How to Keep a Remote Team Happy, Inspired, and Innovative
with Dave Woodward
with guest Dave Woodward #MakingBank S6E6
In 2020, companies all over the world had to adjust to doing business while remote from their team members. Over a year later, the results have been mixed. Many companies, especially startups, have been remote since before the pandemic, boasting widespread global teams that are happy, productive, and thriving. How do they do it?
Dave Woodward became Regional Director of Americo, a local Texas firm which he took national in just two years. In 2003, Dave founded Monopolize, Inc., a direct response marketing agency focused on financial services and the real estate industry. As a lifelong entrepreneur, Dave prioritizes the wellbeing and success of his team members just as much as his customers.
In 2014, he recognized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when he met Russell Brunson and Todd Dickerson, the two founders of ClickFunnels. Dave joined as a vital part of the team as Chief Revenue Officer, and recently stepped into the role of CEO. Dave says it’s never about the title of CEO, it’s about results, and it’s about the customers. In addition to his CEO duties, Dave is also the host of the wildly popular podcast, ClickFunnels Radio, where some of the savviest business owners and entrepreneurs on the planet share their top sales and marketing secrets.
During his interview on the Making Bank podcast, Dave shares the rich history of his experience with ClickFunnels, and how he’s helped them grow a thriving and supportive company culture while still leading the cutting edge of SaaS business innovation.
Help Them Feel Appreciated & Special
Sometimes, the answer is more simple than you’d think. Dave shares with Josh how ClickFunnels had been handing out swag and apparel to their employees for years, with lukewarm results. Only recently did they have the thought to create staff-exclusive apparel, and Dave says it’s made all the difference. Team members feel special, like they’re on the “inside,” when their given exclusive company swag that no one outside the company will have access to.
Another initiative Dave has introduced is the idea of “points” that can be exchanged for various awards, from gift cards to swag. The program is peer-driven, he explains, where an employee’s peers and team members they frequently interact with recognize the positive work they do. The program is great for culture because it helps with peer accountability as much as staff appreciation.
The last easy shift to make towards team appreciation is to evaluate how you’re using all your accumulated points from company credit cards. Odds are, you have heaps of unused points after a year like 2020 where you probably weren’t using the points for travel like you’re used to. Dave explains that ClickFunnels managers are using their accumulated points as gifts to their employees. He even shared how, after finishing an important and urgent project for Dave himself, one employee in Brazil asked to use points to fly to the U.S. for a COVID vaccination shot. Dave says using their credit card points in new and creative ways to bolster their company culture has made all the difference; it shows the company truly cares about its employees.
Share the Positive Stories
One consistent piece in every team meeting at ClickFunnels is a segment Dave calls “what we do matters.” For ClickFunnels, that means their customers. So, in every meeting, Dave and his managers take the time to share customer stories with their teams. Being able to see and hear the direct positive impact of the work you do goes a long way for your company culture.
When ClickFunnels began, Dave says they were always sharing stories about their customers. Now, as the company has grown, their customers have grown to. Many of the stories they share with their staff today are actually about their customers’ customers, which speaks to the long term success and longevity of the services that ClickFunnels provides.
Dave candidly shares how ClickFunnels was not always known for having great customer support channels. Now, they’re active on every platform and social media outlet imaginable, and pride themselves on providing top tier support with efficiency and warmth. The company has grown since the added focus on the support team, which Dave sees as a no-brainer. When customers are happy, employees are happy. When employees are happy, productivity and innovation soar.
Innovation Has No Rules
The last piece of advice Dave shares for an innovative and efficient culture is to implement “skunkworks” teams outside the realm of daily operations. A skunkworks team has no rules, a loose structure, and one goal: radical innovation for the business. Dave says many of the tech giants like Apple and HP are known for utilizing skunkworks teams. The beauty of these external think tanks, he explains, is that they’re able to work and create with total focus without any of the red tape that slows down operations in normal business conditions.
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