- Even during a crisis, people and companies are changing the way they create value for others.
- Businesses and communities are finding new ways to put people first during a time that calls for innovation.
- From businesses adjusting operations to leaders sacrificing pay for their people, there are numerous acts of courage and care around us.
Putting people first and doing the right thing are the guiding principles that our company was built on. Even during difficult times, Ultimate Software has remained committed to those principles—and we’re not the only ones.
Businesses and individuals far and wide have stepped up amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and are committing to serving people against all odds. Here are just a few of those stories from some of Ultimate’s amazing customers.
Like many companies, Protolabs could not have been prepared for the COVID-19 outbreak that has impacted lives and business. However, they adapted quickly and sought ways to help people during this time of uncertainty. As the world’s fastest manufacturer of custom prototypes and on-demand production parts, Protolabs shifted their focus to addressing the scarcity affected so many medical facilities.
First, it started by prioritizing the production of urgent components required to respond to the current coronavirus crisis. And with all of their manufacturing facilities across five countries remaining open to fill those needs, you can imagine the positive impact they are able to make.
But their story did not end there. On March 24th, Protolabs was designated as an essential business to continue serving the needs of these high-demand medical orders. While taking care of their communities, they also doubled down on taking care of their employees by implementing “rigorous safety protocols in our manufacturing facilities to ensure all Protolabs employees and their families remain safe and healthy.”
The Miami Heat and Feeding South Florida
While social distancing practices have sidelined many live sporting events, the Miami Heat and Feeding South Florida are refusing to sideline their service to the South Florida community. In a partnership with Feeding America and Lineage Logistics, the NBA team is contributing to the $200,000 donation to Feeding South Florida, the local affiliate of the Feeding America network, to service those affected throughout the counties of South Florida.
Feeding South Florida is a long-standing champion in the fight against food insecurity in South Florida. Their collaborative program, “Share a Meal,” formed with the Miami Heat and others aims to provide 100 million meals to members of the community who have been impacted by COVID-19.
The stay at home orders issued across the world have limited the abilities of many businesses to sustain normal operations—sometimes forcing business owners to make tough decisions. W. Kent Taylor, founder and CEO of Kentucky-based Texas Roadhouse, sought to make a different choice. On March 25, the CEO announced that he would forgo his base salary and bonus through January 7, 2021 to ensure the restaurant’s front-line workers would be paid.
With a 90% CEO-approval rating on Glassdoor, the decision doesn’t come as a shock to those who are familiar with his historical focus on culture. “I have always said we are a people-first company that just happens to serve steaks,” Kent Taylor said. “Giving up my salary is the least I could do to show my commitment to that belief.”
As one of the largest 3D printing manufacturers in the U.S., SmileDirectClub has shifted gears from protecting smiles to protecting our healthcare workers. The tele-dentistry firm out of Nashville is now working to produce plastic materials such as medical face shields, respirator valves, and other supplies that will aid in the fight against COVID-19.
SmileDirectClub is able to produce up to 7,500 face shields per day and is encouraging both medical supply companies and health organizations in need of assistance to contact them. “Medical professionals are on the frontlines of combatting this pandemic, and we are grateful for them and the work they do all while facing unimaginable challenges,” said David Katzman, CEO of SmileDirectClub.
Czarnowski Display Service
For more than 70 years, Czarnowski has helped organizations around the world develop brand experiences through their exhibit and event marketing services. Now, the Chicago-based company is applying their expertise during this COVID-19 pandemic to help supply temporary structures for communities in need.
Their years of experience in designing event structures made them perfectly suited to provide this necessary aid—and this isn’t their first time answering this call to action. Czarnowski has supported a number of communities during urgent crises including Africa during the Ebola outbreak, Northeastern United States after Hurricane Sandy, and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Now, the variety of temporary patient rooms, triage tent structures, drive-thru tent structures and more are helping medical professionals deliver vital aid wherever it may be needed.
While the world around us changes, the ways in which we continue to put people first will define the success of our businesses and our communities as they always have. These stories are just a few examples of the many ways we can all be inspired to adapt and evolve what it means to put people first and always do right thing.
What new ways have you or your business found to put people first during this time? Share your stories of courageous innovation below.