have made us better-prepared for navigating whatever comes next.