“There has to be a way to communicate and to offer support. There also has to be a way to actually assign the tasks and assign the work. And usually, that's not the same place.”
Kira La Forgia shares her passion for empowering women to recognize the support available to them, and the potential for their impact to expand through delegation and teamwork. She has a decade of experience in people operations in the corporate world so she is no stranger to the sensitive issues involved in the human side of running a business.
She founded Paradigm to bridge the gap between corporate HR policies and the modern needs of online entrepreneurs. Because Google might have almost all the answers, but it doesn't have what your unique business and your unique team needs.
IN THIS EPISODE:
- What do before you hire your team (or to go back and do if you skipped this step)
- When “flexibility” can be a bad thing for a team
- How Kira threw meeting agendas out the window and what she does instead
- The Ai Kira and her team use to capture meeting notes and action items in meetings
- Pitfalls in virtual working and how to set your virtual team up for success
I’m going to share more about our conversation in this post, but Kira’s insight is sooo good. I really suggest giving the episode a full listen.
Before Hiring Your Team
Getting ready to hire is always exciting whether it’s the first ever hire or your 50th team member. It's a great feeling to see your business grow and know that you're making a positive impact in the world, just as you set out to do! But hey, the last thing you want is to waste your precious time and hard-earned money on hiring the wrong person or filling the wrong role.
Well, good news! Kira has some awesome suggestions for you, whether you're gearing up to start the hiring process or if you've already got someone on board. Let me share a few of her tips with you:
- Determine the specific tasks and responsibilities that need to be handled and create job descriptions that match. This way, every team member knows exactly what they're responsible for and what's expected of them
- Set up effective communication channels to encourage collaboration and information sharing among your team. You can use cool tools like project management software, instant messaging platforms, and make it a point to have regular team meetings. Keeping everyone connected and in the loop is key.
- Cultivate Your Culture: You want your team members to feel valued, motivated, and supported. Foster an environment of open communication, where feedback flows freely, and teamwork is the name of the game. This will help create a tight-knit and super productive team dynamic.
Can Flexibility ever be bad?
Flexibility is often considered the best asset. And it can be very valuable. However, Kira says that she has noticed that female employees often feel inclined to take on excessive workloads. Which leads to overwhelm and eventually burnout.
Flexibility can also be a downfall when it comes to growth and development. As managers and CEOs, we should want our employees to move and expand – to get more out of their position than just a paycheck. If our team members are taking on everything themselves with no delegation or giving themselves space to breathe then how can we ever expect them to learn more.
This really comes down to delegation is a skill in and of itself. Once your workload is full then it is time to delegate the rest.
Throwing the meeting agenda out the window!?
This might seem like a radical suggestion. We sometimes live and breathe by our agendas! I believe there is still a place for an agenda, but I also really appreciate Kira’s approach to her team meetings. It’s less about the tasks for her company and much more about fostering connection.
This cool approach lets team members chat about all sorts of stuff, share personal updates, and have laid-back conversations. The idea is to create a chill vibe and encourage everyone to open up.
By making relationships and team dynamics a top priority in meetings, we can create a super positive culture in the organization. Some people might say that meetings should always be focused and have a clear agenda, but Kira believes that forming tight-knit connections within the team can actually boost productivity and collaboration.
Virtual Teams: Pitfalls and How to Set them up for Success
Working virtually is something that just 10 years ago seemed like a dream. Not something that would actually happen for the vast majority of the population. Then 2020 hit and suddenly, working from home became the normal. This was a huge and sudden shift to the way we think about and approach our work.
With this very sudden change came a learning curve of figuring out how to manage a virtual team. And there can still be some pitfalls such as that toxic flexibility we discussed. Kira has some recommendations on how you can set your virtual team up for success from day one.
We want to battle against that toxic flexibility that thrives in virtual teams. You can do this by establishing clear expectations regarding communication, availability, and deliverables. This includes defining working hours, response times, and preferred communication channels. Providing guidelines helps team members understand what is expected of them and reduces ambiguity.
Meet face to face (via Zoom) regularly! These meetings foster personal connections, build relationships, and allow team members to discuss challenges, share updates, and seek support. It’s kinda the secret sauce for effective communication for virtual teams!
It is easy to stay in hyper-focused mode when you are working from home because you are alone with just you and your work. This can be great for productivity. We want to make sure that we are giving our team ways to connect and build relationships. We also want to create easy checkpoints and make sure that our team members feel valued.
This really feels like just the tip of the iceberg when it coems to this conversation with Kira. I am excited for you to give it a listen. And let me know your thoughts, are you hiring, or do you have any suggestions for fostering a supportive and productive culture of connection for your team?
02:35 How to Manage a Small Business with Distinction?
07:49 Why I Quit My Corporate Job to Teach Swimming?
10:13 Post-Corporate Life
13:18 How to build a Culture
19:03 Toxic Flexibility for a Small Business
26:57 How to Connect with Remote Workers in the Future
34:20 Have We Got Enough Workaholics?
36:56 How to manage a Full time Job?
40:35 AI Taking Notes in Team Meetings
42:11 How to Build a Team With Leadership?
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE