Guest Blog by Hannah Ries | Vice President of People & Culture

I have proudly been an employee of OCI for 7 total years now. Working for a company that values its employees as much as they do is incredibly refreshing. They understand the need for a work/life balance and the importance of making decisions for the company as they would their own family. That intent was ever-present as the executive team got together last Monday to decide we would switch to a remote work force during the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision was not made lightly and was the best option for the people we serve internally; it ensured they would be able to continue working in a safe environment.

That same executive team has met every morning since to go over updates in respective departments, share tips on remote work, and to touch base on various company goings on. Our president then shares the pertinent information to the rest of our staff each and every day. Internal communication has, out of necessity, become a more intentional focus for all of us. Sure, we share gif’s and silly tidbits too, but our primary responsibility is making sure the employees feel connected and engaged while working from home.

During our video conference this morning, my 6-year-old daughter snuck into my make-shift office and was slyly off-screen. My initial response was going to be to shoo her out of the room and redirect her focus elsewhere – as is often easy to do with a screen of her own. Then, it hit me. I want her to see me working, problem-solving, and collaborating with my team; I want her to see me working diligently to help people around me; and I want her to see that things don’t always go to plan so you adapt and succeed in spite of circumstances. She joined the call for a few minutes, not saying anything, and then went about her business, most likely “teaching” her little brother something new. She’s a sponge and I know she was absorbing all of it even if she didn’t say a word.

I am proud to be at OCI for a multitude of reasons. This morning, the number 1 reason was to be an example for my children on professionalism, resourcefulness, and teamwork.