How to Ensure that Your Team Stays Productive When You’re Out of Office | Ep. #393

In Episode #393, Eric and Neil discuss how to ensure that your team stays productive when you’re out of the office. Tune in to learn how you can keep your people on track with their goals regardless of your absence, and simultaneously build a healthy relationship with everyone.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:27 – Today’s topic: How to Ensure that Your Team Stays Productive When You’re Out of Office
  • 00:40 – Even though Eric was gone for a month, his team was able to work very efficiently without Eric there in person, or even on Slack
    • 01:06 – Make sure your people have clear tasks and goals that are defined with a deadline
  • 01:10 – Eric uses Dapulse as his project management tool
  • 01:37 – For communication, they use Slack and there’s a constant meeting
  • 01:45 – “Make sure you have the right processes to keep things going”
  • 01:50 – Richard Branson has 2 assistants that he trusts some of the tasks with
  • 02:29 – Neil gives his team tasks, goals, and objectives
    • 02:34 – Neil meets his team once a week to see how they’re doing
    • 02:42 – Neil only checks to see if his goals have been hit and if not, what are the problems with the team
    • 02:54 – “As long as everything is doing good, I don’t care what they’re doing”
  • 02:59 – Eric also uses 15Five where you can put your objectives and KPIs and if they’re on track
    • 03:38 – You will also know what people are feeling
  • 04:19 – Neil uses a “straight to the point” rule to make sure communication is always flowing clearly with his team
  • 04:55 – In the long run, figure out how you want to handle your team and what works well for everyone
  • 05:02 – Marketing School is giving away a free 1 year subscription of Crazy Egg which is a visual analytics tool
  • 06:01 – That’s it for today’s episode!

3 Key Points:

  1. Have employees keep a list of their objectives and goals—give them a deadline for each, and then intermittently track performance while you’re way.
  2. Keep your people happy because happy employees are the most productive.
  3. As your employees earn your trust, don’t be afraid to give them bigger tasks with bigger responsibilities.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric: And today we are going to talk about how to ensure that your team stays productive when you're out of the office. I can actually speak to this a little bit. I was gone traveling in Amsterdam, London, New York, New Orleans, Toronto, or Vancouver actually, in May. So I was gone for basically the whole month. My team was actually able to put out fires on their own without me being there. I purposely didn't respond to things quickly and I purposely didn't respond on Slack.
But if you want to be able to manage your team when you're out of the office ... First and foremost, something Neil and I talked about is making sure people have clear goals and tasks that are defined with certain deadlines. We use a project management tool called Da Pulse, so that's D-A P-U-L-S-E, to manage everything. People talk about the having quarterly Rocks and I recommend reading a book called Traction. You set those Rocks in place, everyone kind of knows where things are going with the company. And then, they have a number to aim for. So, there's direction at least in terms of where to go. Tactically, again we use Da Pulse. We do use Slack as well. And then, people are always meeting with each other over the phone or even doing one on ones in person in the office. Make sure you have the right processes in place to keep things going so you know that you can let go of things.
Because when you look at Richard Branson for example, who has started over 400 companies. To be honest, what I've learned is that he probably only works three to four hours a day and he has two assistants that are doing the bulk of his work. That's how he manages things. He knows that he can trust people to put in place to manage things. That works out really well for him in the end. I think if you're looking to build the businesses and you're looking to have multiple businesses, you have to have that one GM or operations person and people that you trust to get things done. Easier said than done, but that's what needs to happen.

Neil: The way I like doing things is, because I'm on the road all the time, I just got back from Italy and I was gone for two and half weeks. I give my team tasks, and goals, and objectives. I see them on a weekly basis. They either tell me if they hit them or they didn't. If they didn't hit them, something's wrong. If they did hit them I'm happy. I don't care what they do on a daily basis. I don't look at if they go into the office on time, or even if they do go into the office. All I care about is what's getting done. Is it getting done on time? Are they hitting goals? Is traffic going up? Is revenue going up? As long as everything's looking good, I don't care what they do.

Eric: Great. And another tool that we use is called 15Five. This has been a game changer for us. This is 1-5-Five. Spell out the number five and then the number 15. What it does is, Neil was talking about objectives, goals, and things like that, but in 15Five you can actually have objectives and keep PIs in there, and it tracks whether they're on target. For the quarter, every single week it's going to ask some questions like, "Hey you're on target. Are you off? What can we do to make sure that you're on target?" It'll also ask some specific questions on what they got done, what's on the horizon as well, and other feedback.
For us, one question that we might ask maybe every other week or so, Is what did you actually learn this week? Or, what do you enjoy about our perks? Things like that. You can change up the questions as well. It's good to see where people are at. It also rates people. It checks how people are feeling on a scale of one to five; Five being best. We know that when we start to drop below a 4.5 or so, something's actually going wrong. So, it's a good cultural thing. For me it's really important because it helps keep people happy, retains people ... And you have happy people, they're going to do great work, and they're going to continue to help you grow your business, and their efficiency is going to improve.

Neil: I'm a cutthroat person. I'm not the funnest person to work with, I'll be quite frank. Eric can attest to that. I know everyone sees me as a nice person, and I do try to be nice and I compensate extremely well, probably overcompensate in many cases when it comes to what I'm paying people. I'm simple. You give me your goals for the week or the month, you either hit them or you don't. If you keep missing them, I've got a problem. If you hit them, I don't care and you probably won't even hear from me for months at a time. Sean who runs the Crazy Egg blog and the content marketing ... It used to be where I'd talk to him once every six months. That's the type of person I am. I'm busy, I'll overpay you, you make sure you're doing a good job. You either hit the numbers or you don't.

Eric: Yeah I think that's really important. I think both Neil and I are get to the point kind of people. After a while if you start to not get it, then at least for me, you're kind of dead to me. I stop talking to you and the relationship just kind of ends there. I think you can figure out how you want to do it your own way. These are just a couple of tactics or strategies that work well for us.
Before we go we have a one year annual subscription of Crazy Egg to give away to you. I'll let Neil talk about what Crazy Egg actually is.

Neil: Crazy Egg is a visual analytics tool. It shows you where people click on your website, where they don't, how far they're scrolling down, are they dropping off because you're having a form field that no one wants to fill in... It pretty much will tell you why people aren't converting. You can even watch mouse videos or technically videos of mouse movements to see where people are getting stuck. You can make changes to your site, all marketing changes, without having designers or developers because we have a WYSIWYG editor. In other words, you don't have to be a techie to now modify your website. You can run split tasks or A/B tasks on the fly, so then that way you can see if your changes are actually helping you make more money or losing you money.

Eric: Great so, if you want to get in on this giveaway, you can actually get multiple entries each time you enter. Just go to We'll actually giving away one of these every single week for the next year, so 52 of these. Get them while you still can. Again, We will see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review, so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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