2020 changed much about our world and the way work gets done. We recently caught up with Point B COO EJ Blanchfield to learn more about how she’s navigating this new normal, where she’s finding inspiration and what she’s looking forward to as 2021 unfolds.
What are you most looking forward to in 2021?
So many events in 2020 pushed both our nation and our company to address the issues and the opportunities surrounding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). In past years, we always felt our historically strong company culture protected us from DEI issues, but 2020 made us realize that like many other organizations, we have work to do. I’m looking forward to making our commitments around attracting and hiring improvements, diversity in leadership, continued focus on compensation equity, mentoring programs, empowering our Business Resource Groups (BRGs), and amplifying our associate stories and experiences a reality. I also must add that I’m very much looking forward to seeing and meeting with my colleagues in person!
What’s one of your biggest takeaways from 2020’s disruptions?
A greater appreciation and prioritization of our employees. Every single person has a life outside of the workplace. And each of us navigate every day like a balancing act. We need to be more aware of the needs of our people and do more than just tell them that we care – we need to invest in these spaces, doing more of the “how” and not just the “what.” This is especially challenging in remote work environments, but we are continuously looking for ways to create 1:1 connections, space, outreach, and support.
Any memories or stories of Point B alumni to share?
Alumni have been on the very top of my mind lately! For me, I think about Point B alumni as an extension of our employees. I recently had a conversation with a recently departed associate and he shared so many great ideas on how to better connect and support our alumni. Thanks to all who were able to participate in our recent alumni engagement survey. I’m looking forward to putting some of these ideas into action as we invest more in this important part of our Point B community and make it worthwhile to stay connected with us, and with each other.
Best work-from-home hack?
I’ve got two. First, I’m a big fan of my secondary monitor. Perhaps not so much a hack…but with so many virtual meetings, being able to see presented materials and meeting attendees clearly has been critical. As for the second, I highly recommend building small breaks into your daily schedule to get up and stretch, grab a bite, etc. It’s been good for my mental and physical well-being and has helped to combat diminishing returns on productivity too. Literally, you need to add blocks of time as back-to-back meetings all day actually hinders productivity and creativity!
Where are you finding inspiration these days?
My brother, an anesthesiologist in the Seattle area. When COVID first hit the area back in February 2020, his hospital was hit with incredible impact. At that time, so much was unknown yet he, alongside the first responders and everyone in the medical community, stepped up to help. With limited protective equipment and information, I watched him build personal gear with PVC pipes, duct tape and plastic garbage sacks – providing care 80+ hours a week at work while knowing the risks he might bring home to his newborn and five-year-old. He stays informed and helps educate others and balances it with great amounts of hope and optimism. He has helped our family – and so many others – stay grounded, reflect on what is really important, and appreciate that everybody is doing their best to get through this.