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Girl, we’ve got a treat for you! We’re sharing a special, inside look at our multi-million dollar remote team structure! From hiring the right team members and creating an awesome team culture to onboarding systems and our favorite tools and platforms, we are spilling it all…

You’re in the right place if you’re looking to learn:

  • How to hire the right team members for your remote company
  • How to create a simple and streamlined onboarding system 
  • Tactics to empower your team members to take ownership over their roles and make decisions on their own
  • How to develop a remote team culture 
  • Our favorite tools and platforms for global remote team communication 

Bring your dreams, grab a notepad, hang on tight, and get ready to keep on readin’, chica!

But first, why build a remote team?

Having a remote team will free up your time so that you can work on more ideas and projects that move the needle on growing your company! It will also help you have the capacity to implement more projects and have the flexibility to take time off knowing that your business will continue running without you! 

Also, let’s be real, who doesn’t love work-life balance?

Here are a few ways our remote team has impacted our lives & business…

  • We can completely disconnect and spend time with family and friends while our business runs without us
  • Shay was able to take a one-month medical leave
  • As the CEO and COO, we take off 5 days every month to refresh and recharge 
  • We regularly take time away from our business to hold content retreats to produce amazing new products for our community!
  • Our business has an increased capacity to DO more – from marketing to customer service, new product development and more!

While we’re offline or disconnected, our company doesn’t just maintain itself…it continues to move forward!

Our team is equipped with the tools they need and the confidence to make decisions on their own to make sure everything gets done just as if we were still working!

Sounds like a dream, right?

But this isn’t how it always was… 

It’s taken LOTS of time, energy and learning things the hard way to get where we are today – growing our own remote team and multi-million dollar business!

Speaking of learning things the hard way, today we’re going to cover 6 things you need to start building, managing, and growing your OWN remote team so that you can be on the fast track to remote team success! 😉

1. Creating Your Remote Team Structure

Systems + People

It’s not just about systems efficiency, you need to be intentional with the PEOPLE using them! Your team members are human which means that they have different personalities, strengths, and learning styles.

The sweet spot? Amazing Systems + Amazing Team Members

Take the time to create amazing systems, while intentionally hiring amazing team members. 

THIS is going to set your company up for success running your own remote team and it’s the foundation for the rest of the tips below!

Treating our team to a spa day during a team retreat in Whistler, Canada

2. Creating a Remote Team Culture

We used to think that team culture wasn’t a big deal. After all, we just wanted someone to execute the task exactly the way we wanted it, right?

Spoiler alert: wrong!

As a remote team, communication is oh-so important! 

The key? Develop a team culture that attracts and retains those awesome people who have the personality, values, AND skills you’re looking for!

What is team culture? 

Team culture is the dynamic between humans and is influenced by the leaders of the company. It’s the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors shared by your team. 

It’s also how people work together towards the company goals and how team members treat each other!

Why is team culture important? 

A good company culture is one where your team members are empowered to make decisions on their own in their areas of ownership. It’s also where your team members collaborate, share knowledge, and support each other towards the common goals of the company!

Without a foundation and focus on building company culture, you need an abundance of heavy, precise rules, and processes. It leads to a permission-seeking based culture with no ownership. Not good, chica!

When your team culture is strong, trust exists and your team members will do the right thing. It also creates an autonomous environment, which is key to successfully running a remote team!

Our Team Culture:

  • Work-life balance
  • Travel and exploring new cultures
  • Feels like family
  • Positive and upbeat
  • Giving back a sense of altruism 
  • People enjoying their work and JOY
  • Education and personal development

3. Implementing A Hiring Process

Team Building vs. Cheap Outsourcing:

Forming a successful team is going to require you to leave behind cheap outsourcing. If you’re just looking for someone to be mindlessly checking off a tasklist, by all means outsource.

If you’re looking to scale your company, you’re going to have to build a team that is all in on helping you achieve that…But, it’s not going to be for $5/hour.

Let’s be clear, though. We’re not saying you’re going to have to break the bank! You just need to be more intentional about your hiring process.

But, who should you hire first?

Before we get into how to hire the right person to build your remote team, you need to first figure out what role you need to hire for. 

The goal? Free up your time so that you can focus on the projects and tasks that actually move the needle forward for your business!

A simple exercise to help:

Step 1: Create a list of all the tasks (big and small) that you do in a week’s period

Step 2: Next to each item, give the task a rank between 1-3. (1 being the tasks that are the most valuable to your business!)

Step 3: The tasks ranked #3 should be your first hire(s)!

Starting to build, manage, and grow your own remote team? Here are six tips and strategies for you to successfully grow your own remote team...

The Remote Hiring Process:

This is the system we’ve used to find the right personality, values, and skillset fit to hire really awesome team members!

Create a job posting page:

Be clear on what you’re looking for and what you’re NOT looking for. Talk about your company’s culture too!

Create a solid application:

Our two biggest tips for creating a solid application are:

  • Include questions that will help you easily “weed people out”. 
  • Include sections in the application where you can ask them to demonstrate their skills for the role. 

For example: When hiring for a Social Media Manager, ask a potential candidate to write a few sample social media posts to demonstrate their skills.

Additionally, we always ask for a mandatory video application that is three minutes or less about a potential candidate’s expertise and what they have to bring to the role! 

Conducting Your Interviews:

We recommend holding no more than 5 interviews for a position. Your application should be doing the heavy work!

Start the interview off by making your potential hire feel comfortable, talking about the company, culture, and expectations for the role. Then, move into getting to know them. This section is all about finding out if they’re the right personality fit and if their values and goals align with what you’re looking for in the role!

