Building a High Performance Team

Episode 57 October 28, 2022 00:51:00
Building a High Performance Team
The Agency Hour
Building a High Performance Team

Oct 28 2022 | 00:51:00


Hosted By

Troy Dean Johnny Flash

Show Notes

Hiring and training a team is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. A strong team can mean the difference between success and failure, which is why it’s so important to take the time to hire and train the right people. Once you’ve built a strong team, you’ll need to foster a positive work environment that encourages collaboration and innovation.

This week on The Agency Hour, we’re joined by Manish Dudharejia aka The Wizard of E2M Solutions to dive into their approach to hiring and training team members as well as the importance of traits when it comes to hiring.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 You want to make people realize what they cannot think of. Once they do it, they realize, Oh, I'm glad I did it. You know, I did not know I was able to do it. That's the whole idea about, you know, uh, being a leader to inject that kind of thought leadership in your team. Speaker 1 00:00:17 If you have a vision for the agency you want to build, then we want to help you build it. Welcome to the Agency Hour podcast, brought to you by Agency Mavericks. Speaker 2 00:00:26 All right. Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Agency Hour here. I'm, uh, hosting today. Johnny Flash, one of the coaches and agency Mavericks. Got some tunes playing here. Um, this is actually from my band that we recorded many years ago. Uh, the band was called Paulino. I played bass guitar. Um, just let you guys have a little sample of that here for a moment. Speaker 2 00:00:58 Cool. Awesome. Well, good to see all of you guys here. Um, and glad to be hosting here on the Agency Hour. Uh, at Agency Mavericks, we're helping, uh, agency owners, you know, level up their business through building out a team, a sales process, and getting their operations all squared away. So, uh, we're here to help you guys. Uh, that was not me singing. No, I, I was just playing base guitar. Um, but thank you Max for thinking of me like that. I do appreciate the, uh, the, the thought there. Um, so anyways, we are excited to have a special guest, uh, here today. Um, Manish from E two M is gonna be coming on talking about hiring and team. So please give Manish a warm welcome here as we, uh, we jump into today's conversation. Hey, Manish, how's it going? Speaker 0 00:01:47 Uh, going good, Johnny. Uh, everything is good. Thank you for hearing me on the song. Uh, really appreciate and, uh, excited to, uh, speak with you today. Speaker 2 00:01:57 Yeah. Awesome. So, um, for those of you that don't know, uh, E two M and Manish, uh, just give us a quick overview, if you could manish on, on what E two M Solutions does and, and what you guys do. Speaker 0 00:02:10 Yeah, so, uh, E two M is basically, uh, a white level agencies. So we work with, uh, digital agencies mainly, and only to help them like scale their bandwidth problems so they can like, take on more projects and free up their time. So we essentially provide like, white level services to digital agencies. Mm-hmm. And, uh, I'm the founder of E two M, and, uh, I started this company back in 20 12, 10 years back. We just recently last month celebrated our 10th university. So, yeah, it's pretty much like, uh, uh, it's been fun. Like I've been like part of ecosystem since last, uh, decade and, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Love helping, uh, agencies grow and scale. Speaker 2 00:02:55 That's awesome. So how did you, how'd you get into it? It, did you just say, Hey, I wanna offer a white label service? Were you, um, you know, running your own agency and seeing other agents, agency owners struggle with the operations, or what? Speaker 0 00:03:10 Yeah, so it's kind of a long story, but I'll try to put it in a short way. So, before I started, uh, before I started, uh, uh, E two M, you know, I was working for two different companies, uh, and it was kind of like, uh, so I have been like a really good observant, uh, from my early days. Uh, so I observed things very closely, and I think I was lucky enough to identify, uh, and I understand the whole ecosystem from the very beginning. So, uh, I, I personally think and believe that, uh, you know, when you want to start a, a business, right? You want to understand your position in this ecosystem really well, right? So, uh, me being in India, uh, I, I understood the ecosystem that, okay, if I were to build this business, uh, and grow this business in India, like, what's our position in the ecosystem, right? Speaker 0 00:04:06 And, uh, that's where I identified that, okay, there are tons and tons of so many agencies, uh, kind of like mainly solar agency owners and even like small agencies. And now these days, like we work with a lot of meat to last side agencies as well. Uh, they really want to start the agency business skill, the agency business, grow the agency business, but they do not want to, uh, kind of like go into the pain of running and operation, hiring mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, you know, managing team and people and everything. So running kind of an operation, they still want to grow the agency, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, that's where I identified the sweet spot that, okay, how about if we have a position, strong position in this ecosystem where we kind of like introduce our services as a purely white level, right? So, sure. That's how, like, I started focusing on that, uh, when we started agency and obviously like, you know, uh, kneeing down specifically to target agencies. Speaker 0 00:05:05 So I was like, rather than going after every and any client and business, I would rather go after agencies, uh, to solve the specific problem. And I, I think like, uh, I, I think like this, right? I think like the agencies we work with, they kind of do sales on behalf of us, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the more number of agencies we have, they're kind of like doing sales on behalf of us and on other way around. Like, we help them like execute those projects and help them like solve this bandwidth problems and help them scale the agency business without increasing their org. So that's how, like, you know, I, uh, identified the Oracle position in ecosystem and that's how we got into this white level business model. Speaker 2 00:05:50 Yeah. Love it. Uh, for everybody that's listening in, uh, go ahead and drop in the chat. We'd love to know how many team members you have, uh, on your team. So if you're watching