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Culture First 2019: Day 2, Making remote work work

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Culture First 2019: Day 2, Making remote work work

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More and more companies are setting themselves up for remote work, distributed teams, and satellite offices. As a People Ops Person, what do you need to know to stay ahead of the curve? In this workshop by LifeLabs Learning you will explore hands-on, practical ways to help your company revolutionize how distributed teams interact, self-regulate, and add to your company's culture. You will leave with a set of tools that you can bring home and immediately use.

More and more companies are setting themselves up for remote work, distributed teams, and satellite offices. As a People Ops Person, what do you need to know to stay ahead of the curve? In this workshop by LifeLabs Learning you will explore hands-on, practical ways to help your company revolutionize how distributed teams interact, self-regulate, and add to your company's culture. You will leave with a set of tools that you can bring home and immediately use.

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Culture First 2019: Day 2, Making remote work work

  1. 1. Optimizing remote dynamics at your org Robleh Kirce Making Remote Work Work
  2. 2. Remote Work 2.0 How to optimize remote dynamics at your org Robleh Kirce
  3. 3. What does a canary do in a coal mine? Remote dynamics
  4. 4. Optimizing your remote strategy optimizes your in-person dynamics as well! Remote dynamics
  5. 5. LifeLabs background Warby Parker Tinder Sony Music GoPro WeWork Vox Media Harry’s Kickstarter Zocdoc Squarespace charity: water Etsy Twitter Reddit Lyft Salesforce TED 600+ others Training for managers, execs, and teams at amazing places like...
  6. 6. 1 2 3 Today’s topics Terms + trends Challenges + fixes Pick your focus
  7. 7. 1 2 3 Today’s topics Terms + trends Challenges + fixes Pick your focus
  8. 8. What do people call it? • Remote / distributed / co-located • Office-optional • Remote-first • Flexible work Terms
  9. 9. But not really new: • Queen Elizabeth? • Agricultural era to… • Industrial era to… • Now, networked era Trends
  10. 10. Now, networked era: Work is not a place. It is an activity. Work is not a place. It is an activity! How do we, as people ops people, create the right conditions for everyone to do their best work? Trends
  11. 11. Expectations: More and more employees want flexible work arrangements. Trends Source: Flexjobs 2018 survey (5,500 respondents)
  12. 12. Top reasons for wanting flexible work: • Fewer interruptions from colleagues (76%) • Fewer distractions (76%) • Reduced stress from commuting (70%) • Minimal office politics (69%) • Quieter noise level (62%) • More comfortable clothes (54%) • More personalized office environment (51%) • Less frequent meetings (46%) • More efficient meetings (31%) Source: Flexjobs 2018 survey (5,500 respondents) Trends
  13. 13. Why? • Access to talent • Decreased office cost • Increased retention • Increased productivity (if done right) = More companies provide distributed options. Trends
  14. 14. 1 2 3 Today’s topics Terms + trends Challenges + fixes Pick your focus
  15. 15. 1 2 3 Today’s topics Terms + trends Challenges + fixes Pick your focus
  16. 16. Top 5 issues we see: 1. Communication 2. Belonging 3. Trust 4. Fairness 5. Growth Remote diagnostic
  17. 17. Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth Remote diagnostic
  18. 18. Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth Remote diagnostic
  19. 19. The problem • Understanding well = “Having common ground” • Shared knowledge and lost-in-translation effects The problem: 1. Communication
  20. 20. The problem • Understanding well = “Having common ground” • Shared knowledge and lost-in-translation effects The problem: 1. Communication Paper-folding exercise
  21. 21. Paper-folding exercise 1. Fold your sheet of paper in half. 2. Tear off the upper right-hand corner. 3. Fold your paper in half again. 4. Tear off the upper left-hand corner. 5. Fold your paper in half again. 6. Tear off the lower right-hand corner The problem • Understanding well = “Having common ground” • Shared knowledge and lost-in-translation effects The problem: 1. Communication
  22. 22. 1. Communication
  23. 23. Four communication areas to be careful about: • Lack of feedback loops + paraverbals • Lack of contextual info • Misinterpreting the meaning of silence • Uneven distribution of knowledge Sources: Cramton, 2001; Ely, 2015, LifeLabs Learning 2016 1. Communication
  24. 24. 1. Communication The fix: • Create a team playbook
  25. 25. The fix: • Create a team playbook • Teach inclusion habits (‘are all involved?’) 1. Communication
  26. 26. Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth Remote diagnostic
  27. 27. • Humans are wired to track in-group and out-group dynamics • Social exclusion is triggered by distance The problem The problem: 2. Belonging
  28. 28. Quick fixes The fix: Ritualize face time - frequency beats length! 2. Belonging Sources: Moreland & Beach, 1992; Festinger proximity research, mere exposure effect
  29. 29. Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth Remote diagnostic
  30. 30. The problemThe problem: The brain is wired to monitor fairness 3. Fairness
  31. 31. Source: Frans de Waal Video The problem: The brain is wired to monitor fairness 3. Fairness
  32. 32. The fix: Set expectations well 3. Fairness
  33. 33. Perks conversation: Working remotely gives you the perks of being in your own home with flexibility and freedom of space. You won’t get the perks of HQ (snacks, events, etc.) So this role is ideal for someone who values remote perks over in person perks. The fix: Set expectations well 3. Fairness
  34. 34. Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth Remote diagnostic
  35. 35. The problem: When managers can’t see remote employees, they toggle! 4. Trust
  36. 36. The fix: Go ROWE - Results Oriented Work Environment • KPIs / OKRs • Definition of Done 4. Trust
  37. 37. The fix: Go ROWE - Results Oriented Work Environment • KPIs / OKRs • Definition of Done Train managers to create a 4-point structure: • Clear responsibilities • Clear process • Checkpoints • Results-based metrics 4. Trust
  38. 38. Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth Remote diagnostic
  39. 39. The problem: • Remote employees feel out of sight (so out of mind) • They don’t label their work as growth 5. Growth (and visibility)
  40. 40. The fix: • Ask managers to do regular 1-1s 5. Growth (and visibility)
  41. 41. The fix: • Ask managers to do regular 1-1s • Increase visibility of projects (mandatory ‘demos’) 5. Growth (and visibility)
  42. 42. The fix: • Ask managers to do regular 1-1s • Increase visibility of projects (mandatory ‘demos’) • Create recognition tools (Github #toasts) 5. Growth (and visibility)
  43. 43. 1 2 3 Today’s topics Terms + trends Challenges + fixes Pick your focus
  44. 44. Score each section, 1-10 (10 means our company does this exceptionally well) Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth What’s your score?
  45. 45. Communication Belonging FairnessTrust Growth What’s your score? What’s your one thing? Circle it!
  46. 46. Resources   Questions for Managers to Ask Remote Employees     LifeLabs Learning​ specializes in ​virtuality skills​ - the ability to work well with people at a distance.     Managing an employee virtually requires the same skills as managing an in-person employee, but with an  added skill of asking the right questions at the right time, to zoom in on issues that are often unspoken.  Below is our list of high-impact questions for managers ask remote employees, to better understand and  optimize work styles and team dynamics.     QUESTIONS TO ASK:  WHAT THIS QUESTION GETS AT:  What do you like best and least about working  remotely?​ ​Follow-on question: ​What is the  highpoint and low point of a typical day (for  example, yesterday)?  Motivation analysis​: This questions helps you find  out what motivates and demotivates your reports.  Tip: double-touch on comments. For example, if  they say ‘my high point is getting into flow state  with a project.’ Ask: ‘what creates flow state for  you?’  What is your work setup like? ​Follow-on  questions: ​What equipment or process  improvements would make things 10% better?  What technology issues have you encountered?   Environment analysis:​ Listen for spots to help  optimize setup and workflow. Tip: arrange for your  remote employee to interview other remote  employees from cross-functional departments to  learn their setup tips.   What is your daily routine? ​Follow-on questions:  What do you do to take breaks/ recharge? Are you  able to fully disconnect when on vacation or at the  end of the day?   Energy management:​ Listen for spots to help  optimize time boundaries. A big danger for remote  employees is burnout.   What has your experience been with working  remotely in the past?​ ​Follow-on question: ​What  were some challenges?   Level of support needed:​ It might be that your direct  report needs more/ less support but is afraid to ask.   What challenges do you feel remote workers  have compared to those in the office?  Follow-on question: ​What benefits/advantages do  remote workers have compared to those in the  office?   Perception/fairness markers:​ Sometimes remote  employees feel more is happening at the office than  really is (e.g., team meetings that they are not a part  of, benefits they miss out on, etc.).   Are our meetings remote-friendly?​ Follow-on  questions: ​Can you hear and see well? On a scale  Meetings culture:​ Team meetings are sometimes  harder on folks who are dialing in, yet easy to    TEAM PLAYBOOK       COMMUNICATION + INFORMATION VEHICLES  Instructions:​ Use this table as a template. Work as a team to cut and add tools (column 1). Then focus on  column 2 and 3 for each tool. Discuss things that are unclear. When in disagreement, team leader decides.     Tool  Primary uses  Norms we follow (explicit and implicit)  Email  - Requests, questions, or  non-urgent updates  - Turn around time: respond within 48 hours on a weekday  - Reply style: respond in line, so things aren’t forgotten  - Make it scannable – use headlines and bold names  - If urgent action needed, add deadline + call or text   Phone  - Urgent (reply needed  within 8 hours)  - If Zoom / Google  Hangouts down    IM  - Immediate answer   to question  - Only use in emergencies. Otherwise, use Slack or email.  Slack  - Social purposes    - Share info that isn’t required (e.g., articles)    Zoom  - Most meetings  - Have cameras and mics on (one person per laptop)  Google  Hangouts  - Backup for Zoom   - When client doesn’t  have Zoom     Google  Docs  - Info that needs review  by a group  - File naming convention: File - Version # - Initials   Google  Drive  - All file storage  - Don’t store files on laptop (only use Drive) 
  47. 47. Your feedback? Grab: Your phone or computer Type: LifeLabsFeedback.com/Event
  48. 48. Thank you! Questions? Want training? Hello@LifeLabsLearning.com

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