Ask questions to learn:

  • Who they are
  • What their values are
  • If they have ever previously worked for a remote company
  • Where they see themselves in five years

Next, you’ll want to see if they fit your company! Ask questions like what they think makes your company stand out from other companies. Have them describe their ideal team member, who they are, and how they prefer to communicate.

Lastly, make sure the applicant fits your role. Here, you’ll want to ask specific questions that relate to the exact skills you are looking for.

Torn between two candidates? Create a test project as a final interview. Give the same assignment to both candidates and hire based on those results.

Our Remote Team Roles:

Curious what roles we have on our own remote team? Here’s a quick list of roles we’ve hired for within the past few years!

  • Customer Service Manager
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Content Writer
  • Tech Strategist
  • Facebook Ads Team
  • Google Ads Team
  • Website Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

4. Create Onboarding Systems

What is onboarding? 

So, you just hired a team member, but what are they actually doing on a day-to-day basis? Do they understand how your company operates? Communicates? Delivers work? 

This is what an onboarding system is designed to do in the most efficient way possible. 

The goal of onboarding? Get your new team member familiar with how your company operates and what the expectations are for their role.

Why is onboarding helpful?

Onboarding systems mitigate wasted time you’re paying for by having a plan of action in place to get your new team member into their role and producing work right away. 

It also helps your team members get to know the other team members, discover how their roles fit in with the rest of the company, and introduces them to company culture and communication style. 

Onboarding systems decrease the chances of you just throwing a bunch of random tasks at them and turning them into task rabbits.

With an intentional onboarding plan in place prior to hiring, you’re able to create a pathway to success for each of your team members!

Questions to ask yourself when you’re creating your own onboarding system:

  • Do you have a project management system that your team member needs to know how to use?
  • How do you want your team members to communicate with each other?
  • What are your expectations for their role?
  • What is your training plan for getting them to execute tasks on their own?
  • Do they need a period of time to become familiar with your products and services?
Starting to build, manage, and grow your own remote team? Here are six tips and strategies for you to successfully grow your own remote team...
An example of our onboarding system organization in Google Drive

Tools for organizing your onboarding system:

Here are a few of our favorite tools for creating and organizing our onboarding system:

  • Google Drive: organize all of your onboarding docs in one place (free!)
  • Loom: easily record screencasts & training videos (free!)
  • Trainual: an advanced platform for hosting your onboarding system

5. Giving Ownership

What is “ownership” when it comes to team members? 

When giving ownership to remote team members, you are giving them ownership over the result and the path to get there. 

To set your team members up for success, clearly communicate what the result is you’re looking for, but allow your team member to get there!

Be sure to communicate what the measurement and goal of the task or project is so that they know what they’re working towards. Hold your team members accountable to that metric, and let them know that it’s their responsibility to get there. Challenge them to rise up!

Why is ownership key to building a successful remote team?

When running a remote team, it is very likely that your team members will be in different time zones. Because of this, communication is likely to drag out, delaying tasks and projects. When you give ownership, you are taking away the micromanaging that many CEOs fall into!

Also, when your team members are challenged and they accomplish something, they’ll feel more confident and valued in their role.

How do you give ownership to team members? 

You can give ownership to your remote team members through clear communication, expectations, goals, and feedback loops!

Starting to build, manage, and grow your own remote team? Here are six tips and strategies for you to successfully grow your own remote team...
An example of our feedback loop in Asana for writing Student Spotlight blog posts

Feedback Loop: What is it and how is it helpful? 

A feedback loop is where you assign a project or task, your team member hits a milestone, and then you review their work to provide feedback. You do not make the changes. Put it back on the team member to implement your feedback and go forward from there!

The expectation is that your team members are working towards the result and they have ownership. However, you’re still their leader and mentor who provides feedback and guidance so they know if they’re actually getting the result you want!

Starting to build, manage, and grow your own remote team? Here are six tips and strategies for you to successfully grow your own remote team...
A team call with some of our remote team members on Zoom

6. Communicate Clearly

Communication is insanely important for your remote team. In a traditional office, you can just pop into your co-workers office and have a chat. However, when it comes to remote teams, most of your team is likely working alone, in an entirely different location, or even in a different time zone!

Our Favorite Remote Team Communication Tools:

  • Asana: Project Management, for projects, tasks & deadlines
  • Zoom: Video-chat calls to build connection & host meetings
  • Slack: For daily conversational-style communication as a team
  • Loom: Screen-sharing videos to eliminate one-on-one meetings
  • Google Drive: Document hub to communicate plans, strategies etc.
Starting to build, manage, and grow your own remote team? Here are six tips and strategies for you to successfully grow your own remote team...
Our team uses Slack for daily conversational-style communication

Choosing Your Communication Structure:

When creating your remote team’s communication structure, be sure to set clear communication boundaries, expectations, and working hours while taking into consideration different communication and personality styles.

For example, for our remote team, this means we respond to Slack messages within 24 hours, however everyone works during their own working hours.

Our meeting structure generally looks like this:

  • 1 weekly team meeting
  • One-on-one meetings with all team members each week
  • Recurring monthly meetings
  • Quarterly growth trajectory meetings

Want additional remote team resources?!

Ready to step your remote team game up even more? Here are our favorite resources we’ve used to help us successfully build & run a remote team:

Building a remote team is SO exciting and can help your business grow exponentially, however, it requires a lot of hard work!

But, at the end of the day, just remember to trust your team members, give grace when mistakes happen, create systems, and hire the right people!

Before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by a team full of people who believe in and love your business just as much as you!

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We’re Cassie & Shay, best friends & co-founders of the Bucketlist Bombshells. We help women like you create a career full of passion and purpose, because showing up to work every day in the same cubicle to tackle a monotonous to-do list is enough to make some of us miserable...

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