I do everything I can to enable my team to make better health choices, reduce stress, and regularly meet with them 1:1 to catch up and stay in tune with how they are feeling. I love learning about my team as people.
I work for Axle Payments. We are the all-in-one financial provider for freight brokerages. My title is Senior Sales Manager. My core responsibilities are to develop winning sales strategies, cultivate an amazing team culture, optimize our sales process, and more!
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
On my team I have:
2 Sales Managers
1 Sales Coordinator
4 Sales Development Representative
7 Account Executives
Where are your teammates located?
I have team members in the following states:
Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Kentucky, California, and Colorado.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
The components of a strong remote culture are engagement, meaningful recognition and praise, wellness, and of course, great communication!
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?
I make sure my remote team is happy and engaged by supporting them to feel good about what they do at work and at home. I do everything I can to enable them to make better health choices, reduce stress, and regularly meet with them 1:1 to catch up and stay in tune with how they are feeling. I love learning about my team as people. What do they like to do for hobbies? What motivates them? Once I know what they enjoy, it makes it easier to offer incentives and help encourage them to do these activities as much as they can outside of working hours.
The biggest challenge as a remote leader is personally connecting with each individual on the team. When in office you’re constantly engaging and learning about one another not only professionally but also personally. Body language and tone of voice are so important when trying to communicate effectively and understand an individual’s true feelings. It’s so important to always assume best intentions!
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
The biggest challenge as a remote leader is personally connecting with each individual on the team. When in office you’re constantly engaging and learning about one another not only professionally but also personally. Body language and tone of voice are so important when trying to communicate effectively and understand an individual’s true feelings. It’s so important to always assume best intentions! I use a lot of emojis when communicating in writing to convey tone and video calls are a game changer for insuring a message is delivered and received in the best possible way.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
We love team building activities! We do bi-weekly happy hours, quarterly in-person offsites, Monday morning gas up meetings to kick off the week on a positive note. We collectively came up with creative names for our team and voted on them. We are called the Wolves of Haulstreet and so naturally we call our morning Monday meetings Wolf Howls. I create a new prompt every week. Some examples are:
Attitidute of Grattitude: Each person names one thing they are grateful for today and why
Share the sales love: Old school popcorn style (like in gradeschool) each person picks one representative they admire or that went above and beyond recently for them. They talk about what they admire about that person. Then that person picks another representative and does the same. You cannot pick someone who has already been picked! So everyone feels the love.
Collaboration Nation: Each representative shares an instance where someone from another department really impressed them. I like to know the context of the situation and why it made such a difference for the representative. Even though the other person isn’t there to hear the feedback, it fosters further collaboration between departments and shows that it doesn’t always need to be just sales helping sales.
We love escape rooms, pictionary, and code names! All which can be played online and with many participants.
Absolutely! My favorites are:
2 Truths & a Lie. This one is a fun way to get to know one another!
Attitude of Gratitude. Each person shares something they are grateful for.
Wins and Learnings. I love starting a meeting with the team sharing any wins and learnings they had from the previous week. Positivity is key and it allows each person an opportunity to share the good things they accomplished.
Products & Tools
We use HiThrive and Donut applications. HiThrive is integrated with our internal messaging system, Slack. It allows anyone on the team to send a public shoutout to anyone in the organization. It encourages collaboration across departments and, of course, teamwork! Our team members love receiving and giving out shoutouts when others demonstrate one of our core values. During our offsite meetings we will tally up all the shoutouts and give awards to those who received the most shoutouts in each values category.
Donut is an application that randomly pairs two team members together and provides an icebreaker for them to meet on a video link and get the conversation going! It’s a really great way for each of us to get to know others in different departments and helps you feel connected with everyone in the organization. Each Donut meeting typically lasts around 15 mins. Once you are done, Donut prompts you to say something nice about the person you met with and will randomly send them the nice message in the coming days. It’s so fun!
Resources for remote leaders
Yes! I took an incredibly helpful leadership coaching class with Mariela Delamora. She was such an integral part of my success when transitioning from an individual contributor to a leadership role. I truly loved working with her!
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