I started EVOTEK partially because I believed there was a better way to support customers. And partially, I was amazed to see business owners in this industry who used their company (and people) as an ATM to support their own expensive habits of buying yachts, airplanes, and wineries. These were my reasons in good times. But what about the not so good? We’ll get to see that real-time, now that we are in the middle of another crisis. Companies must decide what their corporate responsibilities are to their people. They will need to consider if their people, who propelled them to comfortable corporate profits in years past, are worth saving now in their time of need. They will have to decide if trading profits for an artificially improved stock price is worth it.
“When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything.” – Jon Snow
Every morning over the past three weeks I have been reading about companies and how they are handling this situation with employees. Some have been betting on their employees and treating them with compassion. Others, corporate greed oozes from their every action as they opportunistically reduce their own cost structure, despite the destruction of so many. Did you see that Bird, laid off over 400 people on a webinar? Others are cutting benefits and compensation across the board. I can’t even imagine the mental strain added to employees and their families as they are just trying to survive. This extreme circumstance brings out people’s true values.
I have also seen good in companies like Chipotle, who announced a week equivalent bonus for each of their 2600 employees. How valued they must feel in their time of need. Some businesses are going to extraordinary efforts to keep people working, even if it is only to break even.
The biggest issue I believe we have to pay attention to is the 10,000,000 (and growing) jobs that have been lost over the last 4 weeks. Every dollar an individual spends in the economy, cycles through 6-10 times. Out of work people don’t spend money. So, it doesn’t matter how many trillions of dollars the government gives out if it doesn’t keep people employed.
Our company began in late 2014, that we now look to as the “good old days.” We began our journey to protect a small group of people and their families. Since the first day, we have not taken $1 of profit out of the company. We chose this path to maintain the possibility that a rainy day would sometime come; for an acquisition, or to protect our staff. It makes me proud to share that EVOTEK, to this day, is still protecting our people. We have increased our contribution to our employee health benefits, which should lower costs for most employees by 35%. We have increased our 401k to the 70th percentile, when compared with all US companies, at a 4% match, dollar for dollar.
Our leadership team has worked around the clock to build an operational cadence to keep people connected. Tools are being developed to enable new skills. Excitement is building as we are meeting with our employees throughout the week, with leadership individual reach-outs. The point is, we want our people to feel the blanket of EVOTEK security. Employees that feel safe are best suited to help others. And right now, others need help.
Over the past few weeks, many of our customers turned to EVOTEK to support them through their transition to the new normal of work from home. We have shifted our offerings to primarily include the enablement of a remote workforce, providing secure access to corporate applications and navigating a complex supply chain for sustained delivery of capacity enhancements. We are leveraging our internal best practices to support our customers as well as progressive ones, like virtual lunches or virtual happy hours.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”—Martin Luther King, Jr.
Based on the business that we have built, and the areas where we pivoted, our business is thriving on a double-digit growth trajectory. I feel blessed with the team that we have and am committed to continuing to hire as we always have. We will protect our people and serve our customers. EVOTEK will run profitability to zero before we affect our people. This is who we are.