Working at Automattic has a lot of advantages: working remotely, amazing coworkers, and the chance to make a real difference in the future of the internet (I really believe that!)
Being a Team Lead in this environment, leading one of our many Happiness Teams focused on the WordPress.com customer base, is unlike any job I’ve ever had, and for me, one piece that I really value above all else, is the opportunity to experiment – not just on the work itself, but also on the meta-work, on the work of the work. The larger structure, the larger idea. Being able to question and adjust and iterate is both amazing and a little scary.
Continue reading “Leadership, Feedback, and Ego”
Working in a fully remote environment creates some unique challenges. One piece, that I’ve written about before, is the need to intentionally make visible one’s work.
This intentionality comes from the nature of the remote environment: we don’t have the natural day-to-day contact, the sort of diffusion of knowledge that one can gain from being in the same physical space.
Similarly, the need for feedback, for eyes on your work and your working style, is a very real need, and one that can be hard to figure out in a fully remote enviroment. I’m outlining here the way my team and I currently approach it – this approach has developed somewhat organically, out of company-wide surveys and smaller team discussions, and it’s working pretty well as far as I can tell. Like anything and everything we do, when it stops working, or when a better way to do it comes around, we’ll change!
Our current feedback structure has three types of feedback, each of which is quarterly, on a rolling basis. This means we end up engaging in one type of feedback every month. The three types:
- Peer Reviews – where each member of the team reviews one random other member (including me!) on ticket and live chat transcripts.
- 3-2-1-Oh Roadmapping – where I meet with each member of the team, and we chat about what they’re good at, what they’d like to be good at, and how I can support their journey.
- Leadback Surveys – where the team anonymously provides me feedback on how I’m doing as their team lead. Yes, there are Likert scales involved!
In this way we’re able to provide feedback to one another, I’m able to understand how folks are feeling and how they see their personal professional journey, and my team is able to help me understand how best to serve them.