Candace kicked things off with the meaty topic of performance management, and how Karan and Ray have equipped their team leads with the right mindset, tools, and processes to manage their teams' performance. Karan cited fundamentals: the systems and processes leaders put in place are important. He emphasized, "When it comes to your employees' performance, you should evaluate them to the same high standard.
While the results they produce might be different, you have to set things to be the same." What's key is "...aligning the work with someone's career goals" to help them get the most out of the work they do.
What's helped Ray and Tugboat succeed is the executive team's emphasis on diversity, especially diversity of mindset and work experience. According to Ray, hiring people from backgrounds outside of tech avoids groupthink, and more importantly, builds organizational resiliency for Tugboat Logic. In Ray's experience, people from different walks of life and backgrounds tend to approach problems and challenges through unconventional ways and displaying out-of-the-box thinking that leads to great results and outcomes.
Once considered a perk companies offered, work from home (WFH) is now a permanent part of the white-collar world (the jury's still out, though, on whether many people can tolerate permanent WFH with their kids driving them up the wall). And with remote and distributed teams being the norm, Alistair points out that "it really takes a big commitment from everyone" to adjust to remote work and that "everyone has to be bought into the concept of the open office" in order for leaders and their teams to excel.
Fortunately, that commitment has been easy for white-collar workers and their employers. The real commitment, though, is whether employers will recall their workers back into the office now that everyone has had a taste of the WFH life.
Candace actually had a fantastic quote in response to her own question "How are you actually ensuring good communication?" She pointed out that leaders now have to make an especially concentrated effort to keep in touch and stay grounded with their team.
There is a heavier responsibility on leaders to ensure communication and keep their team's spirits positive and constantly motivated – leadership duties that were easier to follow through on when everyone was in the same office. As Candace succinctly put it, "remote workers need those visible wins in order to remain motivated."