Insights & Ideas

2020: Positive lessons from a rotten year

Two guys cheersing their drinks

2020 is coming to an end. FINALLY. But, before saying, “Good riddance,” “Sayonara,” and “Hasta la vista, baby” to a year that never seemed to end, we wanted to take a minute to think about the positives. (We were sure there must be some … somewhere.)

So, we asked our clients, consultants, and friends of Salo what positive lessons they learned this year. Their inspiring and encouraging responses are a great way to end the year on a high note. Here is some of what they said:

Renewed faith in humanity

I learned what remarkable people my colleagues are on a whole new level. Watching them manage the challenges of working at home (while tending to the needs of small children, pets, and spouses) was inspiring!
Dana Brumitt, Senior L&D Consultant at MOBE

The professional and personal impact of the pandemic on every single person across the globe showed me that we have way more in common with every human on the planet than we realize. This deep knowledge helps me feel more connected and empathetic to others even in a virtual environment.
Tami Sulistyo, President, Cheryl Alexander & Associates

The silver lining of 2020 for me was overwhelming increased understanding, compassion, and empathy for my fellow humans—appreciating, even more, the connection of my colleagues through daily Google Meets video calls.
Bradley Deckert, Global Inclusion & Diversity, PwC

Personal growth

I learned the power of saying “no.” All of us at one time or another this year felt maxed out and overwhelmed and I am no exception. Pre-2020, I had a hard time saying “no” because I didn’t want to disappoint my co-workers, team, boss, customers….well, you get the picture. In the midst of all the uncertainty this year, I focused on the power of saying “no,” which allowed me to say “yes” and subsequently prioritize what really matters. Now, I have created space in my life for more of what really matters and I’m not looking back.
Michael Hyatt, HR Consultant, Salo

It’s ok…no, it’s really healthy…to cry. I learned how to allow myself to cry when I was feeling sad, overwhelmed, defeated, angry, and it felt good.
Kjirsten Mickesh, ConnectHuman CEO/Co-Founder and HR Consultant, Salo

A challenging organization pushed me deeper into my faith and showed me evidence of God’s grace and fulfillment of His promises. I trusted Him and pushed through the toughest assignment I’ve had.
Brenda Wetzel, Compensation Consultant, Salo

Getting laid off was a big silver lining. It pushed me into a new career, taught me how to strictly budget during the time I was without a job, and taught me a lot of resilience.
Nettie Sparkman, Director of Sales, Maud Borup

Innovations in business

A tenured organization can transition with technology to be modern over time with continual emphasis and focus. Staying connected as a team, virtually, is critical!
Tammi Walgrave, Lead HRIS Analyst, Dairy Queen

I learned that out of a sudden and all-encompassing dynamic shift, creative and innovative solutions across your organization can emerge, which will, ultimately, become lasting improvements.
Laura Podergois, Director of Content Strategy and Communications

I learned that this year has taught us to all be a little ‘savvy’. Technology afforded us an opportunity to change the way we think about our work. It doesn’t matter “where” you are working from, as long as you keep in contact and ensure you are meeting your clients’ needs, you can work from anywhere!
Karen Nadeau, Interim HRIS Manager, CHS Inc.

Business can be conducted very effectively in spite of the physical disconnect we’ve all experienced. That disconnect has many of us entering each other’s homes and personal lives virtually, which has provided an opportunity to connect with people on a more personal level.
Robin Polencheck, Total Rewards Consultant, Salo

My “silver lining” is that you can build relationships over Zoom and Microsoft Teams that help you create a positive, respectful, and trusting environment. I still prefer “live” conversations, but virtual relationships and partnerships can be made.
Diana Walker, HR Consultant, Salo

See-ya 2020. Welcome 2021!

With that dose of positive energy, we declare this year: FINITO. (Finally.) From everyone at Salo, here’s wishing you happy, healthy, and successful new year. May your 2021 be better than your 2020. (We realize it might not a super high bar, but STILL …)