2020 in Review- Part 2: “The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned.”

2020 in Review- Part 2: “The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned.”

By Tricia O'Connor

This month, EBI is sharing the biggest business lessons our leaders have learned in 2020. It’s our way of trying to find some positives as we pivot toward 2021.

We kicked off the series last week with Don Darrah, Vice President of Alliances at EBI, who outlined how his team formed a new strategic blueprint to assist our partner companies struggling with COVID-19.

This week, we turn our attention to compliance.

Curt Schwall EBI

Curt Schwall knows global compliance and regulations like the back of his hand. As EBI’s Vice President of Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, Schwall oversees these initiatives, as well as U.S. privacy policies, vendor management, and client privacy issues. Schwall’s experience in the screening industry spans more than two decades and served three terms on the Board of Directors for the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA). 

What has been the BIGGEST challenge you have faced in 2020? How did you (or are you) working through it?  

2020 presented issues beyond my control and I try very hard to not obsess over things for which I have no control over. I have tried to be careful and adhere to all of the safety guidelines presented by the medical community to keep me and my family safe. There are things that I definitely have missed though… a family vacation and going to concerts. That is what I have missed most in 2020.

What has been the BIGGEST challenge your team has faced in 2020 and how did you guide them through it (or are continuing to guide them through it)?  

Deploying a fully remote team has been the greatest work challenge this year. I’m blessed to have a great team who were able to adapt amazingly quick. While we miss in-person face to face interaction, we are able to meet remotely via Microsoft Teams, so the transition has really been seamless.

What has surprised you the most in 2020 from a leadership / people management perspective?  

Because we have such a great team, I don’t see this as a surprise per se, but I was very, very pleased with our ability to adapt to a changing work environment. Our team members really came together to establish a plan to work remotely and everyone contributed that plan. We didn’t skip a beat!

What are the leadership skills and people management strategies you leaned into the most during 2020?  

I believe in a year like 2020, you have to have the cultural flexibility to approach challenges with flexibility and to tailor your processes to your environment. It’s a great opportunity to challenge legacy processes and embark on a journey of discovery of improved processes. EBI will be a better company, culturally and operationally, for managing through 2020 as effectively as we have done.

What do you expect 2021 to bring? How are you trying to approach the new year?  

I think all of us hope that the end of the pandemic will occur in 2021. Company wise, I fully expect 2021 to be the best year in the history of EBI and that we will continue to build the products and provide the service to our clients that make us proud to represent EBI!

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For more insight from Schwall, check out these additional posts:

To Lie or Not to Lie on Your Resume – Is It Even a Question Anymore?
Why Now is the Time to Review Your Screening Policy
How Background Checks Help to Hire the Best Fit Candidates

For 26 years, enterprise-caliber organizations have trusted EBI’s award-winning background screening solutions. Our team members strive to deliver best-in-class service to our clients. Part of that service is sharing our industry knowledge so you can face challenges – pandemic or not – with confidence. As always, we’ll be by your side. 

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About the Author

Tricia O'Connor

Tricia O'Connor

Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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