We chatted with TeamSnap last week around the ins and outs of building a dynamic team - especially one that embraces remote working. What we found to be at the pinnacle of TeamSnap’s team success was the focus they placed on ‘Trust’ - their core value.
It’s easy to get lost in time-zones and worldly locations when your team members are scattered all over the globe. So how can you adapt and implement TeamSnap’s team dynamics into your own organisation?
1 - Technology
“We [TeamSnap] run on Slack. We have team channels, social channels and company-wide channels that serve as our office water cooler, meeting spaces, break room and after-work happy hour.”
“It’s amazing how connected this platform can make us feel without having the real-life experience of having to listen to the guy next to you breathing heavily or smell your boss’s kimchi for lunch.”
In addition to Slack, they also use email, phone, Google Hangout, Zoom, an internal WordPress blog and, of course, TeamSnap, to communicate with each other.
Past that, they hold “Really regular video meetings through the teams and across the company to give people face time”.
“Some teams make sure that parts of these meetings are devoted to something outside of work, like talking about a new thing they learned or sharing something that happened over the weekend. ”
For team coordination they use Google Calendar, Google Hangout and Zoom, which support them in managing schedules and timezones.
2 - Be open and Express
Recently, TeamSnap instituted a Friday Round Table video chat with the CEO and anyone in the company who is interested. “It’s a chance for people to ask questions, share what’s on their mind or express concerns. Even though his door is always open, having a standard weekly chance to see the big boss face-to-face helps make sure that issues get surfaced that we should all chat about.”
It may seem pretty straight forward, but factoring in these weekly meeting, with a purpose to communicate on more things than just your current projects, can really be supportive and helpful to your team mates.
3 - Summits, Camps, Retreats
Yes, being remote and virtual is pretty rad and allows us all to lead our lives in the ways that suit us best, however you can’t replace that warm-gooey feeling of catching up with people in person, whom you haven’t seen (in reality) for a while. It’s a human experience.
“Even though we communicate very well online, we do find that it’s necessary to see one another face-to-face a couple times a year, so we hold a twice-yearly all-company summit where we hang out, meet, play, bond and laugh. It’s like summer (or winter) camp and everyone so much looks forward to getting to spend time together in real life.”
“For us, communication is paramount. We are constantly reminding one another to over-communicate everything that’s going on. And it’s something we can still do better on.”
4 - Measure Results not Hours
More and more through working differently we are recognising that time spent doesn’t equal productivity. Life is fluid, so why should work be rigid? Doesn’t that go against human nature?
We saw how TeamSnap has an ‘unlimited vacation policy’ and how that has benefited them. Yet, it’s because of their team connection and open communication that this is possible. They value each other and trust each other without feeling the need to "babysit" team mates and monitor their work progress. They’re adults and they allow for their team to operate as such.
You may ask, “How much vacation does someone need to be healthy and productive?” TeamSnap will tell you, “Who are we to say? We encourage people to take the time off they need, as long as they coordinate it with their co-workers so nobody is left in the lurch.”
After all, if someone in your team is incredibly productive over the course of the year, does it really matter how many vacation days they took?