How to Build & Run High-Performance, Engaged Remote Teams (part 3)

In part 1 and 2 of this series, we had a look at how emergency WFH during a pandemic is vastly different from intentionally building a remote team, as well as how to define the company DNA, communicate expectations, pick tools & systems that support a sustainable high performance, and some pointers on how to set goals and measure performance. In the third (and last) part of this series, we look at how to nurture well-being and human connection in your remote team, and how to go about talent acquisition.

4. Well-being & human connection

To quote Darcy Boles, Director of Culture and Innovation at TaxJar, here are the main two questions leaders should be asking themselves in 2021 to not only prevent burnout, but to also ensure that their teams feel supported as authentic individuals set up to do their best work:

“Do they have the resources they need to take care of their mental and physical health? Are managers set up for success in support of their team members on a deeply human level?”

Darcy Boles
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Image source: Unsplash

A few simple recommendations here:

  • Allow for flexibility, work-life balance and cut-off times. Especially in remote work, team members need to be able to be ‘done’ with work for the day.
  • Encourage and support (via allotted time, budget) wellness activities & personal development
  • Mix between sync and async to allow for deep/focused work and “life”
  • When you have video calls, mix between cameras on and off to minimize “zoom fatigue”
  • Make space for “watercooler conversation” (examples from Livit: ever changing Donut dates, team hangouts with one rule: don’t talk about work)
  • Replace micro-management & overkill of meetings with planned, thoughtful quality time that builds bonds and trust (facilitated virtual teambuildings, games, etc – here are some resources: Remote Social, Kahoot, Try Mystery, Fishbowl, Codenames , Skribbl.io, Atium, Remo

    5. Talent Acquisition – who is more likely to make a great remote worker & how to find them

In any modern, knowledge-work type for business, you should probably be looking for the following key abilities in a team member. But in a remote team, these are essential. You want: problem-solvers, independent thinkers, good communicators (concise, eloquent and clear in writing and speech), self-drivers (e.g. can manage distractions), people who understand and know how to use the tools & equipment needed, fast learners (ready to learn, unlearn and re-learn).

There are a variety of tools that can help you find and select people like that. Some platforms we use to post remote jobs are: LinkedIn (using Recruiter Lite or Sales Navigator), AngelList, StackOverflow Jobs, GitHub Job, WeWorkRemotely, Just Remote, Remote.co, Remote OK, Arc.dev, Pangian.com, Jobspresso, Remote Tech Jobs; as well as occasionally freelancer platforms like, Toptal, Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, SimplyHired, Aquent, DesignCrowd.

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Image source: Unsplash

For companies working with multiple time zones and an async first environment, you can also employ async video interviewing tools (e.g. Capterra, Astronaut) and AI screening/chat bots. Online skills test/appraisals platforms are equally useful tools when you recruit at scale (e.g. SkillRobo, IMocha, TestDome)

Running a tight ship in a remote or distributed setup is not an easy feat, but it is worth it. And tackling these 5 aspects step by step will get you there. At Livit, we’ve been doing this since “before it was cool”, and we’re always happy to share, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Lavinia

Managing Partner at Livit, #futureofwork enthusiast
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