Zzoomm plc - we are a full fibre internet provider, established in 2018. Of nearly 35,000 companies that meet Beauhurst’s high-growth criteria, and nearly 12,000 active companies that have received equity investment, Zzoomm Full Fibre broadband ranked number 37 out of 200 most valuable growth companies in 2021.
My title is Head of Talent - I run all talent initiatives for the company. I joined as employee number 14, we are over 400 today.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
Where are your teammates located?
All across the UK.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
All talent initiatives, diversity and inclusion, reward (benchmarking), systems, processes, gdpr.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
Inclusion is key and the constant need to ensure my team and associated teams are communicated with and in the loop for all company updates and new initiatives as well as progress reporting on existing ones. I ensure the team has a voice and that voice is heard.
Unity in the team is so important, keeping a feeling of a “team” has shifted with remote working. I maintain a working ethic based on excellence and delivery. We are proud of our candidate NPS scores, the positive feedback we receive both externally and internally. Our figures 0 tune to hire, cost of hire etc are communicated and as a team it knits us together to see our collective work having positive effects.
Team time - It’s been a long haul, Covid has had such a major impact on everyone and teamtime and time together for socials and team interaction has been limited. I have run quizzes, cocktail nights, ensured we celebrate team birthdays, special events and when we could we have managed to slip in a couple of bowling trips and one drinks night. Remotely I maintain weekly get togethers, end of week and start of week. We tend to destress at the end of the week together and use the session to share war stories from the week and support each other with challenges or issues. We are collective and collectivism is a winner when you are working remotely.
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 keep close to the team, deal with their day to day challenges and escalations quickly, map out their quarterly objectives which I personalize and align to the overall company strategy. I have a close contact but non micromanagement style. I empower and seek the team's input, advice and inclusion in all aspects of what we do. I reward where I can, track career paths, promote and seek better rewards where I need to and ensure the team is always sure what they should be achieving and what they need to deliver.
I have a close contact but non micromanagement style. I empower and seek the team's input, advice and inclusion in all aspects of what we do.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
Without a doubt the sense of detachment from the overall enterprise. You pick up so many small details that help you to understand a company's direction and culture when you are office based. That has dissipated massively over the last 2 years.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
All of the above!
We don't apart from pub quizzes.
We do, mainly to bond and unite, sharing facts, hobbies, dog stories (we all love dogs), holiday stories, knowledge share (something one of the team knows and is willing to share like wine expertise, secret holiday locations, music facts).
Products & Tools
I have been researching these for a while and cant seem to find any that truly run effectively for a remote team. I would also say we are all missing interaction that isn't just work related. We touch bas eon business issues all day every working day, for our wind down meets I tend to steer the agenda toward anything that isn’t work related. Family, friends, trips (planned!) or great music events we would like to attend. But please pass on any tools that we could look at!
Resources for remote leaders
I love industry specific sites where there is a high degree of free thinking journalism involved. I am a constant learner and feel that to maintain a leadership role you need to be comfortable with multi generational workforces, diversity and transparency in the workplace and have a real focus onto emotional well being. I am presently back in Uni studying a Henley business school course and feel upskilling and constant learning are keys to being an effective leader.
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