Build and Manage a Remote Team

 

Lesson Info

Identify and Track Your Business Processes

I mentioned workplace flexibility before, but job crafting is one of the other things that particularly millennials want, besides having an impact on the work they do. But really most people on a psychologic level really benefit from job crafting. What I mean by job crafting is that you can choose when to work, where to work, and ideally what to work on. It is completely self directed, although when you do this you want to be able to set it up in some kind of a box, or a sandbox maybe, so that they have some parameters to work, but they still have that element of control. I truly believe in the world where people are always saying that they're overwhelmed. They're overwhelmed with this, and they're overwhelmed because there are too many emails or too many of this. Control is the anecdote to stress. Not necessarily seeking of control, but the having of that control. And that control can come in very different forms, but one of which is being able to choose what you actually work on, and...

know that the second that you start working on it, you're going to have impact in the lives or the businesses of the people you're working with. So in our case the way that that technically works is that we actually have a market place system. Now again, there are different way to do this depending on what the business is that you're in, but I want to tell you how we do it. So when a task or project comes in from a client, it gets categorized into a vertical, and then if it's tagged as a marketing task for example, only people with the marketing skill will see it, but they still have the choice of what to pick up. And whatever business you're in, there is some way that you can do job matching. You know if you look at a lot of police stations for example, they give the cases to the detectives based on whatever they decide. This is your case, this is your case. Unless someone gets called first or whatever, it's not really a choice. Whereas in a lot of other businesses, you do have that ability to not just assign it to people, but actually give them that choice of what they want to work in. And the truth is if someone wants to work on something, they're going to do a better job at it. They're going to go that extra mile. And there's a couple skills that I really think are nearly impossible to train in people, one of which is being proactive, and the other one is attention to detail. If somebody has those in them, you're going to see those about 10 times more when they have a job that they actually want to do. So ultimate job crafting is huge, and you can see how that might take shape in the work that you're doing, but when you're working remotely this becomes even bigger because it's one thing, you can think of a million different stereotypes in your head of like Office Space movies and things like that where somebody just sort of comes up and hands somebody a report and gives them and this is the work that you have to do, and you see the shoulders fall and the sigh come out of their mouth because you know that they just don't want to do that. And the problem with working remotely is you won't see that, but it will still be happening. So if you make this an active participation where even if you give a choice of two things, you're still going to be better off. Now this is another one that's very specific to us, but it involves game theory. And it's an important way to think about how you motivate a remote team that's not seeing each other every day and not interacting. So a long time ago what we did was we implemented a bonus structure, and initially it was really good, the initial version, the second version which I'll tell you about is even better, but we do a certain number of hours every week for our clients and say it's seven or eight or nine hundred hours, it doesn't matter. So initially what we're doing is that if we did 800 hours as a team, then we would give eight bonuses that week to the people working for us. And that bonus was a percentage of whatever they had earned that previous week. And the reason that that was important is one, that they're completely self directed, so the people who work for us can work whatever many hours they want, so obviously it's going to motivate them to work more hours. But it also, because it's based on a percentage of what they made, it also encourages them to level up in the company and get promotions and get paid more per hour so that they can continue to get bigger and bigger bonuses. The other thing that this had as an effect was because it's based on the team number of hours, we would see that at the end of the week if we were at 750 hours, then somebody would post in our Slack team, which I'm going to show you what that looks like, and they would say, hey team we're 50 hours away from getting another bonus for the team, and even if that person wasn't the person who got it, it didn't matter. They were motivating everybody, and everybody did more work. The problem was scalability, so with that initial version I personally was reading every application and I'm sorry, I wasn't reading the application, I was just looking at what the hours they had done that week, any feedback that we had gotten from people, and I was just sort of making a decision to give the bonus. So for scale purposes we needed to change that, because it was starting to take a lot of time, and there was no real rhyme or reason to it. I couldn't make myself replaceable for that task. We changed it to a bonus application. So what it looks like now is that every week anybody on the team can apply for a bonus, and the application for the bonus is based on some fulfillment of our core values, which we have stated very clearly for people. And they are things such as seek awe, or learn from every situation, or get uncomfortable, and they would be expected to write a bonus application explaining how they exemplified that core value for the week. Now there was still a choice that came into play here that I had to make, but I actually was able to put criteria around this now so that I'm not the only one that could do it. The key here was that the person giving the application in was explaining why they deserved it, so I didn't have to guess. I didn't have to go and seek feedback and find out from somebody else did they actually do a good job on this task, how did the client feel about this? They were telling me what they had done that was so great. If they didn't get the bonus, if I felt like they didn't deserve it, then I had excellent information with which to give them constructive feedback, and say you didn't get the bonus this week because of this, it's really not what we're looking for, but if you do this next time, you will. And people were so grateful for that feedback, it was kind of amazing. But there was one little caveat to the way we set this up. Because you might ask with a team of hundreds, why isn't everybody just applying every single week for the bonus, so we put in a bit of game theory to it, which is that you can only get paid for the bonus if you're win rate for the bonus was 50% or higher. So if you applied for the bonus every week for four weeks and you won it three times, great, you got paid, but if you only won it one time, that was a 25% win rate, they would not get paid for the bonus. And that would be a running average. So that in itself prevented people from just applying without really feeling like they deserved it, and it took all the elements off of me to have to do that. So that may seem like kind of a specific example. I think that there's a way to model that, we've seen that model now in several different companies that we've worked with, but that idea of sort of building on a bit of game theory, so that people can sort of self regulate and you know that what you're getting at the end is something that really deserves it. Alright, so those are kind of like the higher level topics that I wanted to get into to. So now we can get into some of the specific tools. And you can see how these ideas inform the tools that we choose.

More and more businesses are gravitating to remote teams for a whole host of reasons. It cuts down on overhead and office rental costs. It allows you to recruit talent from all over the world so you can find the most qualified, most affordable employees. And it gives your team members a better shot at achieving an optimal work-life balance.

However, there are challenges that need to be addressed. When employees work from all corners of the country, or even the world, there can be problems with cohesiveness and communication. It’s important to develop new and innovative ways to keep people engaged, motivated and focused on a unified mission.

Ari Meisel leads a team of over 100 remote employees, so he’s well-versed in the pitfalls of managing remote teams and how to make them work. This course will take you through the process of setting up and managing your remote team to ensure you build a thriving, productive and successful business.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Utilize the latest communication and project management tools to keep your team united and in lockstep.
  • Avoid escalating disagreements that tend to arise from employees not being in the same room.
  • Optimize your team workflows, processes and tracking.
  • Finding balance and structure within different time zones.
  • Understanding behavioral economics so you can build a strong company culture.
  • Keeping employees engaged and excited to ensure your mission is being advanced.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • I watched this "live" and don't think that I would benefit from purchasing this. I could use more teeth. The visuals were more for him a as presenter, they didn't really help me. I understand the ideas, he gave some cool recommendations. I think that the presentation of these ideas can benefit from the 'structure' that he suggested in a manner that takes into account different modalities.
  • Great info. I wish I'd had this three years ago. Would have saved me weeks of research.