Pinnacle frequently wins awards for being a great workplace. But 2020 was a dramatically different year for the firm and the world. Could the engaging, uplifting culture we had built for 20 years survive a global pandemic?
This line from the original Pinnacle playbook was a guiding force to ensure it did: Put associates first.
Act swiftly to protect their safety. Set up a response team. Give associates the tools and the autonomy to protect themselves and others from the health and financial consequences of the pandemic. Communicate clearly and frequently. Be generous: with leave for those who are ill, caring for a high-risk family member or unable to arrange childcare, and with technology so people can work from home.
In 2020, being the best place to work in the Southeast meant taking active, courageous steps to prove, in policy and in practice, that Pinnacle would take care of its own.
Physical safety and health are paramount, but equally important is the trust that everything will be OK. Just like an oxygen mask on an airplane, once associates’ needs for security and stability are met, they’re better prepared to offer the same to clients.
The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) gave associates the chance to do just that. Knowing that these loans were the critical relief their clients needed to stay afloat, associates from every team in the company pulled together, working in shifts throughout the night, to process applications as quickly as possible before the funds ran out.
Pinnacle’s strategy of filling the firm with professionals who form deep and personal connections with clients paid off, as it always has. Relationships were made stronger by the pandemic and will sustain the balance sheet in a profound and lasting way.