I am the Senior Manager of Customer Operations at Loadsmart, a logistics solutions provider automating how freight is priced, booked and shipped. Whether through digital brokerage, freight procurement tools, dock scheduling software, truck management software, managed transportation services, freight and network optimization or custom solutions, our shippers and carriers move more with less.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
We are constantly growing. We are currently a team of 38 Loadies of which 2 are supervisors and 36 are customer operations experts in various functions.
Where are your teammates located?
Colombia, El Salvador, Philippines, South Africa, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Pakistan
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
My team is responsible for the day to day operations of our enterprise customer’s shipments. They handle everything from quoting, booking, rescheduling of appointments, issue resolution, processing accessorials, auditing scorecards and ensuring they are providing good service and communication to our customers.
I ensure that we have the right tools, processes and resources in place to provide a great customer experience.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
This is hands down the most important and it goes both ways. We need to trust that everyone is on top of their game and being productive but also ensure the team knows they can talk with you and you will have their backs.
Leading by example is how I do things. I know the ins and outs of not only our internal processes but our customer processes as well. I’m able to jump in and help individuals even before being asked for help. I feel I can’t lead effectively if I don’t know what my team does, what it takes to complete a task or what they are struggling with.
At Loadsmart we live and breathe #clarity. We encourage everyone to ask “why” and I therefore always make this part of my day to day. During training or 1-1s, I always make sure to explain the why behind our different processes. It helps the team not only understand what’s going on but makes them feel included in the bigger scheme of things. It helps them feel empowered to make their own decisions because they have the full context instead of just a piece of it.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections. Strong connections are built with Hailey.
How do you make sure your team is happy and engaged in their work?
We have biweekly 1-1 meetings with everyone where we encourage them to share their ideas for process improvements or potential automations and we build upon those ideas together to then present to our engineers. We also take time to listen to their challenges and try to revert back with solutions as soon as possible. I always end all meetings by asking “Is there anything I can help you with?” and remind them they can Slack or call me any time they want.
I also like to check in on different people throughout the day. Sometimes it’s to share a giphy, meme or digest the latest song released by a certain artist or the latest episode of a TV show. Not everything has to be work all the time and taking a breather to discuss other things really helps keep us connected and develop better relationships.
At Loadsmart we live and breathe #clarity. We encourage everyone to ask “why” and I therefore always make this part of my day-to-day. During training or 1-1s, I always make sure to explain the why behind our different processes. It helps the team not only understand what’s going on but makes them feel included in the bigger scheme of things. It helps them feel empowered to make their own decisions because they have the full context instead of just a piece of it.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
Not being physically present. It would make things so much easier if I could pop by someone’s desk to say hi, help them out or give them tips based on what I see them doing.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
We just recently launched a new initiative called Team Spotlights. As our team continues to grow - especially in different countries - we want to make sure everyone takes the time to get to know each other. Every Monday, a member of our team is introduced via Slack with a flyer that has been curated by them with basic information, their likes/dislikes about specific things and their top 5 playlist, which we’re adding to a Youtube and Spotify playlist for all to enjoy.
No icebreakers per say, but we usually start meetings in a relaxed manner. We spend a few minutes catching up before diving into business.
Products & Tools
We live in Slack. It’s how we communicate day to day. We also share Instagram posts that we find relatable and are now using Youtube and Spotify to curate our own team playlist.
Resources for remote leaders
I use Linkedin and have stumbled upon some great articles on leadership, but what has really helped me grow is being surrounded by a strong circle of friends who are leaders themselves. We’re able to bounce ideas and help each other think outside the box.
Make your company a great place to work
"Adding Hailey has been by far the lowest effort, highest impact thing we’ve done to bring our globally scattered team together!" - Mary Grace Reich