Thanking Our 2020 Heroes

December 15, 2020      By Samantha Alexuk

Ultimate Takeaway
  • This year has been tough for all of us, however, throughout all the uncertainty many heroes have emerged.
  • We would like to thank all of these heroes for their sacrifice and resilience navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • UKG would like to dedicate this blog to all of these heroes and wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy New Year.

Wow, I could come up with a thousand adjectives to describe the year 2020. While many will choose to remember it as a horrible, life-changing year (which let’s face it, it was), I want to remember the gratitude we felt for all the heroes who emerged this year.

Like many, I have personally dealt with a lot of challenges this year due to COVID-19. I was furloughed from my previous job in April until I was officially laid off in August. That started the balancing act—a young professional paying for a mortgage payment and other bills by herself, while looking for a job in the middle of a global pandemic. No problem, right? The amount of stress I was feeling in the August-September timeframe was immense. Not to mention, having to stay away from my parents who are at high risk if they contract COVID-19. However, I know I am not the only one who went through this. There are many people who shared the same stress and fears I did. There are also many other challenges people faced this year, that I didn’t. The point is, we all faced obstacles this year that tested us in ways we never could’ve imagined, but we did our best to push forward.

This year is wrapping up and with the New Year approaching, I am feeling very grateful to be where I am. Grateful that I started a job at UKG that I love; grateful that my family, friends, and I are healthy; and grateful to all of the heroes of 2020.

When you think about heroes, who comes to mind? Without a doubt, there are the countless doctors, nurses, and first responders. What about teachers, front line manufacturing workers, truckers, retail/grocery store workers, restaurant workers, or HR practitioners? All of these people have emerged as heroes this year (but really, they were heroes all along!).

UKG would like to dedicate this blog to all of these heroes. The world appreciates your sacrifices and we are thankful to you every year, but especially this year.


Of course, we have to start off by thanking our healthcare heroes. They have been at the forefront fighting this pandemic and risking their own lives to save others. Without their bravery and resilience, we would not be where we are right now. In January, 2020 was named fittingly the “Year of the Nurse.” Thank you to our nurses, you are an integral part of our healthcare system that keeps everything running smoothly. Your bravery, knowledge and skills do not go unnoticed. Along with nurses, we also want to highlight all the doctors out there who have been at the forefront of COVID-19 as well. We honor your work and dedication during the most challenging year. Thank you to all healthcare workers; you are our heroes!

First Responders

Next, we would take the time to say thank you to our first responders. Despite most of us being quarantined and working remotely, first responders are still out in the streets working. They are risking their lives and health by continuing to help others, as they always do. For that, we thank you.

Front-Line Manufacturing

Not a lot of people think about front-line manufacturers as ‘heroes,’ but when the pandemic hit, they continued to work. They worked overtime and some even stayed on site to try to meet demand for the pandemic. There are even some manufacturers who shifted their operations to make PPE and hand sanitizer. We want to send our gratitude to all front-line manufacturing workers.

Teachers and Educators

We know that 2020 was named the ‘Year of the Nurse,’ but we would like to make an amendment to that to say ‘and Teacher.’ Teachers are often overlooked in years past and not fully appreciated for all that they do. This year, many parents had to step in teachers’ shoes and got a firsthand look at what it really entails. Teachers had to completely change up the way they teach and learn new digital programs as the school year rolled on. They love what they do, which is why they became an educator. They care for your children as they would their own. If you haven’t already, take the time to thank a teacher for all that they do. They truly are unsung heroes this year and every year.

HR Practitioners

In 2008, businesses everywhere turned to their CFOs and finance professionals to navigate through a financial uncertainty. In 2020, CHROs and HR practitioners were looked to in order to guide organizations through new ways of working that put the safety of their employees above all else. We have our HR business partners to thank for new remote work policies, updated wellnesses initiatives, and so much more. This year has truly evolved the role HR plays in our lives.


Like front-line manufacturing workers, we also want to shout out another important part of the supply chain: truckers. 3.5 million truck drivers have been working throughout the pandemic to keep shelves stocked for all of us. Make sure you, thank a trucker!

Retail/Grocery Store Workers

As the pandemic started here in the United States, people flocked to stores. Retailers and grocery stores across the United States started to see food, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other cleaning products fly off the shelves. Behind the operations risking their lives to serve others: retail and grocery store workers. Essential employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, these workers clocked into work everyday to help others. We want to give a big thank you to retail workers, who are still working today with a smile on their face, willing to help us all.

Restaurant Workers

Unfortunately, many small restaurants were forced to close (and many went out of business) during the pandemic due to state restrictions. However, restaurants that were able to shift gears and offer take-out saw a huge boom in business during the height of the pandemic. Local radio stations even had segments to shout out local restaurants that offered take out. Just like retail/grocery store workers, restaurant workers are another group of people who have been working throughout the pandemic to help all of us. We would like to thank all the restaurant workers (and delivery drivers too!).

Thank YOU

Lastly, we would like to thank YOU, the reader. 2020 has definitely had its ups and downs, but we are grateful for all of you who enjoy our blogs. UKG wishes you and your loved ones a safe and happy new year!

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