GB Ep 2: How to Successfully Manage a Remote Team and Do 1 on 1 Meetings

Welcome to another edition of Growth Bites. Today we’re talking about how to manage a remote team and do oneon-one meetings. I’ll share some of my tips and tools I like to use to help stay connected with my team and vendors. We’ll also talk about simple ways to maximize your one-on-one meetings and turn them into highly effective talks.

Show Notes:

Part I

  • While working on a technology start-up, 60% of us were remote and subscribe to the 37Signals and WordPress culture. We also use that culture at Single Grain. [1:28]
  • It’s crucial to refine your communication with remote teams and contractors. [2:05]
  • I use HipChat, others use Slack, [2:18] to chat and communicate with my teams. You can set up rooms for marketing calls and different locations to segment your teams. [2:18]
  • I like to combine Zapier and HipChat. Zapier allows your web applications to speak to each other. For example, if someone fills out a web form, Zapier can tell it to automatically fill in the information in a Google spreadsheet. [3:05]
  • Zapier can hook into SalesForce, Evernote, Google spreadsheets and most popular applications. [3:45]
  • We use Zapier to collect new industry blog posts for our HipChat sales room to read like 99U and ZenHabits. [4:25]
  • Set up your video calls on HipChat and share screens. [5:07]
  • Try Squiggle to help establish an office environment. It takes a screenshot every few minutes and click on the image to launch a chat. [5:26]
  • In the beginning, I was worried about Squiggle being too Big Brother, but it really helped develop an office culture and the teams embraced it after some initial reservations. [6:01]
  • We use an internal wiki system to document or processes through Hackpad and it will save automatically into Dropbox. [6:37]
  • We use Google hang-outs and for weekly training sessions. [7:09]
  • My team also relies on 15Five to help scale one-on-one meetings across the organization. Every week it sends each employee and automated list of questions about what they’ve accomplished and how we can improve. Tiny Pulse is another option that offers anonymity to encourage employees to give in-depth feedback. [7:25]
  • To keep your files handy, store your documents and media on Dropbox for Enterprise, Google Drive or Box. [8:39]

Part 2

  • Regardless of the size of your company, it’s very important to have one-on-ones, and I block out most of my Mondays to have them. [9:05]
  • A one-on-one meeting gives your team a chance to share their thoughts and discuss what they’re struggling with. [9:23]
  • Create meaningful dialogue and systems for your one-on-one meetings to come away with new insights. [9:55]
  • As a manager or founder of a company, you probably shouldn’t have more than 8 people reporting to you risk spreading yourself too thin. [10:19]
  • When you go into a one-on-one, make sure both you and your team member have at least 5 questions prepared. [10:40]
  • Keep yourself accountable using a Trello board (or Asana) project management tool and put all of your one-on-one notes in there so things don’t fall through the cracks. [11:26]
  • Follow-up and set due dates to show you’re serious. [11:52]

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