on Facebook or whatever, drop that into the chat because, um, I know we've got agencies of all different sizes, and if you're using an outsourcing or white label service, feel free if you've got several people at that service that are helping you to, to include those in your count. But, um, Manish, what we wanted to talk about today, cuz I think you've, you've, you've got this figured out is, you know, hiring and building a team, because a lot of our agency owners, um, you know, maybe they already have some team members, or they're trying to build their team, or maybe they're working with a white label partner like you, but they still have some things that they need to do internally, you know, with their own team members. Um, Max says that they have 19 now. Uh, we have 16 on my team currently. Um, I know some other people will be chiming in here on Facebook as well, but, uh, Manish, how many people are on your team? Speaker 0 00:06:51 Uh, as I speak, uh, our total team size is Speaker 2 00:06:55 A hundred and sixty, one sixty one, six, zero, a hundred and sixty team members. Wow. That's, uh, take my, take my advice, multiply by 10, and then you get man's advice here. So, um, James says, James, uh, who's watching on Facebook says, agency of one right now. So your service is probably perfect for him because you, he could scale up quickly. But, um, for those of us that, um, are trying to, you know, build a team, hire some folks, obviously with 160 team members, uh, you guys have done that a lot and have worked hard, Um, before you kind of tell us some of that, you know, secrets of hiring and kind of building the team. Where is, is most of your team in India or where are your team members located? Speaker 0 00:07:40 That's correct. Uh, our headquarter is, oh, here in India. Uh, that's where majority of our people are working from. And we also have an office in, uh, California, San Diego. That's where we are, four full-time employees, uh, working out of our San Diego office, but like majority of working from our India office. Speaker 2 00:07:58 Okay. And are they, um, are the ones in the us are they sales or marketing or project management, or what are they doing? Speaker 0 00:08:05 Uh, no, they are all copywriters. So basically copyright. Speaker 2 00:08:08 Yeah. Speaker 0 00:08:09 So we have, uh, our, one of our white label services is, uh, copywriting, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So our entire copywriting team is working out of our San Diego office. So they are all corporators. Yeah, Speaker 2 00:08:22 Right. Love it. Okay. And most of your clients are in the us or Speaker 0 00:08:25 That's correct. Majority, I would select over 95%. So as we speak, we work with like, over 150 plus agencies all across the us. Speaker 2 00:08:35 Okay. Love it. Love it. Awesome. Yeah. So, so, um, tell us about the hiring. Tell us how, you know, what, what tricks have you found that work well, What's, tell us about your process in terms of how you go about, uh, vetting and hiring a new team member? I think that would all be really helpful for our audience. And I'm, I'm always looking for some tips myself, so I'll be taking notes here. Speaker 0 00:08:56 Whew. Uh, that's kind of a, uh, it, it's kind of like, you know, uh, when I started this company mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I did not know of anything like about hiring. I did not know about, Uh, it was kind of like, uh, I was in a situation where I had to jump out of the flight and building my own per, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, in order to survive and land successfully, uh, back on the land. So, uh, there are a few things Yeah. Work for me, and I feel like, uh, those are the things are definitely can be helpful. So I think one of the most important thing in, in the current era, I'll, I'll speak more about the era we are in right now, uh mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because it has been changed a lot, uh mm-hmm. Over the course of 10 years. Like, uh, you cannot do the hiring in a, in a traditional way, like how we used to do it earlier, Right? Speaker 0 00:09:55 So, I think in, in the, in the, in the current era, uh, one of the most important things, uh, which I kind of look for, uh, is essentially, uh, can this person do this job without a title, right? So imagine, you know, uh, if I'm hiring a project manager mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I would not be hiring someone who is holding a title mm-hmm. <affirmative> of a project manager. Instead, I would look for someone who is doing the same job without a title, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, if it makes sense. So, yeah. Uh, my idea is, and, and, and, and by, by no means I'm saying like, people who are experienced, uh, are not eligible, are not good hire at all mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but I, I strongly feel like, you know, uh, there are so many people who have the right traits, who have the right abilities, and they're kind of doing it, but they just don't hold the title, right? Speaker 0 00:11:04 And they kind of need, uh, a push to do better in that job. So I think I would rather, So I think in, in the, in the conventional where people hire, like where you look for certification, uh, you look for like, you know, experience, which is fine, right? But I think that doesn't just qualify the person to be eligible for, uh, you know, what you are looking for, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, the traits are very much important. I'll give you one example, right? So I'll again, take an example of hiring a project manager. So there are so many PMP certification courses, like project management, professional certification courses mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? Uh, all PMP certification courses will teach you like, you know, different types of project manager, method management methodologies, like Agile waterfall. They will teach you about all types of different tools and excel and, and all that things. Speaker 0 00:12:03 But essentially, when you are a project manager, uh, essentially you are the first, the foremost, most important thing you must be knowing and have a really good trait of how to, you know, work with people, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So not a single PMP certification tool is, you know, teaching you like how to deal with people, right? Uh, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you are project manager, obviously you are gonna manage the team, right? Uh, or let's say if you're a client facing, then you are managing multiple clients. You must be aware, like