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As 2021 — a challenging year for many — draws to a close, K2’s CEO, Nick Plummer, takes time to reflect on 2021, K2’s achievements, and looks towards 2022 and beyond.

Thoughts on 2021

Another year trading through the pandemic has tested the resolve and resilience of every organisation and their people. The longevity and uncertainty are especially challenging, and something we’re all trying to navigate our way through, with various twists and turns along the way.

Like many in the industry, we have had to keep a consistent view of priorities and clear focus to ensure our company, employees and service to our clients has remained as unaffected as possible during lockdowns and in the ‘new normal.’

Early 2021 was difficult for the industry, and K2 was not immune, but thanks to effective decisions from our leadership, immense cohesive and determined efforts from our fabulous teams, and ongoing loyalty and support from our longstanding clients, we pulled through to a year that began finding its stride in Q2.

Achievement highlights

We now thankfully complete the year with much to be proud of, and grateful for, including:

  • Business is now up by 25% from 2020 and we have achieved our targeted growth for 2021 — a truly remarkable achievement given general market conditions, and all thanks to the world-class teams at K2 and our highly valued clients.
  • The outstanding expertise and hard work of our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) who have defined and guided our global business operations standards, consistency and collaboration. They have also driven innovation, and ensured an effective transfer of knowledge across the business. The ELT has been really key to the successful management of our sustainable growth over the year and featured important work to deliver our One Voice best practice operations guide, global templates and training modules which ensure our global service delivery remains best-in-class and delivered the K2 way.
  • Establishing our wonderful new K2 teams in France and Brazil, and moving into a new, larger, more fit-for-purpose UK office in Guildford.
  • Huge developments in technology, including enhancements to our case management platform Ascent, as well as API development and ongoing data security management.
  • Once again assuring GDPR compliance and ISO 27001 accreditations following intensive audits.
  • The launch of K2 Bespoke, our premium, tailor-made, specialist relocation service for those high-stakes or very complex global mobility assignments which need a service beyond standard global mobility policies.
  • Kicking off targeted work to further develop our sustainability and CSR initiatives to become a more strategic, integrated approach globally, including our GAPP at the heart of our future direction.
  • Our fantastic global fundraising efforts for our six nominated charities: Rainbow Trust (UK), St Jude’s Children Research Hospital (USA), Club Rainbow (Singapore), Breadline Africa (South Africa & Dubai), Barncancer Fonden (Sweden) and The Smith Family (Australia) — where we were able to find ways to contribute our support to the valuable work they do.
  • Transitioning and onboarding several new valued clients into the K2 service and way of doing things.
  • And welcoming many new team members who have onboarded into the K2 family this year.
  • But for me, the K2 Oscar this year must go to the results of our 2021 client survey — 98% satisfaction rating — which validated my long-held view that our K2 people continue to deliver outstanding, consistent customer service, are passionate about our clients and assignees, have resilience and fortitude and are the very best team of people I could dream of working with.

Completion of Aspire 2017–2021

The end of 2021 also sees the completion of Aspire 2017–2021, our previous five-year business strategy, which is coming to an end with some truly amazing results. The list of achievements over the past five years is impressive, and I would like to thank both colleagues, clients and partners for their support and hard work in delivering on such a successful and sustainable growth journey.

Some of the many highlights include:

  1. Development of a unique narrative and value proposition — further defining our why and how, with fantastic client survey results to prove it.
  2. Carefully managing our growth so that it is both ambitious but sustainable — growing from 200 to 450 clients, whilst consistently working to ensure we don’t lose the essence of what we are about or how we do things.
  3. Investment and actions to support our people and increase global collaboration — such as our unique operating guidance and training programme, One Voice.
  4. Development of a viable and scalable business model — through our Global Accredited Partner Programme (GAPP), development of technology and attraction of key talent into the K2 family.
  5. Maintaining robust due diligence and business credibility through compliance and service delivery — through our fully audited ISO certification.

The next five years

We are in the process of developing our next five-year strategy to continue to take K2 on our development path. It’s an exciting time, with many interesting new ideas and opportunities. But we’re also working hard to ensure our growth doesn’t mean we dilute the heart, soul and DNA of K2, which we so regularly hear our clients, partners and colleagues tell us we should never lose sight of.

I look forward to what 2022 will bring in refining our final thinking and decisions and look forward to sharing this with you in the new year.

Thank you!

I wish you all a restful, safe and enjoyable break over Christmas and the New Year.

Thank you again to our wonderful colleagues, partners, and clients for making 2021 a success, despite the odds, and on behalf of K2, we look forward to growing and enhancing our continued partnership over 2022 and beyond.

Best wishes,

Nick Plummer
K2 Global CEO

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