A lot of the same challenges from 2020 continued in 2021 for the world. We’re still in a pandemic. The supply chain has more friction points than any of us can remember in recent history. But the world is still moving forward — the economy is moving fast and people expect goods right away.
All of these things happening at once make for some challenging times. In trucking, the most common conversations are simply about the workforce. This is the hardest hiring market the industry has ever been a part of. There are lots of freight opportunities, but finding the folks to fill those jobs has been a really big challenge.
The innovative companies have become more human and are realizing that taking care of people will be the differentiator. In the past, a lot of companies would say, “This is the job, take it or leave it.” But now, the workforce is saying, “OK, we’ll leave it.”
Companies are changing the types of jobs that they offer, based on what people want. Smart companies are saying “we’re going to go find customers that allow us to build a job based on how people want to work.” How people want to work is evolving.
The positive side is that more companies are approaching things from a culture of curiosity. Instead of saying “We know what people want” or simply not caring, innovative companies are truly diving into what people are wanting, wishing, and feeling, and looking into how they can change to align with those needs.
WorkHound is seeing record growth — and it’s because more companies are embracing that “culture of curiosity” mindset.
We hit a really good stride at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. If you backtracked to the beginning of the pandemic, there was a lot of pressure.
But we entered 2021 having strong confidence that momentum is happening, both for our customers and for the company. We’ve been hiring across every team. We’ve grown our customer base. We now have more than 70,000 drivers on the platform.
We’re really proud of that, but in continuing to make sure we’re a people-first company ourselves, we adapt to what our employees need. We now offer every other Friday off for our team. It’s been rewarding to get more done in less time because we’re all driven and focused on the right things.
As the company grows, people continue to step up and are taking on more responsibility in the business, creating value in ways we never expected. There are now jobs inside WorkHound that we never imagined would exist, but they exist now because people have carved out a space and a true role. Showing our people a growth path is really important to me.
What I love about our team is that they’re here for the right reasons. We’re all aligned with a shared mission of helping people love the work they do and helping companies become a better version of themselves.
I really credit Katherine Vanderford on our team for leading the charge in hiring this year. She’s found people who genuinely want to be here solving problems for our customers, rather than people simply looking for another job.
The profile of people we know work best are people who come in not only to do the work, but who are committed to doing the work better. I’m incredibly grateful for that.
Our team is very collaborative. We work hard to make sure people don’t feel like they’re operating in an echo chamber. It’s a bit more challenging since we’re now all remote — but we’ve thrived in this environment. We have chats and rituals that help keep us focused and in tune with each other.
We are fortunate that we have people on the team who operate with hustle and heart. They’re committed to doing the work, but also to taking care of the people around them, which makes for a really good combination.
The end of this year has made it really clear that we’re entering a new phase of the company. We’ve been a lean and scrappy team up until this point. We’ve made tremendous progress and have a strong network of customers and partners.
Now we’re becoming a bigger version of ourselves. Our core product is focused on creating a real-time feedback loop. But we know that anyone out there can gather feedback. The hard stuff is digesting that information and doing something about it. Where we excel is diving into that info and helping companies act on it.
In 2022, that’s where our focus will be. We want to help companies truly understand the feedback they’re being given so that they can build better relationships with their workforce, ultimately building better companies and more retained workforces.
The end of the year is a time for reflection. Speaking for myself and my co-founder Andrew, we’re filled with gratitude. Our team rode with us through hard times, and we’re in a much better position as a company.
Our customers, who we consider partners, have helped us become a better company and bring a better product to market through their thoughtful engagement with our team.
For me, this is a fun place to come to work every day, and it’s because of the people we work with and the partners we get to help every day. For all of that, I’m truly thankful as we wind down the year.