2020 has been a year for the books! In spite of the many challenges that came our way, we also found unique opportunities for growth. We learned that we’re truly “better together,” even when we’re working apart and staying connected virtually. We’ve come to appreciate what’s really important to us in our personal lives, and to prioritize what matters most professionally for our clients and partners. We’ve experienced, first-hand, that going the extra mile for each other at work and at home makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
Here’s what our Grokker team is most proud of, and what we’re thankful for, as we look back on an extraordinary year:
Responding to the COVID-19 Outbreak
Almost as soon as news of the pandemic hit the headlines — and before most communities issued shelter-in-place orders — we called an emergency meeting to determine what Grokker could and should do during this global crisis. The writing on the wall was clear: our lives were going to be completely disrupted, and except for the privileged few with digital solutions in place to weather this storm on their own, most were going to be left without any of the mental or physical health resources they would normally have relied upon to get them through such upheaval.
We made the decision then and there to offer our wellbeing solution free to everyone who might need or want it — individuals, organizations, and businesses — effective immediately. We were the first to drop our paywall in early March, and that was just the beginning.
From there we convened with our existing enterprise clients to learn more about what they were hearing from their employees, and to assess what new tools they needed as employers to help their workers adapt to and get through this unprecedented change. Armed with these insights, we immediately ramped up production to create a series of new programs to address these needs. Starting with the creation of Grokker’s COVID-19 Coronavirus Preparedness series, based on CDC guidelines and launched in under 3 weeks (a record for us), we followed this over the next few months with a multitude of new programs designed specifically to address the challenges of living and working during the pandemic: Nutrition for Sheltering in Place; 3 Steps to Financial Resilience; Yoga for Kids, Healthy & Happy at Home: Daily Actions to Create Your Best Self; 5-Minute Resilience Meditations for Stressful Times; and Webcam Workouts.
Naturally, these programs were produced while social distancing and following mandated health and safety protocols. “Our team really had to think outside the box and react quickly to what we were seeing in the news, and with our clients,” explained Chris Kurose, Grokker film production manager in our COVID-19 Outbreak: Production in a Pandemic blog post.
Clients were quick to share their success stories. Delta Air Lines’s General Manager of Global Health & Wellbeing, Jae Kullar, remarked, “We had the foresight to have this virtual option because as COVID-19 hit and fitness centers closed down. Vendors were reaching out to us with a la carte solutions for boot camps, mindfulness, and nutrition programs, but I was able to say, ‘We don’t need additional pieces. We already have Grokker!' ”
Similarly, the Director of Wellness at a multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate said, “Thank goodness we found Grokker a few years ago. Grokker has been a life saver during COVID-19,” a sentiment echoed by Jen Sabee, Wellness Director at U.S. Venture who shared, “Grokker is a life saver." To help our clients learn more about how companies specifically incorporated Grokker into their efforts to support employees during the pandemic, we created COVID-19 Outbreak: Exploring Creative Ways to Stay Connected.
In addition to content, our fully remote team fast-tracked our Group Classes feature enabling users to watch Grokker videos together and chat in real-time. And our interactive 10-week Grokkerwide challenge, which featured an inspiring lineup of Grokker Experts, helped keep up morale and a sense of wellbeing for tens of thousands of new participants each week. As one member said, “We all need to move forward with positivity and this is exactly what we need. Thank you Grokker!” And a Delta Air Lines employee commented, “This is such a blessing to have now that we have all this COVID-19 stuff going on.”
Our efforts to make Grokker accessible for everyone, including new enterprise clients Pfizer, GE, and Boston Children’s Hospital, also led to the launch of our self-service SMB product line, bringing our holistic wellbeing engagement solution to employees at companies of all sizes. As we move forward into the New Year and beyond, we’ll continue to proactively listen to the Grokkerverse and provide a wide-range of solutions to those in need.
Opening Our Eyes and Hearts
The pandemic certainly wasn’t 2020’s only agent of change. The social and political unrest in the wake of the tragic killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor prompted Grokker to double down on our firm stand against racism and inequality. We’ve always celebrated our team’s cultural differences, but we had to take a look at ourselves and ask, “Are we doing enough? Are we representing people of color in everything we do?”
Waking up to the reality staring us in the face, we recommitted to making diversity a more visible, ongoing initiative, so our users have the opportunity to “see themselves” when they engage with Grokker’s content. Our goal is to match the demographics of our Experts to the diverse population of users we serve. Our efforts in 2020 introduced increased diversity to bring us to a current Expert breakdown of 63% women, 10% Black, and 11% Asian, with the remainder being White and LatinX.
Another critical goal is make sure that our employees, clients, and partners continue to interface with a dynamic, multicultural team. To this end, our hiring process policies specifically include identifying, interviewing, and hiring candidates from various backgrounds and demographic characteristics that represent a global talent pool. We will continue to make strides in the years ahead and look forward to reporting back on our progress!
More to Celebrate: An Award-Winning Year
In 2020, Grokker was certified for the second year running as a Great Place to Work® and earned the distinction of being a 2020 Fortune 100 Best Small Workplace. Our CEO was named to the Silicon Valley Business Journal Women of Influence list, as well as The Stevie® Awards for Women in Business and 2020 Golden Bridge Awards. The latter two acknowledged the innovative nature of Grokker’s COVID-19 offerings, selecting the company’s Group Classes for the Most Valuable Corporate Response to COVID-19 and Best Technology to Combat and Reduce the Impact of COVID-19.
Grokker’s enterprise clients and their employees have demonstrated fortitude and resilience throughout the year. Together, with our staff and global team of Experts, we rallied around wellbeing — the pursuit and maintenance of happiness, health, and personal connections — and worked hard to bring, promote, and practice self-care at a time when it’s needed the most. And 2021? Here we come!