I am the Customer Academy Manager here at Postscript and am currently building the processes and flows for our Academy team, assisting with Onboarding initiatives, and creating/driving content for our Customer Academy initiatives (Academy, Help Center, Video Channel, Webinars).
How big is it?
Postscript is just over 200 employees. The Academy team is still quite small! It’s just myself (Academy Manager) and one other (Technical Writer). We are currently housed under the Onboarding department, which has another team of 4 members (3 onboarding specialists and the Director of Onboarding).
Where are your teammates located?
All over the US! We work remotely.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
The Customer Academy team serves as a “Digital CSM" (Customer Success Manager) for all Postscript customers and helps to drive “touchless” customers to revenue success with Postscript while also supporting ongoing continued education on Postscript features, use cases, and strategy. We partner with teams including Onboarding, Customer Support, Customer Success, Marketing, and others to pinpoint content needs and deliver high-quality content. We are a hub for all educational and learning content related to Postscript.
Trust and open communication are two of the most important components of a strong remote culture. It’s really important that people are able to trust each other as partners who each bring a great amount of strength to the table, recognize that everyone is ultimately on the same team and going after the same mission, and keep communication flowing so everyone can find and stay on the same page together.
These components are important for any strong work culture but can be especially challenging when working remotely. While we have Zoom, Slack, and other platforms to keep us connected, it isn’t the same as being in-person where you can properly read people’s micro-expressions and pick up on the nuances of their gestures and energy. Because of this challenge, it is even more crucial in a remote environment to bring trust to the table and keep a strong team mentality.
I do my best to make every interaction a positive one or result in a positive outcome. This includes harder conversations with constructive feedback (growth opportunities). I make it a point to connect/engage in some positive way on a daily basis, which goes a long way in helping people feel connected, bonded, and supported. I have found that even constructive conversations go smoother and feel better when there’s a positive and trusting relationship established. Engagement and productivity are highest when morale is high and connections are strong.
To the point of feedback, I also encourage the open and fearless expression of thoughts and feedback with an understanding that we are all in this together, and we need to help each other build and grow if we want to be successful even if sometimes that means saying hey - this needs to be better. Remember that the people on the other side of the screen are humans, we are all doing our best, and it’s important that every individual feels heard.
I’ve also found that it’s incredibly important for leaders to immerse themselves in with their team members. If I have a piece of feedback to share, it’s far more impactful if I’ve shown that I am right there with them in the weeds. Be a “doer” not just a “teller.”
Finally, recognition is huge. I celebrate contributions and accomplishments regularly to build trust and morale. A key element of employee retention is feeling appreciated.
Remember that the people on the other side of the screen are humans, we are all doing our best, and it’s important that every individual feels heard.
I don’t have the ability to see how my team is doing as I would in an office environment and pick up on non-verbal signs of nearing burnout like a big sigh while working, or rubbing temples, for example. Those things are done off-camera in remote environments. This makes it critical that I put in the extra effort to regularly temperature check my team and gauge how my team is feeling.
Trust comes into play here too - if someone isn’t comfortable with their leader, they are going to be reluctant to share when they are feeling anything negative.
Postscript is great about hosting company-wide interactive remote events, spur-of-the-moment games like Pictionary, and supports team-level bonding events like designing a succulent arrangement together over a Zoom meeting.
I have also hosted “game breaks” during team meetings in which I tie Postscript in with the game somehow, for example, an alien landed and you have to describe Postscript to them using only symbols.
Pictionary-style games and trivia (we explore different platforms rather than sticking to just one) are definitely popular winners.
We use icebreakers if someone is new on the team. A classic and popular question has been, “what is your favorite ice cream flavor?” - sometimes the answer sparks controversy or intrigue!
We are still working on getting more platforms in place to help with these efforts. Right now, Zoom is a go-to for team building. We also have a channel in Slack where we can share company-wide shoutouts for great work which goes far in morale-boosting.
A few of my favorites:
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