As we are seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel with vaccinations increasing, restaurants and schools re-opening, more fans at sporting events, and concerts on the horizon, we wanted to reflect on the past year and acknowledge the resilience and strength of our MCB team. We also wanted to share the ways we’ve helped to ensure our team felt connected and appreciated during this time.
Our “Wish You Were Here” tagline that we use for recruiting came out of a corporate team building event two years ago. It’s a feeling you get when you walk around the MCB office. The bright, modern and collaborative office space overlooking the lake with a state-of-the-art chill room and fitness facilities is welcoming and inviting. Busy seasons of the past included late night breaks watching NCAA March Madness, nightly dinners, and a big party at the end of busy season thanking our staff and families for all of the time and effort to make MCB a success. MCB’s state-of-the-art office space and our motto to work hard but also play hard has resulted in recognition as a special place to work, including in Accounting Today’s Top 100 Accounting Firms to Work For in 2019 and 2020.
So, how do you stay connected as a team who wishes you were here, when you cannot be together in the office space that helps everyone to thrive and perform at top levels? MCB Managing Partner, Jude Covas, and Director of People Strategy, Pam Priester, set out to make sure firm team members felt connected to each other throughout the pandemic. “It was important to remind every one of our team members how much they mean to our firm, and to thank them for their hard work and dedication. Our team is everything,” said Covas.
“We started with weekly team zoom calls followed by happy hours and signature cocktails. Once we realized the pandemic would be with us for a second busy season, we decided to extend our ‘Wish You Were Here’ philosophy through surprise gifts and special events,” added Priester.
If you believe accountants are only interested in spreadsheets, you haven’t met MCB’s creative savant and Senior Accountant, Jake Waltrich. Jake was inspired by John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” at the beginning of the pandemic. He started a vlog series for the 2021 busy season, putting together three 7–8-minute vlog videos that were shown at virtual staff meetings. Jake took inventory from the firm regarding positive news from their lives, adding in the typical busy season blues and pandemic vibes, with good- hearted jabs at firm leadership. The vlogs have been a light-hearted way to stay connected. “We might still be able to get our work done from home, but the lack of a shared office can make keeping up with each other difficult, especially with those who I used to see every day but don’t happen to work with at all in the virtual setting. I missed the shared stories and learning what my co-workers did over the weekend, so the vlogs were a way for us to share some of these things amidst all the accounting work,” said Waltrich.
According to Audit Supervisor, Tanvi Sinha, “the firm’s implementation of Microsoft Teams was a big game changer during busy season. It allows us to create a virtual room to work together and meet with clients in a remote environment.”
On February 21st, MCB hosted a wine and cheese pairing zoom session featuring Pearmund Cellars, friend of the firm. John Memoli of Pearmund Cellars shared his winemaking experience from the anatomy of the grape, wine aromas and body style to the cost of running the vineyard, which is always important to accountants!
According to Priester, “MCB is a firm of hard-working, fun and interesting people. We enjoyed an evening together, learning about wine from the experts, tasting the wines and generally enjoying some good laughs on a Friday evening. This was a welcome break during another busy season in the midst of the COVID pandemic. It was fun to see huge attendance numbers and that spirits are high even while we are socially distanced!”
On the morning of March 21, 2021, our team members found a “Thank You Package” on their doorstep with an MCB-branded jacket and mask to thank staff and encourage them to get outside safely for some exercise and sunshine during busy season — wearing MCB swag with pride!
Our most recent event was extended to include family and friends of the firm. On April 21, 2021 a box of pre-ordered snacks of their choice, along with a MCB tumbler, arrived at every MCB colleague’s home. We then enjoyed a Magic Show via zoom and were delighted to see so many families and groups of friends enjoying the evening together!
In addition to the special surprise events, MCB has offered Wednesday Lunch on Us during busy season. Every team member is reimbursed $20 for lunch as a thank you and to remind them that hopefully next season we will be back in our chill room for special lunches, nightly dinners watching March Madness, and enjoying each other’s company in person.
Thank you to our clients and MCB Team for persevering through COVID-19 together and we look forward to seeing each and every one of you in person very soon.