how to deal with people. Like, essentially, uh, you must be knowing how to lead the people. So there are some of the core leadership qualities project managers must have, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And those are the things, you know, usually they are not talking in talking when exactly they are teaching all these courses, right? Speaker 0 00:12:56 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, So, and I, I can show you like, you know, so many, uh, people where they hold this certification, but essentially they don't know, like, you know, they don't know how to deal with people. They mm-hmm. <affirmative> have a fundamental, the, the fundamental traits missing in them, uh, which are required to be a successful project manager. So I, I think, you know, I would, I would look for a traits or the skill or experience first because skill that can be still trained, uh, traits are hard to inject because it's treats are kind of inbuilt, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, that's one of the most important things which I learned is, uh, uh, so I'll, I'll give you a very specific example that okay, if I am looking for, uh, you know, someone in like VP of marketing, right? I would rather hire someone who is like, you know, having a really good experience in marketing, but the person does not hold the title, right? Speaker 0 00:14:00 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, essentially, you know, what happens that I have studied human psychology and, uh, different types of resources into that, right? Uh, one thing I learned that, uh, we get our position in our head, uh, so quickly, right? So I think, you know, we, we call it persona. So person is a Latin word. So when you say, Okay, I'm a project manager, then essentially, you know, you are looking everything from the view of a project manager mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you don't want to lose your identity. You are carrying your identity everywhere, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And some of the things you have to do, some of the course you have to do as a project manager, where you have to drop your identity when you are dealing with people, right? You have to be empathetic, you have to be kind, You have to just look at from a lens of a human, not from a mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:14:57 <affirmative>, like, you know, your identity of a project manager, right? So, yeah, I, I think, you know, uh, this is the problem with majority of people, and I, I think I, I learned this hardware, So, so being a ceo, like, you know, I used to have this kind of very, uh, kind of like strong personality, right? Where mm-hmm. <affirmative>, some of the course I, I was having hard time to do it, but now I have kind of mastered that art. I can switch, I can drop my personality where there is no need of a, you know, CEO personality, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there are course, when you are talking to people, you just have to think like a human, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, mm-hmm. <affirmative>. You don't have to, uh, hold that personality, hold your position, uh, so tightly that it doesn't let you think from another perspective. So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, coming back to my, uh, example of a hiring for a marketing. So I would rather hire someone who is having good experience in marketing and see that person, how that person is doing, letting that person do the job of vp and then give that person a title. Or probably, I would never give that person a title, right? Speaker 2 00:16:05 Yeah, yeah. Speaker 0 00:16:06 That Speaker 2 00:16:06 Person. So you're saying, you're saying the skills, the skills and certifications are important, but at the end of the day, you want them to be able to work well with people and be able to do the job and, and fit in the culture of what you're building, right? So those have to factor in, and sometimes we underestimate kind of their people skills or how well they fit in the culture, right? Speaker 0 00:16:26 Yep. And, uh, I think one of the most important thing is like, you know, attention to detail, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there are a lot of people, uh, who hold the right skills, uh, right talent, but they kind of like miss out the most important trait, which is like attention to detail. So those are the things I would recommend to look for, uh, into people, which are like, you know, the traits. So every job role requires certain traits, right? So if you are hiring for a customer service, then the customer service person should have that kind of like, you know, empathy that kind of like, you know, really helping candid nature, like to help clients, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that person should have that kind of understanding, uh, rather than you have like, you know, a stereotyped customer service person who just speak only scripted language, right? Speaker 0 00:17:27 So, Right. Uh, specifically in the era of like, you know, AI and everything, chatboards, I I'm giving you an example of customer service that your customers is, if you are hiring someone, that person should be very much like, you know, uh, curious. That person is, must be very much like, you know, attentive to detail. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> should have a great listening skills and ability to solve the problems real time while talking to customers, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So those are the things you should test for rather than, you know, looking at the skills. Obviously skills are important, but traits are, it's, that's something you should not overlook. Speaker 2 00:18:07 Yeah. Yeah. So obviously you guys are, how many, how many pe you guys must be hiring people at like a regular, uh, frequency, right? Because, um, I'm guessing you're hiring a few people every month, or certainly, you know, a lot of people every year. Um, what, what's, can you kind of give us an overview of your process? I, I mean, I, even if it's not you, if it's someone on the team kind of doing it now, um, what's, what's, what are some of the, you know, uh, hoops or hurdles that you put people through to kind of vet them during the process? Speaker 0 00:18:38 Yeah, so, uh, we have a different process for different positions, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we hire developers, uh, across different technologies like WordPress, Shopify, Commerce. Then we hire on digital marketing front, like, you know, seo. We hire quantum writers, We hire QA team. Sure. Uh, we hire like