I am Head of Content for Boats Group. Our brands include Boat Trader, YachtWorld and boats.com. I manage a team of freelancers - from marine journalists who write about and review boats for a living, to videographers, photographers, editors, influencers and content creators who cover the wide world of boating and boat culture across the country and around the world.
Tell us about your team!
How big is it?
At any given time we have between 10 - 25 people working on our editorial content projects every month.
Where are your teammates located?
We have contributors in 50 states across the US and in countries around the globe. We work with long-distance sailors, captains and live-aboard boaters who write yachting lifestyle and boat cruising guides for our blogs, from the Philippines to the United Kingdom, California to Florida and New England to The Bahamas.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
Our teams cover the marine industry, from how-to-style, 101-educational boating articles to lifestyle editorials and detailed boat reviews. We work with boat builders to test and sea trial new model boats and we film a lot of on-the-water action to produce boat videos for boat shoppers and boating enthusiasts that aid them in their research when they’re searching for the perfect boat to buy for their purposes.
We also produce documentary-style, episodic video series around different boating niches, subcultures and topics, including Factory Fridays from boats.com that tours our nation’s boat building facilities, Stomping Grounds for Boat Trader that tours the wide variety of boat culture across America, and YachtWorld Legends that explores the world’s biggest, most extreme super yachts.
What are the components of a strong remote culture?
Having a flexible schedule (at all hours, since people are in different time zones), being adaptive and digitally savvy (i.e. able to hop from Zoom to Google Hangouts or Skype to Facetime, etc with ease), remaining sensitive to people’s personal time (when they are “off the clock”), having regularly scheduled weekly meetings (or team “syncs”) and having a full suite of mobile communication and online collaboration tools at our disposal (Google Docs, Slack, Sprout Social, Zoom, etc.).
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?
Weekly check-ins and regular status reports are key. We've created an environment where people feel free to share what is on their mind, and give positive, constructive feedback.
I also set goals for our contributors and freelance teams to achieve each month, and if we don’t get there, we look at why and what we can change. Sometimes we have to reassess our goals, priorities, workload and specific roles.
Weekly check-ins and regular status reports are key.
What's your biggest challenge as a remote leader?
The same as any leader - keeping the team focused and achieving the objectives and goals of the business. I feel my biggest challenge is time management and making the most of the hours in a day. We have a huge output and keeping our tasks prioritized and organized across different programs, platforms, and channels is fundamental to meeting that challenge. A good system of tracking KPIs and other relevant metrics is also important.
My Remote Manager Toolbox
We do virtual happy hours, group calls, and games. We’ve also done group watching parties for YouTube video premieres that we’re releasing which is a fun way for everyone to watch something together. And we’ve done live Q&As on Instagram and Facebook as well.
Some of the team meets for a weekly trivia hour.
Yes, sometimes a quick joke or to show someone the boat I’m on or I share a fun video we worked on to get people talking and opening up.