Creating an environment that empowers your team in a remote-first world comes with its own unique challenges. But when your team is engaged, the results can be incredible.
So how can you create an engaging culture within your organization? We sat down with Natalie Stamoulatos, our VP of Global Customer Success, to find out. Our Customer Success (CS) team are true partners to our customers who ensure client results and exuberance in a strategic and consultative way. As a well-seasoned leader of our CS team, here are Natalie’s top 7 tips on creating a culture of empowerment in a remote-first world.
Q: How do you create a culture of empowerment?
I start with trust. I trust my team implicitly to get the job done. How and when is up to them. My team is engaged and present in meetings, they care about their book of business, and are incredibly responsible. It makes for a very easy starting point to give people the freedom to do their job in a way that works for them. Outcomes and results speak for themselves.
Q: What flexibility do you offer your team?
I’m a huge advocate of flexibility and love what a remote-first working environment offers. We’re all human and life happens. One of the biggest benefits of being remote-first is that tending to the things that happen in life can be done with a little more ease than maybe they once did. Whether that be a school pickup, dentist appointment, gym session, or carving out time in the day to do something for yourself, it all becomes easier in a remote-first environment.
Q: How do you keep your team connected?
Frequent check-ins are so important in a remote environment. I connect with my direct reports once a week and with all members of our Customer Success team once a month. For new team members, I think this is even more important so that they don’t feel isolated or lost in a remote environment. We provide new joiners with a mentor (a “buddy”) and of course their direct manager to connect with regularly. The key is to keep that communication open. It’s always better to over-communicate.
Q: How can individuals spearhead change at Celtra?
At Celtra, we foster the space and expectation for teams to make an impact and bring ideas to the table. The ideas can be directly related to a customer, the product, or the CS department. Anything goes. This is crucial even when we create a new market.
Q: How does Celtra promote creativity?
We are a creative business at our core. We have the privilege to work with some of the most creative individuals in the industry, so it’s important that we foster and promote a creative culture internally. This can take any form. I have had the privilege of witnessing some extraordinary talents by our very own CS team, as well as other department teams. We also try to nurture creativity by always adding activities to our offsites and departmental get-togethers.
Q: What type of growth do you offer your team?
Professional growth is particularly close to my heart. Beyond the role you’re doing today, it’s important to know what you want to achieve and identify the opportunities that will help you get there. It’s a manager’s responsibility to foster that environment and support the individual to make that happen. Celtra is very collaborative and cross-functional working practices certainly help.
Q: Is there an opportunity for your remote team to meet in person?
Although in-person events are 100% optional in a remote-first company, it’s always great to get together and Celtra gives us plenty of opportunities to do just that. As much as we all love a video call from the comfort of our homes, the energy and excitement we feel when everyone is together in a room, hashing things out, and listening to each other, is incredibly special. We have two department-wide meetups a year, a global summit in NY, and a company-wide All Hands.