project managers, sales people, customer services. So, uh, obviously let's take, Speaker 2 00:19:04 Let's take a, let's take a WordPress developer or something as an example. Cause I think a lot of our audience that would be kind of relevant. Speaker 0 00:19:11 Yeah. So, uh, one of the most important, see, obviously first we look for the relevant experience, right? Because it is kind of like, you know, uh, where we only hired experience developers because when we onboard any agencies, you know, they look for the expert level of work. So we did not have a concept of like junior developer or senior developer. So obviously we look for the developers who got the right standards mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we try to understand the standards they have been following. Uh, they should have, uh, a complete, uh, understanding about the WordPress ecosystem and how much, like, you know, uh, regression testing they are aware of, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So those are the technical things I'm, I'm talking about mainly. So it first is skills, obviously mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, we kind of run a practical test. They have to pass through certain tests, and then after, you know, we do this traits, uh, testing as well. Speaker 0 00:20:12 We look for like cultural fit that okay, they're fitting in culture, teamwork and everything. So we have certain standards in like that. So we definitely go through this process, like, you know, checking their abilities, uh, running, doing a practical test, and then we look for the traits as well. So I think it's a standard process. Uh, but yeah, it's, it's, our process is very like, you know, vigilant and it's, it's well defined. So, uh, I'm, I'm, I'm very happy to share that, uh, you know, our, we have extremely lower churning ratio. I think, uh, whenever someone is getting through, uh, the process, uh, you know, hiring, uh, definitely they have gone through at different stages, right? So, and, uh, we make sure that we have a three to four different layers and three to four different round of interviews. So we have people who have been working with us this last eight years. Speaker 0 00:21:07 They exactly know what we are looking for into people, apart from just like, you know, uh, their skill set. So accountability, you know, complete responsibility, ownership, teamwork, their attitude towards others, right? Uh, those are the most, their communication, uh, their flexibility, uh, those are the things they look for. Apart from these are the trades we look for, apart from just the technical, uh, thing. So I think, you know, we have a well defined process, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Our selection ratio is also very low. Like, if you are interviewing like 10 people, hardly we are hiring like one or two people out of 10 people. So just because of this process. But yeah. Uh, this is kind of well defined process. We, uh, have defined. Speaker 2 00:21:54 Love it. That's awesome. Um, you know, cause I think there's, I think one of the mistakes that I see agency owners make as I'm coaching them, you know, in their business and stuff, is that often they just, you know, they're so overwhelmed with everything that they just kind of hire the first shiny looking person that they come across. They don't do 10 interviews, they don't do four rounds of interviews. You know, they don't interview 10 different people and they just kind of like say, Oh, this person breathes and has done some WordPress and seems like they'll be a good fit. Yeah. So, you know, we'll hire 'em, right? And then they're all excited initially, and then they get a few weeks or a month into it, and then they're like, Oh, man, this person's a nightmare. They're not showing up, or they don't communicate well, or I'm having to redo all their work. And it's like they didn't take enough time up front to really get to know them and, and confirm that they would be a good fit, and then they kind of, you know, suffer the consequences. So, um, what are the, what are some of the pitfalls, um, that maybe you've kind of experienced over the years or have seen, you know, maybe a team member make or something that when it comes to hiring, um, that, you know, just some things to look out for maybe? Speaker 0 00:23:01 Yeah. Uh, before I answer that, I would like to just add one more thing. What do you say last, right? I think, yeah, that's super, super important that when you have a dire need at that time, you have to be super, super cautious because then, uh, if you are interviewing one person, you are made up your mind that, Okay, I'm gonna hire this person regardless of mm-hmm. <affirmative>, who's ex, uh, is good or bad because I'm in need of this developer. I think that's the most important mistake lot of people do. And I would say like staying away from that, uh, because that's, that's gonna cost you even more, right? Because, uh, and then that brings to, you know, a lead to the answer of another question you asked about the pitfall. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, one of the things, uh, you know, I kind of make sure is whenever we have like highly, highly experienced senior people leads, we are hiring, I make sure that I personally take one round of interview as well, uh, just to make sure that, and I'm, I'm very obsessed about the people who are highly experienced and making sure they are the right fit, right? Speaker 0 00:24:06 So recently we had this experience where, uh, uh, our HR cleared around project manager gave the green signal, and then I asked our delivery manager to take the interview, and I'm training our delivery manager about few things. And, and then we were, we got to know that that guy is interested in completely different technologies. So we ask kind of bold questions that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, is that something you really want to do in your life, right? Uh, and we get to know from certain answers that, okay, this is something they are not super, super interested it just for they are doing for the sake of doing, right? So, uh, I think these are the kind of bold questions need to be asked, uh, in terms of pitfalls. Here are the few mistakes which I make, and we make sure that, you know, do not repeat that mistakes. Speaker 0 00:24:55 So when you hire someone, uh, be it experienced or naive or like, you know, someone who's like mid-level, uh, guy or fresher, even with experienced people, you have to understand that they are not going to get you the results output from day one, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think you have to have a processes, you