This article was originally published on Leanne Beesley Medium.com account
My #1 favourite thing about building up Coworker.com is having the opportunity to create a company that people LOVE working for.
So I got a little bit teary-eyed when I saw our Global Expansion Manager, Alex, post this on Facebook yesterday!
Alex is from Romania but has lived / worked in a bunch of countries, including Malaysia and Portugal. She joined Coworker full time on February 1st 2018 (after working part time with us for a couple of months first).
We all work remotely, but our leadership team (including Alex) all flew in from around the world to work together from a villa in Portugal this summer.
As a startup founder, it’s the best feeling in the world knowing that you’re able to create an environment where your team members are excited to wake up and start working in the morning.
Not only that, but they are able to grow both professionally AND personally too.
We sent Alex on the Nomad Cruise earlier this year to represent Coworker, primarily because I wanted her to have an opportunity to build connections & friendships with other likeminded location independent rockstars like herself.
People often ask me how we’ve created such a strong team culture at Coworker, even though we all work remotely across different timezones.
It’s pretty simple:
Allow people to focus on their strengths. Empower them to take ownership & responsibility. Celebrate both small wins AND when they hit their KPIs. Encourage them to challenge themselves and aim high, to learn and to grow, and to work together as a team to achieve world domination.
And most importantly, trust.
By working for your startup, your team members placing a ton of trust in you.
They could earn a much higher salary working at a multinational corporation (or let’s face it, pretty much any regular company) but instead they have placed their trust in you.
They trust that what you believe is possible is true.
They trust in your vision for what you can build together.
They trust that you will steer the ship on a path towards success, instead of letting cruise control veer it onto the rocks.
They trust that you believe in them and there is a reason you chose them to be on your team.
They trust you will allow them to try things, even if they fail.
They trust that you’ll pay their salary on time so they can survive.
If you give them a reason to NOT trust you, that’s when things start going wrong.
To succeed as a remote startup team, there is SO MUCH TRUST needed and it has to start from the top (ie. you, as the founder).
Trust your team members to be as passionate about the mission and vision as you are.
Don’t forget, it’s a big part of your role as a founder to keep people aware and excited about the mission & vision. If people are not passionate about it, it’s not because they don’t care. It’s 99.9% likely that you are failing at communicating these well enough / regularly enough.
Trust your team members to have the best of intentions.
Think someone isn’t working enough? Don’t jump to conclusions. It’s 99.9% likely that you either haven’t given them a clear enough framework for what to focus on or you haven’t put a smart reporting structure in place.
Trust your team members to execute on their own ideas.
If someone has an idea, remember it’s NOT your responsibility to execute on it. As a founder, you have to give people the autonomy to figure out how to execute on their own ideas instead of you being a bottleneck that needs to control & execute everything. Not only for their own sense of empowerment (and ability to learn) but also for your own sanity!