Growing your remote team is exciting. The business is booming, and great individuals join your company every day.
However, team growth brings with it a few changes. It’s important to address these to avoid negative consequences.
When your remote team grows past twenty people, pay special attention to your company culture, the metrics you’re focusing on, and your operational efficiency.
Company culture becomes more important
However, if you don’t take care of your company culture, your business can fall apart quickly.
When you’re scaling your company and hiring more team members, there’s a risk of company values and beliefs getting diluted quickly. This is especially true for remote teams.
You need to put in an active effort to avoid this. Here are a few things you can do to preserve your culture.
Way #1. Put your culture in writing
Create a document that outlines your company’s values and beliefs. Describe what you stand for and explain what kind of attitudes and behavior are encouraged and expected.
Once you create the document, make sure to share it with your entire team. Make it mandatory for new hires to read through the document during the onboarding process.
You can also add it to your website and link to it in job postings. This will help you attract candidates whose attitudes align with your company culture.
Way #2. Hire for cultural fit
Prioritize cultural fit for new hires to ensure that your company culture doesn’t deteriorate. New hires that fit your existing culture will also have an easier time collaborating with the rest of the team, driving productivity up.
So, how do you identify people who fit your company culture?
The best time to do this is during the interview stage. When interviewing a candidate, ask questions that’ll help you get a better understanding of their attitude and values. Here are some examples:
- Why are you interested in working for our company?
- Can you describe how you see our company culture in your own words?
- What did you enjoy most about your last position?
- What kind of work environment do you thrive in?
Way #3. Organize virtual team building activities
Team building activities can help team members get to know each other and allow them to develop meaningful relationships. If your remote team can’t meet in person, try to organize virtual team building activities such as:
- Virtual happy hour – Schedule a video call with your team every week and have a casual conversation while enjoying a drink or two.
- Gaming sessions – Do you have any avid gamers on your team? Find out which games they like to play and host regular gaming sessions to help your team unwind after work.
- Trivia quiz – Organize a quiz for all the trivia lovers out there. Include a prize for the winner to make things more interesting.
- Book club – Set up a book club and have team members get on a video call every month to discuss the books they’ve read.
You start focusing on different metrics
When your business changes, the metrics you focus on change as well. You’ll want to prioritize different metrics depending on the stage your company is in.
When you first start your business, you’re still trying to find a product-market fit. This is known as the Product stage. During this stage, you focus on customer growth, retention, and activation.
- Customer growth – How many new customers do you win every month? By how much, percentage-wise, does your customer base grow month-over-month?
- Customer retention – What percentage of your customers are you able to retain for one year? What does your ratio of retained vs. lost customers look like?
- User activation – What percentage of your customers actually end up using your products?
If your company has grown to more than 25 employees, you’ve likely found a product-market fit. This means that you’re either in the Scaling stage or the Operations stage.
In the Scaling stage, you should be looking at metrics like:
- Customer acquisition cost – How much does it cost you to acquire a single customer?
- Marketing channel performance – How does your customer acquisition cost look like across different marketing channels?
- Sales performance – What’s the number of sales opportunities your sales team generates per quarter? How many of those opportunities result in won deals?
Depending on the nature of your business and the types of products or services you sell, you might already be in the Operations stage, even at 25 employees. At this stage, the focus is on improving efficiency and profitability.
That’s why you should be looking at metrics such as infrastructure costs, as well as marketing and sales efficiency.
- Infrastructure costs – How much do you spend on infrastructure every month? Are there ways to reduce these costs?
- Marketing efficiency – How much is your marketing team spending on different tactics to generate customers? Can you find a way to get the same results while spending less?
- Sales efficiency – How much does it cost you to close a sales lead? Knowing this is crucial for adjusting your sales team’s compensation effectively.
Operational inefficiency becomes a bigger concern
Operational inefficiency becomes more pronounced as your team grows. It can hurt your profits, frustrate team members, and even ruin your business if it’s not addressed.
You can usually spot operational inefficiency in these areas:
Inefficient resource planning results in missed deadlines and underutilized or overworked team members.
Apart from hurting your bottom line, it can also harm company culture and employee wellbeing.
Underutilized team members might start fearing that they’re no longer needed and are going to lose their job. The overworked ones are at risk of burnout and are more likely to leave for another company.
In short, if you don’t plan resources effectively, team members will become dissatisfied, team performance will decline, and your company will lose money.
Here’s how to plan resources more effectively:
- Determine each team member’s strengths and weaknesses – Get a clear understanding of each team member’s skill set to be able to plan resources effectively. Analyze team members’ performance on previous projects and determine which tasks they’re good at, as well as which tasks might be better to assign to someone else or outsource.
- Rebalance workload periodically – Resource planning doesn’t end when you assign tasks to team members. Keep an eye on project progress and each team member’s workload, rebalancing if necessary.
- Use project management software – A project management solution such as Hubstaff Tasks can help you plan resources effectively and make sure your projects stay on track. It will give you a quick overview of everyone’s workload and the status of each task and project.
Effective resource and project scheduling are crucial for making sure projects move forward and ensuring your team meets deadlines consistently.
Creating an accurate schedule also means less stress for your team, which, in turn, results in happier team members and better performance.
Here’s an easy way to create an accurate project schedule:
- List out all the tasks – Create a list of all the tasks your team needs to complete to finish a project. Use historical data to add a time estimate for each task. Take advantage of time tracking software such as Hubstaff to get a better understanding of how much time it takes your team to complete each specific task.
- Identify potential risks and bottlenecks – Try to think of anything that could stall or derail the project. For example, are you relying on outside resources that might not deliver according to schedule?
- Create the project schedule – Take your list of tasks and their time estimates and create a schedule for the project. Make sure to add some buffer time to account for potential risks and any unforeseen problems.
A big part of operational inefficiencies comes from your processes themselves.
Are your team members spending too much time trying to figure out how to complete tasks? Do you see tasks getting redone because they weren’t completed properly the first time around?
You can prevent this by creating a detailed process documentation. Here’s how to do it:
- Define the scope of each process – What does the process include, and why does it exist?
- Determine start and end points – What are the project’s boundaries? Where does it end and another process begins?
- Identify needs and deliverables – What resources are required to complete the process? What kind of deliverables does the process generate?
- Describe the process – List out all the process steps in sequential order. Provide a detailed description of each step and name the stakeholders involved.
- Review your process documentation periodically – It’s crucial to review your process documentation from time to time to ensure it stays accurate and up to date.
What kind of changes have you experienced when growing your remote team? Do you have any tips you could share? Let us know in the comments.