There are times when people are surprised by the type of business I’m in. In fact, someone in my Vistage group said this past week, “Twenty years ago, I would have never thought anything like Rachel’s business would exist!” It’s funny to me because it’s all I have known for the past 12 years. I can’t imagine going back to a regular in-office day job. (Honestly, that would be my worst nightmare!)
I am grateful for the opportunity to work from home and even more thankful for our team at #Strella. Everything we do is built around our core values. From determining how we select candidates for roles on the team to measuring success for our clients, our core values are central to our operations.
People often ask me what it’s like running a remote company. They wonder how we communicate and what our culture is like. So, I thought I would answer some of those burning questions!
How Does Our Remote Team Communicate?
We collaborate primarily through email and Trello, an online project management tool. We use Trello for assigning responsibilities and tracking progress on assignments. Project coordination and questions are handled through email or by adding notes to “cards” within Trello. We also use Google Docs for our editorial planning and our clients' content and asset development. With so many of us contributing (planning, writing content, proofreading, scheduling, etc.), it’s extremely important that our team members know the progress of projects.
Another way we communicate is through quarterly Zoom meetings with the entire team and monthly meetings with our core team (a.k.a., our “Boots on the Ground”). We also have quarterly check-ins with each contractor to ensure they are satisfied with their responsibilities. At those check-ins, we also discuss how we might give them more support and resources and how we can improve their experience working with us.
What Is Our Culture Like?
Working with #Strella means not only providing impeccable attention to our clients but also receiving attention as an appreciated team member. We view our team as our first and primary clients, and we value their input and prioritize their general well-being. As “a #Strella,” our team members are part of a dynamic and supportive work environment that encourages freedom and professional growth.
Most of our team came on board as a result of personal relationships that led to a professional connection. For example, one of our community managers was a previous contestant on a TV show we do social media management for. As you can see, we take our core value of relationships seriously!
While our company’s team is comprised wholly of remote workers spread out across North America, our culture is anything but scattered! Our multi-generational team members live in different parts of the U.S and Canada; each individual brings something unique to the group, as most specialize in a specific area of social media. Together, we pool our knowledge and skills, working in unison to deliver a superior social media experience for our clients.
Each month, we send a brief survey to our team members (who reply anonymously) to keep a pulse on their satisfaction level and ask for other feedback. We include three questions, with one that is qualitative — e.g., “On a scale of 1-10, how much do you enjoy your work?” Our average response is 9.5.
Our team members often tell me that even though we are all remote, they feel more connected with us than they have felt in physical work environments. That is music to my ears!
At #Strella, we are a virtual family. A genuine connection is what you feel when you’re a part of our team. Another way we facilitate closer relationships is through our private Facebook group for our internal communications. That online venue is where we celebrate birthdays, recognize achievements, post company updates, and share industry news.
What Is Your Onboarding Process for New Team Members?
Our onboarding process for any candidate joining our team begins with a sample assignment. We pay them for completing it regardless of whether we continue working together.
If there’s a mutually good fit, we will have one or two onboarding meetings to share our company structure and processes for managing the client workload. We also include an onboarding coach in this process. New team members are paired with experienced team members to learn about our company culture, values, and expectations.
Then, it’s time for the contracted work to begin! Because of the complexity of the business, we usually start with smaller responsibilities and then add more as the individual becomes familiar with the clientele and their expectations. No matter how much knowledge or experience people have, there is usually a learning curve when getting familiar with our processes and the level of customization we offer our clients.
The Magic Behind a Successful Remote Team
Running a remote company is not easy, but it is rewarding. Our contractors enjoy a flexible schedule and the ability to work from wherever they want. Those freedoms are made possible by frequent communication, transparency, and a clear set of goals. Additionally, our team members have a unique perspective and in-depth understanding of our industry by working virtually and being immersed in online communications. By embracing our individual strengths, complementing each other’s skills, and working together, we can deliver the best experience to our customers.
All this week, I will be showcasing snippets of our company culture on my socials. Follow me for a glimpse of the inner workings at #Strella!