I run marketing for our events department. Every year, we typically produce 3-4 large scale conferences. Last year, we had to shift to be fully virtual. However, next week we are producing our first in-person event since 2019. We’re hosting our 6th annual Future of Fintech in NYC.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
6 people including myself; 2 Event producers, 2 event editors and 1 head of sponsorships
Where are your teammates located?
NYC and NJ
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
We are small, but mighty team within the larger CB Insights organization. We produce 3 large-scale conferences, have our own P&L and bring in revenue for the company, and provide an opportunity for people around the world to learn and network.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
Luckily, 5 of us had worked together in person prior to covid so we had a lot of rapport going in. We are all individual contributors for the most part and have to hold ourselves accountable for our work. We have 3 team check-ins during the week, as well as a few smaller 1:1s, but overall we have limited meetings which everyone appreciates. This is due to the trust we have built over time.
I’ve spoken with friends who are on Zoom meetings all day. That sounds so miserable and I’m grateful we don’t have that.
To me, one of the silver linings of being remote is that you can use your breaks to do what you really want to do whether that be taking a walk, knocking out some quick errands, calling a friend, etc instead of having to be stuck in your office. This allows for a recharge throughout each day.
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?
Frequent check-ins and asking them “how are you really doing”; encouraging boundaries and time off.
I think everyone on the team has gone through at least one period of feeling burned out, but we’re honest about it, take breaks, and help each other out.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
I miss team lunches and the walks that we used to do together. I think everyone on the team has gone through at least one period of feeling burned out, but we’re honest about it, take breaks, and help each other out.
Events are very cyclical so it can get really really busy in the weeks leading up to an event so I will be encouraging everyone to take PTO. But there is also a much quieter period during the earlier part of an event.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
We got to meet up and see the venue where we hosting our in person event and then get lunch as a team. It was so nice to see everyone after such a long time.
We have played Commonology together which is a lot like Family Feud, but for friends/colleagues.
At the beginning of the pandemic we did apartment tours and showed each other our favorite things.
Products & Tools
We just started using Slack Huddles and think it’s a good new addition.
I've used it as a way to have a quick, low-key convo with team members without the added pressure of video. You can leave huddles on throughout the day and it more closely mimics just being near someone.
Resources for remote leaders
I have a 1:1 leadership coach and am reading the book The Effective Manager.
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