have to have like systems in place that okay, mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what is the onboarding processes looking like, right? So you have to let that person sink in, in your processes, in your organization to make sure that, uh, you know, you set the right expectations, right? Oftentimes, uh, and that does, that doesn't mean like, you know, uh, you let that person to take forever. Like large corporates happening, like people are sitting on batch for months and months, but not on immediate basis, right? So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there will be a week or two where they'll be taking time to understand things and, and you try to understand the curiosity and you do not limit. Speaker 0 00:25:54 Okay? I will not, I'll only throw certain things at you because you are just starting out. Sometimes you underestimate. I recently hired few people and kind of like, you know, uh, they have been working with me since just for, uh, one month. And I feel like they have been working with me since very long. So I kind of underestimated, I was kind of slow throwing things at them mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and then I realized, you know, their capacity is like way more than I anticipated, right? Yeah. So I think you have to make sure that, okay, if you throw multiple things, you absorb the capacity and also make sure you set the right expectation, right? So this is the most important thing. And specifically, you know, if you are hiring remotely, someone remotely, uh, then you have to have the right tools and right processes in place because mm-hmm. Speaker 0 00:26:48 <affirmative>, if, uh, if someone you are hiring will be coming to the office and sitting next to you, yeah, you can talk to that person and, you know, you can have the random discussions or the lunch or a random discussion at any point of time. Uh, but that's not gonna happen over remotely. So you have to make sure that when you are hiring someone remotely, you have to have a separate processes and make sure that you know that you are connected with that person very frequently, at least in the initial period. And even to solve that problem. You know, one thing we did is, although we hire pretty much everyone in office, uh, there are few people, you know, we find them really good and they are unable to come to the office. They want to join us remotely. So we started doing one thing. Speaker 0 00:27:35 We asked them to come for four weeks, one month in the office for the first month. So we, we pay for their, like, you know, uh, stay, logistics, food, and everything for one month. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, just to make sure, you know, they understand our organization and they gel up and think up really well with our project managers. And that, that this process makes our project managers life much, much easier because they are now four weeks of time to build a really good rapport. Rapport, and then they know their capability, and then they, from fifth, three quarters, they will start working from home. So, love it. I think you have to, you have to keep finding such kind of like processes mm-hmm. <affirmative> to make it, uh, successful and, and, you know, workable. Speaker 2 00:28:18 That's amazing. I love that. Um, let's talk a little bit about culture, and then we've got a question in the chat that about outsourcing versus hiring that I want to get to as well. Um, but just in terms of culture, cause I know, um, just even with the 16 people on my team and trying to like build a culture, have the camaraderie, all my team works in different places, whether they're in the US or overseas, they're all work, Everybody works at home. So that's a different challenge even than maybe with having a lot of them in the same physical place. But I think still there's, there's, you have to be intentional about building the culture and the values that you want to have, like with your whole team. And so talk a little bit about some of the things that you do, um, to help build that culture. Speaker 2 00:29:00 I'll just throw one out before I, I turn it over to you here. You know, one of the things that we do is we have a virtual Christmas party, uh, with our team. And so we all get online, we have games planned, we have activities planned, we give away prizes. So it's not quite as good as if we could all be in one place, but we still have fun. Everyone dresses up festive, and we just have a great time, you know, playing games and, and doing stuff together and giving out prizes and all that stuff. And it's, I think the team has come to, uh, really appreciate it. And last year we, we took another step and we, um, asked everyone to contribute their favorite recipes, which was really fun cuz then we compiled a, a digital PDF of all of our team members'. Favorite, favorite recipes. Speaker 2 00:29:41 Some were dessert, some were main meals, some were appetizers, and we put who contributed those with, you know, their picture of it or whatever. And so then now we've got, cuz we've got people on different continents like you do, uh, we've got all of these great recipes that are being shared across the ocean, which is super fun. Um, and we made a number of 'em over this past year, which was just really cool to think like, Hey, I could message 'em in Slack. Hey, I just made your mango float, uh, recipe from Philippines or whatever, right? That I would've not thought of otherwise. So, um, that's been, those are just a couple small examples, but I would love to know some of the things that you guys do to help, um, build the culture among all your team members. Speaker 0 00:30:21 Yeah, no, I, I think what you have been doing is, is really great. Uh, see, I I, when I, when it comes to culture, uh, I kind of have a different idea, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, obviously the activities, engagement activities are definitely important. Uh, but I think engagement, employees engagement is not just celebrating the festivals or playing the games or organizing the events. It's actually beyond that, right? Sure. So in my, uh, my thinking like employee engagement is helping people build the strong sense of community, right? So culture is kind of like essentially an engaged community, uh, which is working towards achieving a common goal. And employee engagement means like employees engage into community to help each other and build a growth oriented environment where there is absolutely no room for complaints, inequality being judgemental, comparison, and we superior or toxicity or abuse or humiliation, right? Speaker 0 00:31:30 So I think that's the idea of culture I have. And in order to do that, we have certain initiatives. Uh, obviously the events help us to keep the, you know, uh, people engaged and culture really well. But one of the most important things is, uh, is like trusting people, right? Uh, the, the, the, the, the definition of trust works in a way. Like you have to trust people to, on their trust bag. It doesn't work other way around, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, uh, one thing is that, uh, we have a strong, uh, you know, thing in our company as a leadership team is making sure that, uh, there is not a single person doing the same job each other person is doing. So essentially what I'm doing, nobody else is doing in the organizer. So if someone else is doing, nobody else is doing, I'm even not doing that, that thing, right? Speaker 0 00:32:27 So there is absolutely no room for micromanagement and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, some of the things we have are core leadership concepts. It's kind of like owning a failures and passing the credits. So I have this rule for our leadership team that if you want to take any credits, then you should not be in our leadership team, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you are in a leadership team, you have to only own the failures and pass the credits. That's what your job is. And you have to make sure that your job is to help your team win, essentially, right? So, uh, I think love that this way, uh, the culture builds in, in a way. Like they always think like the people who are at top, they are people who are in leadership. They are here to help us grow. It's simple, as simple as as that, right? Speaker 0 00:33:15 So when we assign some, you know, any task or projects to them, we do not see from the lens of doubt. We, we trust them, Okay, you know, this is something I really want you to do it and I'll help you if you get stuck anywhere, right? Not like, uh, pulling their leg or like, not like, you know, micromanaging in a way. So that way you kind of like, you know, you are trusting them and then obviously, you know, they'll, they, they will do everything best in their capacity to build that, uh, kind of, and, and essentially that will, the same thing will flow through word of mouth to other people, right? And that's the great way to build a strong sense of community and a few other things. You know, we have an initiative where, uh, we have a fund pulling concept. So, uh, fund pulling similarly, you know, this concept I introduced three years, four years back, uh, it's, it kind of like works same like, you know, uber carpooling, right? Speaker 0 00:34:16 So, uh, every month, like what happens that, uh, we ask people that will be detecting like, you know, let's say, you know, a hundred rupees, right? Uh, from everyone's salary, and same company will match, will create one fund, one pool of fund mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if anyone get needs any financial help they can get from that fund pool, and they can get that help without any interest or without any additional cost. It's kind of no profit, no. Right? So now here is the thing, you know, I, I could do this from the company, obviously, but the reason I included people just to build a strong sense of culture, right? And strong sense of community. So now if, if one person, people are like, the entire company is contributing a hundred, we are adding a hundred and someone needs $200, then that's where the person is getting help from entire company, right? And that where it really helps us to build a strong sense of community that, okay, we are here working as a community to help each other, Right? It's not just like, you know, one person is helping, uh, everyone. It's like everybody's helping everyone. Speaker 2 00:35:28 Yeah. So, so that's like a E two M Cares kind of fund, right? Where people, team members can contribute to this fund. The company matches it with a, with a for each hundred that goes in there. And then what's the process? If someone's having a family emergency or something and they, and they could really use some of the funds, how do they, um, I'm just curious. Uh, yeah, how do they get approval for that or whatever. Speaker 0 00:35:51 Uh, so we have designed a committee, uh, for people committee, and I'm not a part of that. Uh, so those committee ask for the reason and decide like, okay, what amount to be released, and then they decide like, how will you pay back? And that person is like getting like certain X number of amount. And then that person will say, Okay, I'll pay like X number of money every month back, and in the next six months or one year, I'll pay back the a hundred percent amount. It's been working fantastically. People are like really happy with the concept, so love Speaker 2 00:36:26 It. That's so, so it's not a full gift in that sense. It's a, it's kind of a loan that they're paying back, right? Speaker 0 00:36:32 But it's without interest, you don't have to pay any additional cost. And, and sometimes, you know, people get stuck. You don't want to go to bank, you don't want to go to your family, you don't want to go to your friends, and you just want your money, or like, Right. And yeah, I, I think the, the financial stress doesn't let you be creative. So the whole idea is like, you know, not having a financial stress, uh, that helps us to like, you know, keep our community more stress free. And also, like when people live, everything they contributed, they will get their money back. So it's kind of no profit, no loss, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you are not losing any money. And it's, it's, it's kind of like, you know, the whole idea about, like, I, I love this, uh, this words by steel jobs that, uh, you want to make people realize what they cannot think of, right? Speaker 0 00:37:27 You let them people do, That's the job of a leader, right? You let people do certain things, which they cannot do it by themselves. And once they do it, they realize, Oh, I'm glad I did it. You know, I did not know I was able to do it. That's the whole idea about, you know, uh, being a leader to inject that kind of thought leadership in your team. Love it. So these kind of, you know, uh, culture really help. And one last thing I would like to add, it might sound crazy, but, uh, one thing at our company we have is like, we do not set any budget when it comes to planning any activity or any kind of like, you know, employee engagement thing. So, uh, we had our 10th anniversary last month, and we literally like 145, obviously not everyone could come 145. Speaker 0 00:38:17 We came to like, you know, Goa, which is one of the