What Makes Buffer’s Method of Feedback and Coaching Stand Out for Its Remote Workers

Buffer has earned a well-deserved recognition as one of the top remote companies to work for, and with good cause. This organisation maintains strict transparency regarding its operational policies and remote employee management, and it is widely regarded as an outstanding workplace for its staff.

Buffer has evidently invested a significant amount of effort into developing their remote workforce management approaches and techniques. While we could readily become vocal proponents of their strategies, for the purposes of this article, we will hone in on one specific aspect of their approach.

Buffer is not only a phenomenal place to work for, but it is also a highly prosperous enterprise that consistently exhibits increasing profit margins and a strong reputation within their industry.

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Buffer’s primary offering is their business-oriented platform, Buffer for Business, which offers a comprehensive analysis of your social media performance metrics. Furthermore, it is fully compatible with all popular social networking websites.

Buffer is a unique company in many ways, and their unwavering commitment to transparency is particularly noteworthy. Moreover, Buffer is one of the rare establishments that genuinely values constructive feedback, both giving and receiving it. They demonstrate great attention to their team’s development, allowing them to expand their workforce without compromising their sense of community. This is presently our primary emphasis.

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Founder Joel Gascoigne has developed a clear plan for the company’s strategy when it comes to individual mentoring.

Individual meetings with remote workers are crucial.

Following a discussion with his business partner on a Friday evening, Joel realised how vital it was to conduct regular one-to-one meetings with the team. Joel’s inspiration for this approach had been steadily growing, partially from his reading of Ben Horowitz’s influential book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things”.

It is essential to recognise that individuals might not always be entirely truthful when amid their colleagues. When a third party is present, it can be challenging to concentrate solely on the discussion and give the other person your undivided attention. This is merely a part of human nature, and we need to keep this in mind.

Buffer’s management conducts one-to-one meetings with their remote staff every other week, focusing the discussion on the employee and their needs. It has been noted that, on average, an employee devotes 85% of their listening time during communication with their leaders or managers.

While it is true that mentoring can present challenges, it is an essential component of any coaching journey. When employees have a mentor to turn to during challenging times, they can frequently identify their own solutions, leading to considerable personal development and motivation.

The initial step is to acknowledge the accomplishments of your remote employees.

Buffer places great importance on adhering to a predetermined schedule for one-to-one meetings. The beginning of these meetings should focus on commemorating and acknowledging the previous week’s achievements. The Buffer team considers this to be the most critical element in achieving swift growth. People frequently move on to the next task without taking a moment to celebrate their successes, which can make it difficult to maintain momentum and stay focused.

In order to cultivate a positive work environment, recognising hard work and success is crucial. Before diving into business matters, taking a moment to review past achievements with staff is an effective method of boosting morale and encouraging further productivity. This approach can help employees feel valued and reinvigorated.

Ensure that you inquire about any challenges faced by your remote employees.

During our conversation, we should primarily focus on any challenges that the employee may be facing. As mentioned previously, the team leader’s primary responsibility is to pose relevant questions, possibly drawing from their own experiences or ideas. However, the goal is to encourage the employee to brainstorm independently and devise innovative solutions that they can feel satisfied and enthusiastic about.

As per the views of Joel, the founder of Buffer:

When a team member acknowledges that their contribution played a crucial role in identifying a solution, even if it is the same as the leader’s initial proposal, it is more likely to encourage them to continue their efforts in resolving the matter.

At Buffer, we acknowledge that our employees’ challenges may not always pertain to their job responsibilities. We are dedicated to promoting the personal growth of our staff, recognising that this will ultimately benefit the organisation as a whole. We firmly believe that any goals set by our employees, such as getting sufficient rest, learning a new language, starting a new fitness regimen, or establishing a regular writing routine, should be discussed and encouraged.

The outcome is a two-way feedback.

One of the primary advantages of one-to-one discussions is the potential for favourable results for all participants. The team leader initiates the conversation by sharing their thoughts on the employee’s performance, giving the employee a chance to express their views on the organisation’s management, leadership, and future prospects. This can facilitate an open dialogue between all parties, leading to enhanced communication and, ultimately, better outcomes for all involved.

Integrating this approach aligns with the organisation’s goal of ongoing growth. It is probable that employees will become more invested in the company and have greater faith in their ability to make decisions. Consequently, leaders are less likely to encounter the ‘Emperor Has No Clothes’ predicament.

You will have 10 minutes to provide your input, followed by an additional 10 minutes to absorb the other party’s viewpoints. This is for the entire duration of the conversation!

The involvement of all team members, including remote workers, is crucial for achieving success.

After Buffer’s team surpassed the seven-person mark, they established the practice of holding regular one-on-one meetings. This has been a consistent practice since then. Every two weeks, a team leader meets with their immediate subordinates to assess progress and answer any questions. This is a regular practice throughout the organisation, but particularly among senior management.

As a substantially grown organisation, we continually aim to close gaps and foster a feeling of togetherness among our coworkers. Moreover, this method guarantees that no one is left out of the company’s overarching objectives or is unclear about the organisation’s aspirations. This approach is immensely effective, requiring minimal resources or labour while yielding significant returns.

At Works, we take pride in our ability to assist you in assembling a formidable global team. We recognise the significance of recruiting exceptional developers to fill any vacant positions, and we are dedicated to ensuring that your staff is highly motivated and poised to collaborate with some of the most skilled programmers across the globe. We aim to provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you have the right personnel to propel your business forward.

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