I’m the head of marketing at Hubstaff, a workforce management and productivity software platform.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
The marketing team is 21 members strong, and we’ve just grown our total Hubstaffer number to 100 .
Where are your teammates located?
We are distributed across the globe residing in 28 countries.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
The marketing team focuses on digital marketing mainly. Our two most vital channels are content and SEO, so we produce a lot of meaningful articles, guides, videos, you name it. While providing value to distributed teams, we also end up in search results because people are looking for it. We look to search engine tools consistently to learn what people are looking for and what information would help them run and grow their business. We also are a curious group that gets excited with the prospect of trying new things, so we’re constantly testing out different tactics across channels to find traction.
I’m responsible for team growth and development in addition to the marketing portfolio.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
Default to asynchronous communication so everyone can be included in the conversation. This also makes people think more deeply and intentionally when drafting a message or scheduling a meeting.
Make work fun, and get personal. We have monthly team fun hours, quarterly virtual retreats, and annual in-person getaways that Hubstaff fully sponsors. We have Friday Pub Trivia, run clubs, #what-to-read channels, and many more ways to connect and get to know our team members from diverse backgrounds worldwide.
Camera-on is nice, but we don’t make it mandatory. Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and besides that, it’s essential to be mindful and respectful of others’ needs for privacy.
Have a visible leadership team. The crew wants to see, hear, and read from those who are steering the ship. We have quarterly all-hands calls that are not required but are recorded. Our founders discuss wins, vision and congratulate individuals for achievements.
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?
Every team lead has 1:1’s with each team member weekly or biweekly. The team member sets the tone and agenda for this call. If there’s time left, the manager will make sure to ask how it’s going, if there are any roadblocks, anything they can do to help.
We have a talented team with different backgrounds, skill sets, and interests. We leverage that by having everyone participate in roadmap planning. The team appreciates this, and they get to work on projects they designed and/or want to be a part of.
Have a visible leadership team. The crew wants to see, hear, and read from those who are steering the ship.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
It can be hard to tell if someone is happy with their work, which is super important as a whole. So we try to create a comfortable, safe environment where team members can bring up concerns with their team lead, HR, or anonymously through Officevibe if they prefer. We let them know we care about their happiness and hope to improve the situation if possible.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
Friday #pub-trivia on Slack
Monthly marketing team calls - some sessions have talked about Netflix, brought children and pets to a Zoom call, etc.
Quarterly company-wide virtual retreats - games, cooking classes, tours of cities where teammates live, healthy lifestyle consultants. Here's a video of our 2020 virtual retreat. We recently had a great mini one-day marketing team retreat and used this company for an escape room; it was a great time!
Annual in-person retreats to Portugal, Cancun, Chicago, and the Dominican Republic in February
Escape rooms - big hit
Discord Games Lab - very popular, we have these on Thursdays now but they originated during a virtual retreat
Pub trivia - so popular we do this weekly now
Find something within arm’s reach to show to the team and talk about.
Products & Tools
Officevibe for feedback and great insightful metrics on morale, leadership, etc.
Resources for remote leaders
I learn alot from the co-founder and my boss, Dave. He built Hubstaff in 2012 out of the need to manage a remote team more efficiently, so he’s been at this for a long time! He’s written a ton of articles on remote team leadership and even a book. That’s actually how I came to apply to my job here, I was a follower on LinkedIn and saw the posting.
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