By Sachin Sahney, Chief Human Resources Officer
This March marks the one-year anniversary of our personal and professional lives being turned upside down by Covid-19. This was perhaps the most challenging time we have ever faced together, not only as a company or nation, but as global citizens. What better time to reflect upon the incredible resiliency of our team than today, Employee Appreciation Day?
We have all experienced tremendous change regardless of profession, geography or stage in life. Quarantines, shutdowns, working from home, social distancing and mask-wearing – just to name a few. For many of us, home has become our full-time office, and a remote school for our children.
At Cerence, our employees faced these challenges head-on. They did what they do best – innovate. Innovated new workspaces, schedules and ways to collaborate. Innovated childcare, schooling and supporting their family in new ways. They persevered through times of fear and uncertainty both personally and professionally. I am inspired by their spirit, strength and resiliency!
Likewise, our leadership team had to innovate. We’re finding more creative ways to recognize, celebrate and develop our employees. Going beyond traditional rewards to offer both short and long-term incentives. Continually expanding our awards and recognition programs to honor our hardworking employees. Developing training opportunities to power their professional growth and help advance their career paths.
A successful global organization requires leaders who value people first. In a season marked by isolation, Cerence shifted to a virtually connected culture. We launched gratitude campaigns where employees worldwide flooded internal social media with appreciation and positivity. New affinity groups enabled connections on a more personal level. Wellness campaigns promoted mental, physical and emotional health, including a competitive “Step it Up Challenge.” Our first Employee Appreciation Week included fun virtual contests like “Cerence Got Talent!” which showcased employee talents in everything from comic art and beatboxing to knitting and henna.
By prioritizing employee appreciation and wellbeing, I believe we have activated a remarkable culture shift at Cerence. Our smart, talented, innovative employees are not only receiving more recognition – but they’re also giving it. Our global workforce continues to grow into a more deeply connected community. I’m proud to belong to this evolving Cerence family.
I am optimistic that we have begun to turn the page in the story of this pandemic. A new chapter is beginning with more stores opening, children going back to school and our team taking steps towards a return to the office. Our virtual lives will once again begin to converge with life outside our homes.
As we return to a new state of normal, I am also eager to continue our Cerence journey. Our first year as a standalone company has been a fast and exciting ride! Despite the pandemic, we had tremendous success, launching 15 new products. I can only imagine how far we will go as we close the chapter on this challenging year and the many obstacles that came with it.
My hat is off to our global Cerence team. You are truly what fuels our success!
For more from the our Employee Appreciation Day celebrations at Cerence, check out this video.