WE’RE CHANGING . . . AND STAYING THE SAME.
In March 2020, as Canada began to realize the severity of COVID-19, we at GGFL closed our office and become a virtual firm.
Had we decided to do that in ‘normal’ times, it would likely have taken years. With COVID looming large, the pivot took us roughly a week.
As we navigated our way through the COVID emergency, our GGFL team was brilliant and so were our clients. We asked them to help by embracing our e-document delivery system and embrace it they did. Even those, who for years, had stuffed paper receipts into envelopes and delivered them to our office, took the technological leap and learned how to file electronically.
At GGFL, we have a tradition of social events which are a part of our office culture, we are always the mercy of our social committee who devise many whacky, fun events for us. In the office during our busy season, we provide dinners and plenty of snacks to help our staff manage our increased workload. We have tax deadline events and seasonal gatherings to come together as a team and celebrate our successes and just have fun!
Of course, all that ended when COVID took hold. But, our efforts to keep staff engaged and together while working remotely didn’t.
We emphasized the importance of keeping our teams cohesive and increased coaching relationships.
- We engaged with home office ergonomic specialists to support our staff in ensuring they were well equipped and working safely.
- We provided office equipment to all staff to help make the home office as comfortable and safe as the one at the office.
- We shared mental health well-being tips.
We have fun.
- We sent fun care packages to all staff just to say how much we appreciated their efforts. These included snacks for our busy season and local beer and treats for our celebrations.
- We developed ‘elevator rides’ on Zoom where random groups of employees had the opportunity to connect and chat about whatever came to mind.
- We participated in a step challenge where teams remotely could work together to fight off a zombie apocalypse.
- We even had a magic show during a remote staff event.
We keep learning.
We are committed to ongoing staff learning and development. We provide internal education and coaching and fully support external education to keep you at the top of your game. During the pandemic, staff members have attended conferences online – conferences they would have normally attended in person. We have introduced a new learning podcast for all our staff – this has been well received with our team being able to achieve professional development when and where they like. We also started building a library of learning videos that are packed with great tips.
We have spent many months planning for the future and as a potential GGFL recruit here’s what you need to know about the changes we have planned.
- We remain a firm that values personal connection and so will not be 100% virtual firm. We enjoy meeting in person with our clients and among ourselves.
- Our plan is to have staff divide their time between working in the office and working at home in a hybrid work arrangement.
During the past 18 months, we have learned that our teams work better when they have a choice in where and when they work. They can be more focused and productive when they are able to fit in an hour for family, fitness or rest during the workday.
- The GGFL office is no longer where we go to work every day. It is only one part of our workspace.
- Work life balance has always been key to our workplace ethic so this hybrid mix is a natural progression for us.
- We will remain flexible as we learn from this new normal. We are prepared to modify our workspace and work locations when and if it makes sense to do so.
What’s not changing.
At GGFL, we have four core values:
- Expertise. Developing, sharing and demonstrating expertise.
- Accountability. Owning, knowing and doing what needs to be done.
- Continuous Improvement. Seeking innovation and growth opportunities.
- Trusting Relationships. Building caring and trusting relationships.
Those values relate both to staff and clients and during the pandemic we maintained our success and stability as a firm by being laser-focused on all four.
For any accounting professional thinking about a new challenge, we truly believe that GGFL is a great alternative to anyone who wants a new challenge in an exceptional professional and personal environment.
Check us out. We offer the best for the best.
Contemplating a Co-op?
Over the years, many of our co-op students have completed their entire co-op experience with us and we’re proud that many have chosen to build their careers at GGFL.
- We mix it up. We believe co-ops should be dynamic so want students to experience a range of skills and discover what aspect of the work excites them most.
- We care, we nurture, we mentor. We want our co-op students to contribute and be inspired while they are learning and working towards their CPA designation.
- Our partners are actively involved in our comprehensive co-op coaching program and their doors (or Zoom windows!) are open to you.
- The experience of our entire staff is available to you.
- And we make it fun.