Shane Murphy-Reuter is presently the Chief Marketing Officer at Zoominfo and previously held notable roles at both Intercom and Adroll. Shane prides himself on identifying each one of his teammates’ capacities to work so he can crush goals, and lead with compassion during times of crisis. Passionate about marketing and helping businesses of all kinds grow, Shane is a bright leader with unmatched experience.

Listen to this episode (or read the transcript below) to learn which tips and tricks Shane recommends for leaders and managers that are looking to improve their craft.

1 What changed for your team when you transitioned to working remotely?

There have been two main impacts with the first one being that we’re not able to be together in a physical location. For the most part, we’re relatively used to working across multiple offices, so we already had the ability to work with people that aren’t in the same room. 

The biggest impact has been working from home because for a lot of people it’s not just working from home, you’re at home trying to work during a crisis so we’ve been trying to work with everyone on our team to identify realistic goals and projections. We’ve taken the time to figure out each individual’s capacity to work, and we’ve formally adjusted their goals to ensure everyone is still working on what we agreed upon. There are tons of resources and best practices available pertaining to remote work but it’s more difficult to identify people’s ability to work. It’s important to continue to keep accountability and drive results while being fair and recognizing that we are currently dealing with an unprecedented crisis.

2 What changed for you from a communication standpoint?

Two things changed including the frequency of our communication and the way in which we communicate. One example is the marketing team. We used to have a monthly all-hands meeting, and we now hold one weekly with an open meeting agenda to ensure the team is all on the same page. We’ve also been having more frequent company-wide meetings because there are always a number of things that require updates. We also check in more frequently.

As a leader, you want to be able to communicate well and I think it’s been really challenging to choose how to communicate efficiently while providing a clear sense of direction and communication. You want your team to feel safe and understand what’s happening and that’s why we’ve been really upfront and honest about our company and how we’re going to be impacted as the economy shifts and uncertain times evolve. You should make sure that your team understands that there is a scenario where things could actually get worse.

3 Your employee engagement jumped during this period, correct?

Yes, our eNPS score has risen and I think it can largely be attributed to our transparency and a general reflection that people in our industry have. Unlike many industries or jobs, Intercom has not been heavily impacted so there’s a sense of job satisfaction and appreciation because people understand that we’ve generally been really lucky and our industry hasn’t been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

4 How did you view or change the hiring process at Intercom?

I’ve been at Intercom for just over a year and I think they actually had a pretty sophisticated hiring process. Something that Intercom does really well is identifying the core competencies that you need and setting up the interviews in a way that identifies if the interviewee possesses these competencies, and they do this by preparing really clear briefs.

The thing that I implemented early on in my career that had the biggest impact on the success rate of hiring was ensuring that there was some type of homework. Having some type of piece work that has the interviewee complete a piece of work that would be very similar to something they would complete in their role is critically important because it helps you understand their thought process. Assigning a take-home assignment means you won’t just be getting reactive on the spot thinking that you would get from asking a question during an interview and it facilitates a much more real-world interaction.  

If I could give one piece of advice to a hiring manager, it would be to add in some form of a take-home assignment and have it be a core part of the interview process so you can truly assess someone’s abilities without any unconscious bias.

5 Can you expand on your decision-making process?

I don’t necessarily have a formal decision log, but we do have a framework at Intercom where all of our decisions get captured and we tend to have a test and learn mentality. We like to make decisions then revisit them and determine how we can measure them and determine what actually happened as a result. It’s typically more normal within B2C companies because you can gather a large volume of data from the decisions that are being made. It’s not as common in B2B, so I think it’s amazing that we try to do it at Intercom. All of our decisions also get reviewed which I think is extremely helpful.

6 Do you have any resources or recommendations for managers or leaders that are looking to get better at their craft?

I think listening to the Supermanagers Podcast is great and not just my interview, but the podcast in general. Another great resource that I have found is the Harvard Business Review. As a manager, it’s not very expensive and the amount of research you gain access to is amazingly actionable.

I would also say that having a mentor or coach is extremely important. At Intercom, all of our directors and above have a coach. If your company isn’t willing to pay for a coach, I think it’s really important to find some form of mentor that you can bounce things off and learn from.

Additionally, having some form of feedback loop from your team Is extremely important because it helps you identify any gaps in your leadership. Doing so will help you identify what you have to work on as well as areas in which your company as a whole can improve.