I work at ApplyBoard as Manager, Sales Training and Performance. I run a team that empowers ApplyBoard’s global sales force to achieve better sales outcomes through customized training and content.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
My team is currently made up of six rockstars; four of them take care of training and facilitation and two are responsible for performance and impact measurement. The broader Sales Enablement team is about twenty. Just like the rest of the ApplyBoard organization, we are on a hyper growth and scale up mode. Wanna join us? Check out the job openings!
Where are your teammates located?
My teammates are in different parts of Ontario, Canada and in India. That being said, my team works as an extension of the Sales Team which is located in every part of the world. Most of the team was hired remotely during the pandemic; however, recently, we have adopted a more hybrid structure.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
My team provides the sales teams with the skills, tools, and resources to facilitate their peak performance and continuous improvement. We create a unified ecosystem that promotes sales learning and growth. The team utilizes data insights to drive decisions and develop strategy for increasing ROI to measure impact of our initiatives.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
I’d say being human is crucial; kindness travels even through the screen!
Remote work has blurred the lines between work and life. I see it as a welcome change that we‘re becoming more accepting of the realness of having children and pets around as we work. I am a huge believer in providing a safe space and flexibility to allow inclusive and diverse ideas to be welcomed and embraced.
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?
To ensure happiness and engagement, I make sure I lead with love. It works if we’re genuinely invested in the team's well-being and promote transparency, compassion and kindness. I make sure we celebrate small wins, both at work and in life. Having an open door policy and great communication has never been as important. When working remotely, it is important to be flexible and agile. Being considerate of the non-verbal cues and having an open door policy has worked for me and my team. We are super ambitious but also make sure we are always there for each other.
I make sure I lead with love. It works if we’re genuinely invested in the team's well-being and promote transparency, compassion and kindness.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
I am someone who feeds on human interaction. I work the best when collaborating in person where you can see me crack lame jokes and laugh out loud. The biggest challenge has been building a similar level of comfort, trust and credibility virtually.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
Over the last year, my team has done in-person lunches or hikes whenever safe enough to do so. At times, we organize happy-hours and tea-time chats to ooze out work pressure through informal discussion. We had a virtual comedy show organized at lunch hour. We dedicate time during the weekly Sales Enablement meetings to discuss new skills we learn with the team. My team is pretty close-knit, we love to have fun together. I organize virtual dance parties with my teammates’ kids (I call it “Joy’s dance parties”).
ApplyBoard as an organisation sets up games and events. Those range from Disney trivia to treasure hunts, to fantasy football and cultural events. There are multiple fun and learning events organized by different clubs at the company, so I didn’t need to set separate ones.
Yes! At times, when we’re launching a new project or we feel that the team needs a morale boost, we do include icebreakers. The most effective has been the one when the team shared pictures and stories from our travels and lessons we learned staying at home during the pandemic.
Products & Tools
More than using tools/products, I focus on fundamental elements. I believe team-bonding and community-building happens not just during one-off events, it is continuous and always in action. Real culture is how collaborative, considerate and compassionate we are as a unit. I make sure I promote trust and compassion to create an environment where people can be themselves and be respected for that.
Resources for remote leaders
Yeah, there are plenty! ApplyBoard organizes special monthly training for leaders called Leader-beat where ideas, skills and tools for better management are shared. We create internal podcasts and organize fireside chats with leaders to learn from their stories and experience. There are also live sessions with external experts to talk about varied leadership skills. I found one on “how to provide feedback” super useful. In addition, there are great courses on LinkedIn learning and some amazing books on leadership that helped me grow, conscious leadership, dare to lead,and good to great are a few I enjoyed reading.
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