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Ep 31: How To Build A Collaborative Team Culture Remotely

April 26, 2023

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Episode Notes

Join Jillian in discussing a few keys to building a collaborative team culture remotely! If you are someone who has a team already and you care about the people who you’ve been trusted with, and you want to build that collaborative community inside of your business where people rave about what it’s like to work with you, then tune in, this episode is for you. 

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Read the Transcript:

Welcome back to The Grace-Filled CEO Podcast. Today I’m chatting about how to build a collaborative team culture remotely. If you are someone who has a team already and you care about the people who you’ve been trusted with, and you want to build that collaborative community inside of your business where people rave about what it’s like to work with you, then, this episode is for you. This episode is also for you if you are on someone’s team and in charge of building team, collaboration, and culture. Typically this could be a COO, a business manager, or anyone who has some supervisor responsibilities. And let’s not forget that at the end of the day if we are on a team, then we want to be a part of the collaboration in the team culture-building process. We want to be a contributor not just a bystander, so let’s gear up for an awesome episode about building teams well. Let’s get to it.

Alright friends, this is such a cool topic because there are so many people who have started their business thinking they would just be a solopreneur and then they started to see some success, maybe the work kept building and you realized that you needed more people on your team. And maybe you got excited that you were ready to bring people into the fold to help you serve who you feel called to serve. Or maybe you pushed back on that. Maybe you thought, I run a household in a calendar and kids activities and I just don’t want to manage more people. But somehow you have found your way into this really amazing collaborative space where women business owners are supportive in sharing our gifts with each other and generously supporting each other‘s businesses and breaking competition at its roots. That is the space that we are in and that’s pretty incredible if you ask me.

I’m extremely grateful for it and reflect on that a lot. And then sometimes I get overwhelmed by the, “OK, this is going well, but now what? Now what do I do?” I’ve been blessed with this amazing business, I’ve been blessed with people who are bought into my mission, and I’ve been blessed with amazing people to help me grow this thing. But I have no experience or idea of how to build a team culture. I’ve got your back because as someone who has been in multiple levels of other people's businesses from administrative to organizational and strategic to coach, I can tell you that it is so much easier than I assure you are making it out to be. It’s so approachable and attainable and you can do it in these four ways that I’m about to share with you. I know time is precious so you know I’m gonna get to the point.

Team Access

Ok, the first thing that we need to do in order to build a strong team culture that is collaborative is giving your team access. Now not everyone needs access to everything and not everyone needs access to you. But I’m not just talking about access to you I am talking about access to all of the tangible things in your business. Like your Google Drive or your filing system or your inbox, or your schedule. The list goes on of all the things that make your business work. As I said, not, everyone needs access to everything. But the most important thing is to determine who needs access to what to be successful in their job.

This is going to require trust.

If you’re the business owner, it’s gonna require you to be vulnerable and trust the people on your team. If you are in a support role in someone’s business, it’s going to require you to be trustworthy and to build that trust through the work that you do together, trust is absolutely necessary to move forward in this. If you are lacking trust on your team, I want you to identify why. Is it because this person is not the best fit for the role that they’re in? Is there something about this person who doesn’t sit well with you? Is this person's values different than yours? Does this person embody the values of your company? And lastly, does this person have buy-in to the mission of your business?

If any of those answers is no, then that needs to be your starting point because you do not need to give access to anyone that you do not trust with that access. Being wise in this is going to save you a lot of heartache and money in the long run because if you have to remove a bad egg from your team after they’ve had access that could result in so much more complicated struggles that will likely cost you more money.

Once you explore the trust factor, I want you to make sure that everyone on your team has appropriate access to the things that they need access to so that you/they can:

  1. Protect your time and energy.
  2. Be successful in their role.

Build SOPs

The next thing I want you to do is to build SOPs for your team members. Now this doesn’t fully fall on you. Sometimes other people on our team can produce SOPs for the next person and if that is a possibility, say yes to it. Allow it to happen When you’ve got the right people on your team they’re gonna want to take things off of your plate so they’re trying to do that. Please say yes.

