Drew Neisser on Connecting in a Working Remote World [Podcast]

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By Adam Turteltaub

In 1984 I went to my friend Chris’s wedding, and one of the other groomsmen, Drew Neisser (LinkedIn), his then boss, talked me into pursuing a career in advertising. Just a few months shy of 40 years later, I caught a video on LinkedIn of him with chief marketing officers discussing the struggles of managing remote workers. It didn’t matter that these were marketing people, the problems sounded just like we in compliance face.

So, I asked Drew, who is the founder of CMO Huddles and the author of the book Renegade Marketing:  12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands, to sit down and do a podcast on the topic.

Drew points out that, despite workers being required to come into the office more often, there is still a cost to remote work. Churn is higher than before. Partners at law firms complain that their associates are years behind in their development, likely due to the inability to learn by osmosis.

So what do we do? He recommends that we recognize the present reality and look to hire self-starters. People who need a great deal of hand holding will not work out in a world where their managers are miles, if not hundreds of miles, away.

Second, make sure the team understands what the organization’s business is. Then, help them connect, intellectually and emotionally, with it. If they don’t, then it’s just another job to them.

Incorporate virtual bonding activities, but also try to get the team together in person. That effort creates culture and connection.

Looking outside your team, he recommends four tactics:

Meet, ideally in person. Get to know your colleagues, and understand their business priorities. Focus on helping them solve their problems.

Track all the people you want to meet and influence. Then, take active steps to connect with them and get to know them.

Share something about yourself and encourage them to do the same. Get to know the person and stay in touch. For example, send them over articles you think they would find of interest based on what you learned about them.

Join formal and informal work groups. If there is a team forming to tackle a problem, be a part of it. But also look to book groups and other less structured ways to connect.

Throughout, he advises thinking of yourself as an impact player and a business leader.

Finally, he advises understanding how people want to communicate these days, and meet them there. The era of relying solely on email are done, especially for the younger generation.

Listen in for some very good insights for compliance officers from a career marketer.