In January we celebrated the previous year’s high performers and president’s club winners with our annual trip to Mexico. The team enjoyed a relaxing week at a five-star all-inclusive resort, with daily activities and plenty of team bonding.
Later in spring before COVID-19 had become a pervasive reality, IT/IQ’s team celebrated with a little bit of magic at the Hidden Wonders show, starring world-famous magician, Shawn Farquhar. Shawn’s performance had us out of our seats in disbelief from beginning to end. The evening ended at Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar for appetizers and refreshments, which were excellent as usual. We were lucky to have been able to attend an extraordinary event before social gatherings were prohibited!
Shortly thereafter, and along with every other office environment, we received the instructions to switch to a fully-remote working model to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, we were prepared for this change and were able to set up our teams across Canada with remote access to all the necessary systems and solutions.
Like the rest of the world, our team initially speculated how long we would be in this isolated environment. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and before we knew it, it was summer.
The summer was less eventful than our typical summers. Despite missing our annual team getaway and bonding session in Whistler, our team persevered, working from home and enjoying the outdoors in their own time. Although the volume of business was less than in previous years, we had prepared for a situation like this and we’re fortunate enough to not have to lay off or furlough any of our employees.
While other firms looked to cut costs, we continued to stay involved in the community and sponsored Business in Vancouver’s CTO Awards. Although this year the CTO awards were conducted virtually, we found the event to be incredibly well-organized and enjoyed the presentations completely. Congratulations to all of the talented leaders who were celebrated in this exceptional event!
As summer came to a close, Canada saw a second wave of COVID-19 cases that surpassed all previous numbers. Our Human Resources team worked to create more stringent precautions for those that needed to do business from our offices in accordance with public health regulations.
Although we couldn’t host any quarterly events, our Training and Development Manager took initiative to keep our team’s morale high and created a remote team trivia night. The trivia consisted of fun facts about each employee which served as a great method for remote team bonding.
At the end of September, IT/IQ’s president Feras Elkhalil once again championed our team’s efforts to support the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM)’s annual Tech Grind. The event typically pits tech companies against each other in both fundraising, and also in racing up Grouse Mountain’s (in)famous “Grouse Grind”. Like most things this year, those plans had to change. The United Way adapted their event to a ten-day steps challenge called ClimbUP. From September 23rd to October 3rd, participants got outdoors and walked 2,830 steps each day. The initiative was a resounding success, and IT/IQ’s team of dedicated fundraisers contributed over $9000, helping the UWLM surpass their campaign goal of $50,000. The funds went towards the heightened need for food to isolated seniors and to support after school programs for children, among other things.
Throughout the later months of 2020, IT/IQ’s teams across Canada saw business volumes increase, keeping us all incredibly busy. We still made time to celebrate our teams’ achievements, our clients’ continued business, and our consultants’ efforts across Canada. Regretfully, we could not host our usual consultant appreciation event, but we are eagerly anticipating the chance to restart the tradition at the end of 2021. With the budget we usually use for our consultant appreciation event, we decided this year to spend it on e-gift cards for our consultants and clients, and matched all gift card amounts with donations to the United Way. This amounted to over $5000! Our internal Secret Santa was still a hit, although conducted virtually, we were able to see all the clever and touching gifts our team gave and received.
Given the significant impacts that the pandemic has had on our communities, IT/IQ’s team raised another $3000 to donate to the United Way. Our team got to watch a virtual interview between IT/IQ’s President, Feras Elkhalil, and the United Way of the Lower Mainland’s President, Michael McKnight. The interview was a great way to educate our team on UWLM’s initiatives and understand the positive impact of our donation dollars. In total, IT/IQ raised over $20,000 for the United Way this year.
In 2020, we adapted to change and continued to add to our teams across Canada. Our daily activities and our overall growth have been fueled by our optimistic outlook, accountability to one another, and a healthy dose of grit and determination.
If 2020 proved anything, it was that most of the predictions made at the beginning of the year we’re proven wrong, so we’ll refrain from drawing any lines in the sand now! However, we are optimistic for what 2021 will bring and will continue to work hard to support our outstanding clients across Canada, build on our relationships with the very best candidates each Canadian market has to offer, and grow and invest in our team of recruitment specialists across Canada.
If you are looking for a great new opportunity to start the new year, or a great new addition to the team, contact us today – our last push at the end of the year has made plenty of room for hard-working, and service-oriented people to join the IT/IQ family!