I also truly believe that being empathetic is also critical! WiFi networks go down, dogs bark in the background, children need to be cared for. It’s important to understand that in a fully remote environment, these things happen and accommodating your team as best as possible will definitely promote a stronger working culture. I also like to add some fun to the mix.
I’m the Lifecycle Marketing Manager at Teachable. I create strategies and project plans for Teachable’s biggest campaigns during the year in an effort to attract new creators to our platform and educate current creators on how to grow their online course business. We’ve done a lot of cool campaigns during my time at Teachable, including online events and challenges. We’re always coming up with new ideas and working with different creators on turning these ideas into 360-degree experiences for our audience!
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
I always tell people that my team is small but mighty. It’s true. We’re a team of three that creates strategies for campaigns that are seen by tens of thousands of people worldwide, and develops project plans involving well over 30 employees across different departments. We’re looking to grow the team (and company) even more this year! Check out all Teachable open roles here.
Where are your teammates located?
My teammates are located in New York City but we’ve been working remotely for as long as I’ve been at Teachable (two years already), so we’ve been working from places like Barbados, Italy, Miami, and more. Despite the location, we still maintain frequent communication on Slack throughout the day and we’re a really close team overall.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
Our goal is to provide the right experiences to our audience no matter where they are on their course creation journey. Once a person creates a Teachable account, we help them step-by-step with creating their online course so they’re well-equipped for success. During their experience, we offer them different opportunities to gain diverse knowledge on what they could do with their course business.
For example, our popular Launch Accelerator Challenge walks creators through how to create a course ready for pre-sell in 30 days or less, so they can start earning money as they’re working on their course content. It’s amazing to see the diverse course topics out there! We have courses on topics such as sour-dough making, hand lettering, graphic design, and more. I’m still trying to nail down what my course idea should be so I can join these successful creators!
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
One of the most important components of building and maintaining a strong remote culture is understanding your team’s working styles. While one person may prefer to hop on a call to talk things through, another may prefer a Slack message instead. I also truly believe that being empathetic is also critical! WiFi networks go down, dogs bark in the background, children need to be cared for. It’s important to understand that in a fully remote environment, these things happen and accommodating your team as best as possible will definitely promote a stronger working culture. I also like to add some fun to the mix. My team has the perfect balance of professional and casual and I think we really do enjoy those moments where we can truly be ourselves, share some laughs, and talk about our favorite Netflix shows.
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 have weekly check-ins with my team where we go through the projects they’re currently working on and if it sounds like they have some bandwidth to take on extra work, I’ll ask them what other projects they want to learn more about and get involved in.
My team knows this, but I keep it very real with them and let them know that they are allowed to tell me when they’re not enjoying something they’re doing, or when they’re stressed out. We encourage each other to take screen breaks, go on walks when the weather is nice, have a proper lunch break, you get the idea.
We have a fun gif culture and love to express ourselves in gifs. Our favorite one has to be the one of a cat rapidly typing on a laptop. It’s one we can relate to on most days of the week!
I also love to challenge my team whenever I can. If someone approaches me with an issue or question, I’ll ask them what they think we should do before giving them my response. Great solutions usually come from asking your team for their ideas, so I value these learning moments with them.
I keep it very real with them and let them know that they are allowed to tell me when they’re not enjoying something they’re doing, or when they’re stressed out. We encourage each other to take screen breaks, go on walks when the weather is nice, have a proper lunch break, you get the idea.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
It would probably be maintaining a work-life balance. We have certain campaign periods that are busier than others and I’ll see my team working past our regular hours. It’s important for me to tell them to sign off and continue the next day. To help balance that out, I also encourage my team to take time off, especially after these busy periods. Teachable has a very generous vacation policy (unlimited vacation days, another reason to work here).
My Remote Manager Toolbox
We’ve done happy hours with the whole department during the days we go to the office. We’re mostly remote but do make it a point to do something after work on days we do go into the office! In the past, we’ve had department-wide virtual events where we’d break into teams and play a game online. Definitely need to bring those back!
We’ve played a few! Some of our favorite ones are Codenames, Pictionary, and Scattergories.
We haven’t done icebreakers but we do like to talk about how we spent our weekends. Since we’re NYC-based, it’s fun to share the many events and activities happening in the city on the weekend and see who did what!
Products & Tools
I’m really happy that Teachable incorporated a recognition program where each employee has 100 points to give out to colleagues per month to show their appreciation them. The points can be used to redeem gift cards and discounts on things like Amazon, Airbnb, amusement park tickets, and more! I always run out of points early in the month because my team works with so many people on a daily basis who are complete life-savers and I always want to give them immediate gratification!
Resources for remote leaders
My company enrolled me in a ThinkHuman leadership program alongside a few other colleagues, so I’m really looking forward to that! I also have really great mentors in my life who have helped me transition into my leadership role.
During my first year and a half at Teachable, I was blessed with two AMAZING direct managers in my team who literally took me under their wing and taught me everything they knew. This really accelerated my career growth as they trusted me with a lot of important (and big) projects and helped me develop a strategy-oriented mindset. I really can’t thank Melissa and Lauren enough!
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