When Matt Dean and I first started UDig’s Nashville office in January of 2020, we decided that a critical component of our strategy would be cultivating a culture that attracts and retains top talent driven to deliver successful shared outcomes with our clients. Investing in our team and ensuring they can meet their career goals is critical to having a team that delivers strong outcomes for our clients. We decided then that winning Best Places to Work would be a great indicator that our team is happy with our culture and our vision is being realized.
Once we saw that we had to have 10 local area employees to apply for Best Places to Work, we had our sights set on getting to that magic number. Then, 2020 took a turn none of us expected. Despite the pandemic, we grew our team, added new clients, and established a strong foundation for our office. While we did not get to 10 full-time, local employees by the end of 2020, we were proud of the team we had built, the projects we had delivered, and the clients who had placed their trust in us.
Naturally, we were completely virtual that first year and still are today. While virtual team building added a layer of complexity to achieve the culture we initially set out to establish, we found ways to build a team culture with regular, unstructured “coffee talks” and virtual games. 2021 proved to be a growth year for us as we more than doubled our local workforce and revenue. The added ability to get together in person with our newly formed team was a welcomed change, and rather than opening a physical office, we opted for Sounds games, happy hours, and lunches as our meeting places while the rest of our work was performed virtually.
By the end of 2021, our team and our portfolio looked nothing like what I had envisioned at the beginning of 2020; it was much better. We now have a diverse team of talented, smart, humble consultants who truly love the work we do, and being named a Best Place to Work further validates that we have built something special.