By: Sara Suter, Vice President

Over the last year we have all had to adjust and pivot our leadership styles as we navigated the pandemic. Whether you closed your offices voluntarily or were mandated by the State, we were forced to make quick decisions to minimize the impact on our organizations. For some the decision was easy to send staff home and wait it out, but for others closing the doors to the place where we gather as a team was devastating. What we found along the journey over the last year was that culture isn’t defined by a building but rather by your investment in the employees that help live out your mission, vision, and values. For our team, shifting was easy but the longing to gather as we once had was hard. Follow along as we outline how we re-opened successfully with our employee’s health and safety at the forefront of every step.

Path to Reopening

As we re-opened our doors this year we focused primarily on the health and safety of our team members. With the day-to-day changes happening in California, it was a constant shift to ensure that we have open and honest discussions about what our team needs to feel comfortable returning to the office. Like most companies, working from home and serving clients had its challenges. We knew for our construction and relocation clients that we had to move back to working and serving in person. The key aspect for our successful re-entry was listening and responding to what our team needed. As leaders our priority continues to remain on the mental and physical health of our team first.

Our New Normal

Change is inevitable in business, and as leaders in change management it was easy for us to work with our team throughout the year to transition. But what does this new normal really look like for small businesses? For us, it means that we go back to the foundation and work through the “why” before we focus on the “how”. We believe by enhancing educational institutions, local municipalities, and corporate environments we can positively impact our community. Spending time with our employees as we regrouped this Spring focusing on our “why” helped us to reset our team and align our mission. Their feedback was essential to ensuring that as a group we were ready to embark knowing that business would never look the same as it had in the past.

Growth is Essential

Watching our team grow both personally and professionally over this last year has been an incredible blessing. As employee centered leaders, we knew we had to invest time individually to ensure our team members felt supported, heard, and prioritized in every decision we made. They took that confidence from our leadership out to serving clients with a positive outlook on how we could manage the change and help them meet their deadlines. It wasn’t always easy, but the wisdom that came from leading through a pandemic has changed us all hopefully for the better. We now know life can change in an instant but that the foundation of a strong culture and values can withstand any challenge.

For more insight into our leadership journey and how CBSI can help your team check out our other blogs and resources at

Additional Resources

Roadmap to Relocation Guide

Roadmap to Relocation Webinar