Now whether it’s you or someone else I want you to prioritize making these SOPs and I want you to make them as approachable as possible. There are multiple ways to build an SOP, and you can have as little or as much information in it as needed to get the job done. It could be as formal or as relaxed as you want it to be. But the main thing that I want you to make sure that it has, is clarity the steps need to be simple. We don’t need paragraphs. We need step-by-step. If this SOP needs more context, there is absolutely a place for that and I want you to make sure that you pull out those areas and put it in a notes section or a comment somewhere close to the SOP, but the main point of an SOP is to teach someone how to go from A to B. Empowering them to complete some thing is to tell them the step by step process of what needs to happen and what the outcome should be. As far as the medium goes, you could record a video on Loom, or you could type it out step-by-step, or you could use software like Scribe or Tango, which records your steps and screenshots as you’re doing it. These are great tools to use. And if you’re already doing something on a regular basis, all you have to do is hit record, and by the time you’re done with that task, the SOP is made. This is what I mean by making it approachable and working for you and your normal rhythms.

The mistake I see people making is putting a task list on themselves to create SOPs so it becomes an additional task rather than something they’re already doing. And naturally, that task gets put off and sometimes doesn’t even happen while the list of how many more SOPs you need keeps building. 

Empower Your Team To Learn Your Preferences

So after you’ve got the SOPs and you’ve given them access, I want you to empower your team to learn your preferences. If you have a specific way you want things done or a part of your value system is making sure that something specific happens or everything that you produce in your business needs to be at a certain level. But I want you to empower your team in buying into that. I want you to empower them to learn how each other works, how you work, and what supports other people. I have been on a team where a team member needed someone to help her prioritize her tasks. She just really struggled with that knowing what was most important. So anytime another person on the team came up with something in a collaborative meeting for this person to do they made sure to tell her what were the most important tasks to do first. The team took the guesswork out of it for her because they knew that she needed help prioritizing what was important to that particular team member.

If you’re the CEO of your business, you want your team to learn your preferences, as well as the preferences of your team not so that everyone can bend over backward and exert more energy than necessary, but more so to help things move smoothly, and this builds a collaborative culture that supports everyone’s different skill sets, gifts, and opportunities for growth. 

Give Them Permission

And lastly, the last thing you’re going to do to build a collaborative team culture is to give them permission. I mean this in the most literal sense. 

  • Give them permission to make decisions. 
  • Give them permission to take initiative. 
  • Give them permission to make a mistake. 
  • Give them permission to take the time to be supportive and collaborative with each other. 

It might feel like overkill to even say this out loud, but I assure you that the people who work in your business and help support it need to be told that they have permission to do the thing. You might feel like you’ve communicated that or that it’s understood already based on their role or previous communications, but you need to continually remind them that they have permission to do what they need to do to be the best at their job.

Don’t underestimate the power of being very clear and reiterating things with them. Now, I said I would give you 4 things to do but really there’s a fifth thing. 

Celebrate Your Team

And that fifth thing is to celebrate when you see your team being collaborative. If you see two people collaborating on something on their own, I want you to celebrate that and tell them how excited you are to see that culture and see them doing it! I want you to point out and celebrate it and make sure that they know that they’re doing a good job.

Another thing to not underestimate the power of is telling someone you’re grateful for them and they’re doing a good job. We can sometimes get overwhelmed and distracted by other things we don’t take time to pause and thank our team. This helps build that collaborative team culture you want in your business. 

I hope that this is helpful to you and that you were able to implement some of these things for your team but also for yourself. This supports everyone in business not just high-level CEOs or business owners. It supports everyone on the team. I encourage you to share this podcast episode with someone on your team or who has a team. Encourage them to take these necessary steps and build an incredible collaborative team culture.

Until next time, I am cheering you on. Talk to you soon.

Alright friends, that is it for this episode! Thanks for joining me today! I appreciate you!

Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts or at www.jilliandolberry.com/podcast. You can also continue the conversation with me on Instagram at @jilliandolberry.


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