most beautiful destinations in India. Uh, we flew from here, our city, 1 45 entire flight. Uh, we booked an entire flight, and three night, four days, we booked an entire hotel. It was a crazy time. Wow. And we, Wow. Yeah. So there was no, like, you know, when our, uh, HR team is coming to me and they are like, What's the budget? I'm like, Let's do what is needed, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. That's the whole idea I have is let's do what is needed rather than setting any budget. Uh, Wow. Because I Speaker 2 00:38:50 Always had tens of thousands of dollars Right. To fly 145 people and two ho and hotel nights for them and stuff. Speaker 0 00:38:58 I, I can tell you exactly, I think it was costed around like $50,000, Speaker 2 00:39:02 50,000. Yeah. I'm thinking it has to be a lot. That's amazing though. What a, what a testament to, uh, just your generosity as a leader and just, you know, wanting to build that camaraderie and, and everything. I think that's amazing. That's so cool. Speaker 0 00:39:17 Yeah. And I, I feel like, you know, uh, when you spend on your people, it's not an expense. It's an investment. It's, it's kind of like, you know, you are paying it back because those are the people help you on those money, right? And those are the people you are like, you know, helping you build this brand, and it's kind of like paying back to them, right? Uh, so we, we make sure about, uh, so I'm like obsessed about creating such kind of like, you know, memorable and lifetime experience. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, we have an amazing team. Uh, people are like, you know, uh, people work really, really hard. We have a highest client satisfaction ratio, uh, and we have an amazing leadership team, you know, uh, so I kind of like, you know, make sure about these things that, uh, we always like, uh, keep our, uh, people at, at priority. So we have this philosophy, which is like people or profit. Speaker 2 00:40:12 Hmm. Love it. So Speaker 0 00:40:13 These, these kind of different things. So I think, you know, building a culture is not just about one thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, obviously engagement activities are important, but you have to plan certain initiatives where people are involved actively. And you have to make sure, you know, essentially you are building a great, uh, sense of community within the people. And inevitably, you know, you will not run into problems where there is an envy that people are not helping each other. You know, uh, people are like, you know, jealous of each other. Like, why this person is like, you know, why am I helping this person? I'm not responsible. Why am I answerable to this person? Who is this person to tell me this? Like, those kind of, you can kind of get, uh, keep those kind of problems away when you have a strong sense of community. Speaker 2 00:41:04 That's incredible. That's incredible. Manish. Wow. I'm, I'm just inspired listening to you. It's so good. Um, hey, before we run out time, we do have a question in the chat, and anybody else who's got questions, feel free to drop 'em if you're watching on Facebook. But, um, they said could, they would love to know if you could go over, and I have, I have some thoughts I can add as well, but what are the advantages to outsourcing vers versus hiring, Obviously for yourself, you've hired, you know, you've got a whole team that you've hired obviously for people that are using your company, they're choosing at least for part of their business to outsource. Um, so obviously there's pros and cons for, for both, but, um, talk about the advantages of outsourcing versus hiring. Speaker 0 00:41:47 Uh, yeah. Uh, I can speak like for hours, hours and hours. Speaker 2 00:41:52 We got, got about 10 minutes. So after, can you, I Speaker 0 00:41:54 Know, I know I, I'll keep it brief. I think, uh, see here is the thing. Everything has its own pros and cons, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So when you are hiring, uh, obviously you like, you understand what kind of structure you want to build, right? So if you are an agency, uh, if you want to keep everything in house, right? Uh, absolutely you have to hire, there is no other option. But if you can do a smart way of doing a combination of hiring and outsourcing. So this is my advice to agency owners is hire a key people, you know, in house, like, uh, full time, which is project managers, sales account manager, customer service, those kind of people. Maybe a creative designer as well, who are kind of absolute need, uh, of an hour where you will have to have a very strong coordination. You need, you need to hire those people in order to free up your time. Speaker 0 00:42:47 That this is an advice for agency owners, right? So can communicate with your, so sales team is bringing your clients, project managers and account managers are like, you know, taking care of your clients. The designer is putting together the designs, and like that, uh, you can think about like, you know, maybe outsourcing your development needs, uh, just because it happens behind the scene and the develop, the technology keeps changing, evolving, right? So, yeah. Yeah. Just to give you an example, if you are hiring a WordPress developer, not a, every developer will be knowing like dv, uh, Beaver Builder, oxygen builder, or any, all types of elementary and everything, right? So, right. That's where you might need a dynamic, uh, you know, uh, dynamic resources. And that's where outsourcing really helps because, uh, today you get a client who needs our website in DB Builder tomorrow they might need an oxygen. Speaker 0 00:43:37 And then, you know, you are kind of stuck because now you have in house someone developer, and, but you, that developer cannot work that. Or maybe, uh, tomorrow you get a client who needs, uh, an eCommerce website on Shopify tomorrow. You need a client, uh, who needs someone, something help with like, you know, uh, maybe building a WordPress plugin, right? Which requires a high level WordPress backend developer needs. So, uh, having like combination really helps you to scale and grow faster. Uh, but yeah, love that. Absolutely. You have to, uh, understand the pros and cons of everything. Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:44:13 <affirmative>. Yeah. And I think you're right. If it's something that you only need every once in a while, maybe it wouldn't make sense to hire someone, right? Because you don't have 20 hours of work for them to do. Or you get that niche request that you're like, Oh, I really don't want to get into Shopify, but I, if I have this resource, I can offer Shopify help. You know, or whatever it is. Um, I think those are great points just in terms of, uh, some of the advantages and, and disadvantages, obviously also with outsourcing all, a lot of the management of the team and all of that kind of stuff happens behind the scenes. So you don't have to worry about it so much cuz usually you have like a project manager, someone who's dealing with the actual team who's doing the work. So it kind of automatically creates a layer between you and the person doing the work, versus obviously if you're a team, you've gotta kind of figure that out yourself, you know, in terms of who's managing them and, and all of those things. So yeah, I think that's, there's Speaker 0 00:45:07 A great insights. I, I think like that, right? Uh, see, you cannot outsource sales, right? You cannot outsource marketing, branding of your business. You cannot outsource like account management of your handling your clients. You cannot outsource customer service. So those are the things, inevitably you have to do it in your in house within your agency. So then the part which is like can be outsourced is like, you know, when you get projects on board, like projects, execution, right? Those can be, uh, outsourced really well. So it's kind of like create a win-win. So you better want to spend your time and energy, which are like, you know, spent, uh, where the highest ROI is there, right? So, and of you obviously like, you know, you have to think from a cost perspective as well, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, your, if your margins are lower and you want to take more and more projects on board on a lower margin, then outsourcing is the only option you have. Speaker 2 00:46:04 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cool. Awesome. Well, um, Manish, man, I, I was, I, if you heard my keyboard clicking, it was because I was taking notes on all of the great insights. Um, and I think my biggest takeaway from everything that you shared, which was just gold nugget after gold nugget, was, I love the part when you said, uh, leadership owns failures and they pass the credit. Um, yes. I think that is just that, that mindset part there where the leadership is constantly owning their failures and passing the credit to the team or, or whoever was involved, I think is really huge. And, um, I just love that. So, um, before, as we kind of wrap up here, Manish, any, any parting thoughts or any, um, last things that you wanna share here? Speaker 0 00:46:49 Um, I, I think one last advice, uh, I would share, uh, is like to agency owners, like free up your time. I think, you know, uh, to not fall in love with your daily course, daily job, Uh, you know, agencies like low clients and low sales and obviously, which is great, uh, low like operations and managing team. And, but I think one advice I would say is like, make sure you hire a year. So I recently hired, uh, someone like two months back, and as that guy is helping me a lot to free up my time, so free up your time, you know, uh, one framework I follow is something everyone should follow is like, uh, free of your time. Uh, freedom will lead to the boredom, uh, and do not worry about boredom. Boredom will lead to the creativity and creativity will lead again to the productivity. So we often think like, if I get free, like, uh, what am I gonna do? I'll be bored. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, but don't, don't worry. I mean, don't get afraid of boredom. Yeah. You will get bored at certain point, but if you are like, you know, very creative, obviously that boredom will lead to the creativity and then again, which will lead to the productivity, right? Yeah. So, Speaker 0 00:48:04 Uh, outsource as much as you can. Uh, you know, this is the framework I follow. Everything you do, you are doing right now, ask yourself, is that something, can I get it done by someone else? If answer is yes, just do it, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so this is my one of the most important advice because, you know, as we are scaling and growing, you know, I'm like obsessed about freeing up my time and mm-hmm. <affirmative> focusing more on like, you know, things which are nobody is doing in the organization. So, which I really want to focus on for that. I have to free up my time. So that's something, you know, I really want to advise to everyone. Speaker 2 00:48:40 Yeah. Wow. Wow. So good. Um, he is Manish from, uh, E two M. He is the ceo. You can check them out online at e two M, uh, full service, white label digital agency that will help you scale and grow your agency. And, uh, Manish, I just wanna say, uh, a thank you to you also. Um, you all recently sponsored our MAV event Yes. In San Diego. Um, which was just awesome to get to meet, uh, one of your colleagues who was there and, and learn about all that you guys are doing, uh, for me personally. And so, um, thank you so much for your support, uh, of us at Agency Mavericks, and just all that you're doing to help agency owners. Um, I know that there's a lot of mavericks that are using your services and, and really find it helpful. So thank you so much. Uh, give them some love in the chat, everyone, and, uh, thank you so much, Manish, really appreciate ya. Speaker 0 00:49:34 Thank you. Thank you, Joni. Thank you for having me. It was excited, uh, amazing conversation. And, uh, yeah, super happy to be a part of agency members. You guys doing amazing job, so absolutely am obsessed about this ecosystem and really, really happy to, uh, see, you know, this community growing. Speaker 2 00:49:53 Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks a lot, Manish. Uh, for those of you all watching or listening, uh, tune in next week for the next, uh, hour of the agency hour. We've got exciting guests lined up. Uh, you're not gonna want to miss it. If you need help with your agency, uh, head over to agency and, uh, we've got all kinds of different ways to help you nail down your sales, your operation, and grow your agency. Um, so we, we'd love to work with you and help you grow your agency as well. All right. Until next time, uh, we'll, we'll talk to you soon. Thanks guys. Speaker 1 00:50:28 Thanks for listening to the Agency Hour podcast. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCasts, Audible, and wherever you like to listen. You can catch all of the Agency Hour episodes on our YouTube channel at Mavericks, or you can get involved. Check out our free Digital Mavericks Facebook group where we broadcast these episodes live for our community every week along with a ton of free training. We'll see you there.

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