Buffer is widely recognised as one of the most sought-after remote organisations to work for, and for good reason. The company is highly transparent about its business practices and employee management for remote workers, and its reputation for being an excellent workplace for its staff is second to none.
Indeed, Buffer has clearly put a great deal of thought into the methods and processes they use to manage their remote staff. It would be easy to become enthusiastic advocates of their approach, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on just one element of their approach.
Buffer is not only an excellent workplace, but it is also a remarkably successful business. Their profit margins are ever-growing, and they are highly respected within their industry.
As a comprehensive platform for managing all aspects of social networking, we are dedicated to providing both companies and individual consumers a solution to effectively schedule posts across multiple social media platforms. Our professional add-ons for the browser and mobile applications make this process even simpler and more efficient.
Buffer for Business is their flagship product, and it provides a comprehensive overview of your social media performance metrics. Additionally, it is compatible with all major social networking websites.
Buffer is distinctive in many ways, but its dedication to transparency is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable. Furthermore, Buffer is one of a few companies that highly values giving and receiving constructive feedback. They pay close attention to developing their team, and they were able to expand their staff without having to sacrifice the sense of community within the organisation. Currently, this is our main focus.
The following is founder Joel Gascoigne’s blueprint for the company’s approach to individual mentoring.
One-on-one meetings with distant workers are essential.
After engaging in a conversation with his business partner late on a Friday evening, Joel recognised the importance of holding regular one-to-one meetings for the organisation. His thoughts on the matter had been developing for a while, having taken inspiration from Ben Horowitz’s acclaimed book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”.
It is important to be mindful that people may not always be completely honest when in the presence of their colleagues. With a third party present, it is difficult to focus exclusively on the conversation and give the other person your full attention. This is an inherent part of human nature, and it is important to bear this in mind.
Every two weeks, managers of the buffer team have individual meetings with each of their employees. These meetings should be centred around the employee and what is most beneficial for them. It has been observed that, on average, 85% of the communication time between a leader or manager and an employee is used by the latter for listening.
It is certainly true that coaching can be a challenge, however it is a fundamental part of any coaching experience. When an employee has a mentor to turn to in times of struggle, they are often able to discover their own solution, resulting in a significant increase in development and motivation.
The first step is to recognize the achievements of your remote workers.
At Buffer, it is essential that all one-on-one meetings adhere to a pre-determined timetable. The start of the meetings should be dedicated to celebrating and recognising successes from the previous week. The team at Buffer have identified that this is the most important factor in achieving rapid growth. Too often, people move on to the next task without taking the time to appreciate their accomplishments. Without this reflection, it can be difficult to keep up the momentum and maintain focus.
Acknowledging hard work and success is essential in order to foster a positive working environment. Taking the time to review recent accomplishments with employees before getting down to business is an invaluable method of boosting morale and encouraging further productivity. By doing this, employees are likely to feel a sense of renewal and appreciation.
Make sure you inquire about the difficulties experienced by your remote worker.
The primary focus of our discussion is the difficulties the worker has been facing. As we have already highlighted, the team leader’s key responsibility is to ask relevant questions which may be related to their own ideas or experiences. However, the aim is to stimulate the worker to think independently and come up with novel solutions which they can be content with, even delighted by.
According to Joel, who created Buffer:
If a team member recognises that their input was instrumental in finding a resolution, even if the outcome was the same as the leader’s original suggestion, it is far more likely to motivate them to continue their efforts on the problem.
At Buffer, we understand that the challenges faced by our employees may not necessarily be related to their work. We are committed to supporting the personal development of our employees, as we recognise that this will ultimately be beneficial for the company as a whole. We believe that any objectives set by our employees, such as getting more rest, learning a new language, taking up a new form of exercise or setting up a regular writing routine, should be discussed and supported.
Two-way feedback is the final result.
One of the primary benefits of one-to-one conversations is the possibility of achieving beneficial outcomes for both parties involved. The team leader begins by expressing their views on the employee’s performance, which in turn gives the employee the opportunity to express their opinions on the organisation’s management, leadership, and potential future direction. This can help to create an open dialogue between all parties, allowing for improved communication and, ultimately, better outcomes for everyone involved.
The implementation of this strategy is in line with the organisation’s objective of continual development. Employees are likely to be more engaged with the company and have increased confidence in their decision-making abilities. As a result, leaders are less likely to be faced with the ‘Emperor Has No Clothes’ dilemma.
Your turn to provide input is 10 minutes, but you’ll also have 10 minutes to take in the other party’s thoughts. All the time!
Participation of all team members, including those working from afar, is essential for success.
Once Buffer’s team size grew to more than seven people, they implemented the regular practice of one-on-one meetings. This has been an ongoing practice ever since. Every two weeks, a team leader will have a meeting with their direct reports to review progress and address any queries they may have. This is a regular occurrence throughout the organisation, but particularly amongst the senior management.
To this day, as an organisation that has grown significantly, we strive to bridge distances and cultivate a sense of unity amongst our colleagues. Additionally, this approach ensures that no one is excluded from the broader goals of the company or is uncertain about the organisation’s ambitions. This approach is highly effective and requires minimal resources or effort yet yields considerable rewards.
At Works, we are proud to be able to assist you in forming a formidable international squad. We understand the importance of recruiting top-tier developers to fill any open roles and we are committed to ensuring that your staff is highly motivated and ready to collaborate with some of the most talented programmers in the world. We want to ensure that you can relax in the knowledge that you have the right people in place to drive your business forward.
Contact us now to begin shaping the future of your organisation.