North Scottsdale based Shandee Chernow founded CertiStar in 2017.

I launched CertiStar a little over two years ago and currently have fifteen employees, including me, who have been working remotely or virtually from day one. We’re a bit unique that way. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, I realize there are many managers and CEOs who are likely figuring out how to adjust to working remotely or from home for the very first time. This can be very overwhelming and unfamiliar. To make it easier, I wanted to share some personal best practices I put into place that can hopefully help you and your teams too:

Weekly Team Check-In Calls/Zooms Are Essential: It helps keep everyone connected and accountable to show up and provide updates as to what they’re specifically working on. This can be done via Zoom or phone, but Zoom at least allows everyone to see one another and stay a bit more connected.

Monthly “Team Learning” Calls/Zooms: Our entire company is involved in this and someone new is designated to “host and lead” each month. The leader is allowed to select their topic of focus for the month and I have found this really helps each team member get to know one another a bit more on a personal level. Team members have discovered shared or common interests and it’s always a fun time the team looks forward to.

Communication Is Key: I remain in contact with all my team members, via phone and email almost daily. It allows me to keep up with anything they are working on and allows me to close each day feeling most productive, understanding we are all working collectively (although physically separately) on our common goals and tasks to move the company forward. Maintaining contact with your team members is not only incredibly important, but requires intentional effort on the manager and or CEO’s part. I also want them to know I see the work they are doing and it’s a great time to express appreciation and allow them to hear from me directly to stay motivated and engaged.

Team Connection + Collaboration: Keeping team members connected to one another is important to me. If a particular team member happens to not be on a call where pertinent information or ideas are being shared, I always update and loop everyone in as needed. I also love listening to everyone’s suggestions and ideas.

Stay Resourceful + Solution Oriented: It’s so important to me that my team members know I have their backs. I always make sure I can provide them with any tools or resources to do their jobs more efficiently.