Remote Team Management: Boosting Productivity & Connection

So you are telling me that I can’t holler across the room to see how a task or project is going? There is no way to get up from my desk and walk over to someone to knock out questions. These are all issues everyone has faced over the past few weeks and let me tell you, while most of my team was excited to have some extra time at home – they are all itching to get back face-to-face with their co-workers.

While the social aspect of going into the office every day is missed, as a business owner I am looking at a bigger issue… how do I track all of this? How do I keep my team motivated? How do I drive results while not being face-to-face? How do I make sure my co-workers are not eating bonbons and watching Netflix all day? Call me a control freak, but during this, there have been times when I have felt completely blind.

When I first learned about this from our wonderful business coach Shaunna Black, I laughed and quite honestly thought it was a stupid idea. But the little changes it makes with the team are unreal! Everyone loves it and we get to learn more about each other.

Each morning at the same time (we do 9:00 a.m. Facebook Hangouts calls), you ask a question. This question can be funny – like what is your favorite pop tart flavor or it can be serious “if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?”. Then in popcorn fashion, each teammate answers. They will answer the question and then say “I’m in” and the rest of the team responds with “Welcome!”. Sounds cheesy right?

Well…. my team liked “I’m In!” so much they asked to start “I’m Out!” the very next week! So each day at 5:00 p.m. (again with FB hangouts) we all get together and in popcorn fashion say the best thing that has happened to us during that day. After you answer, you say “I’m Out!” and everyone responds with “Thank you!”

Yup, I know you are laughing at me, just like I had chuckled at Shaunna… and your team will look at you like you have 3 heads when you introduce this, but TRY IT! We even implemented these quick touch bases in a cascading messages part – this is where anyone can give announcements they think the rest of the team needs to know.

We have always used these but now they are more important than ever. Each week we go through the company scorecard (this can be done in departments as well) to give ourselves a score on how we are doing. (The IT Crowd’s scorecard example to help you walk through this can be downloaded here: Steps to Create Your Scorecard.)  Now part of the problem is that I had no idea how to come up with the numbers for the company scorecard.  Thankfully, my peer group Convene (Jim Woodward, group leader) gave me a step-by-step guide on how to do this, which I am teaching you now!

1. Look at your Company Mission and Your Company Vision.
2. Create your Company Keys to Significant Success – These are the 3-5 things that MUST take place in order to achieve your company’s Mission and Purpose.
3. Now, taking one of your Keys to Significant Success, you are going to answer the below questions to narrow down what needs to be on your scorecard. (Take only your position for now, you can do this for each department later)
  • What are the main things that cause or reveal success in this area? – Name 5 things
  • When the month closes, what are the things that are critical to know? – Name 4 things
  • What are the things that if went wrong and got out of control in this area could destroy the business? How could they be monitored? – Name 3 things
  • Imagine you are on an island and you only have 60 seconds to talk to your team each month – what are the top 3 things you need to know about this Key to Significant Success? – Name 3 things
  • What is the single most critical indicator that leads to or reveals great success for this Key to Significant Success?
BOOM!  You now have the first line on your scorecard. Add what is a good score (green), an acceptable score (yellow), and not a good score (red). Repeat this exercise for each KSS and each department.   Now choose who is going to report on each number each week. Our partial scorecard can be downloaded here: Sample The it Crowd Scorecard (Partial)

As a team, we go through this scorecard weekly (Monday mornings). It shows everyone what is working and what needs to be looked into.
This is just that, a touch base with each person individually each week. (This is for your direct reports). Format for our weekly touch bases:

1. How are you? How are you feeling?

2. Individual Scorecard Review – what numbers are they responsible for? Are they all in the green?

3. What things need to happen this week to get all of their numbers in the green? Create action items and due dates.

4. Review action items from the week prior

5. What have you done this week to help the company get to another level?

6. What have you done this week for personal growth?

These touch bases are done at the same time every week.

There you go! This is a control freak’s way to keep track of her team – her team’s feelings – and continue the drive to success.

As always, please email me if you need anything or if there is something myself or team can help you with during this time.

Let’s create some content! Yes, this week we’re talking about the thing you know you need to do but keep putting off. Whether you’ve always wanted to start a podcast, upgrade your blog, or create that awesome company video, now is the time to start. While many things are changing in 2020, the need for awesome content that your audience can relate to is still just as, if not more important as ever.

Content marketing is something that will never go out of style. Marketers will always need to create quality, compelling content, meaning that content will always be king. After all, your content is what drives your search engine optimization.

Here are some different types of content you should be creating:

  • Video – video content is not slowing down any time soon and if you haven’t hopped on the train yet, do it now because things are moving fast. 91% of buyers are seeking more visual and interactive content from companies. Now there are lots of different things you can do with video:
    • Storytelling. This should be a professional video that tells the story of your company, testimonials from clients, and something to pull your audience in. There are tons of videographers out there who are awesome at what they do and can help you tell your story. If you’re ready to pull on some heartstrings and watch your business grow, let us know and we can introduce you to the right people.
    • Video tutorials. Show, don’t tell. We have started creating instructional videos for our team and even our clients to educate people on Adobe Creative software, WordPress, social media, and anything marketing. If you have a specific niche or valuable industry knowledge, share some of it with the world. Giving value to others (even if it’s free) will never come back to bite you.
    • Live videos. Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live – everything is moving in this direction. Live videos are sometimes even more likely to be watched than regular videos. Pull up a chair and make sure your microphone is solid and you’re set. People enjoy authentic content here. And when’s a better time to try something like this than now?
    • TikTok. Someone had to say it…. Gen Z is quickly becoming or already has become the largest buying power. And we have to pay attention! They are light years ahead of us on things like this. And there is plenty of opportunity to create engaging, powerful content on this free app. Plan out your strategy, and get to TikTok.
  • Podcast – the great thing about podcasts is you can typically take your audio from a live video or other video content and turn it into a podcast – boom! Two birds with one stone. You can also do live podcast shows while having the privilege of hiding your face. We don’t believe podcast to be AS powerful as video, but it definitely captures an audience. And there’s even an opportunity to get sponsors, awesome guests, and of course, leads, from your podcast.
  • Articles – do you have a blog page on your website? Was the last blog post 2 years ago? Or are you constantly recycling somewhat out-of-date content? Small Businesses that use content marketing get 126% more leads than those that don’t. Awesome blog posts can seriously boost your SEO. The content is in your brain! Get to writing!
Now where do you start? Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you come up with your plan:
  • What’s my topic? What is your industry talking about? What are the thought leaders in your industry creating?
  • Who is my audience? Where does my audience spend most of their time? Listening to podcasts, headphones in, multitasking? Do they have time to watch a video? Or do they read?
  • What sets my company apart? What do we have to bring to the table? How can we uniquely deliver a message that our audience can benefit from?

Content marketing brings in 3X as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less. This can definitely take some time, but why not start now? If you need more help, feel free to reach out to us! Here are some more articles we have that may help you get started.