Five tips to manage virtual staff
Having a virtual workforce is a popular and less expensive option for many soloists. The following five tips will help you get the most from your virtual staff.
Communication is the key to a great working relationship, especially when you have a team member working remotely. Chat with your worker daily and try to have Skype or phone calls as much as possible. Communicating by voice tends to be more effective because less gets lost in translation.
2. Set the rules
To ensure you get the best performance from your virtual team member, set the ground rules from day one. Rules can range from setting deadlines to ensuring they’re reachable at certain times of the day. Let your team member know what is expected and how you want tasks completed.
To motivate your staff, try to make work enjoyable for them. Offer flexibility but impose deadlines, and make sure they’re followed.
"Offer flexibility but impose deadlines, and make sure they’re followed. "
Also, compliment your staff member for a job well done. Let’s face it, most employees want to know if their work is appreciated. Have you seen the boss who goes over to a cubicle and congratulates his employee on a job well done, and the employee gives a glowing smile? Do that virtually and see what happens!
4. Treat virtual staff as you would in-house staff
Because you don’t see each other daily, it can sometimes be hard to make virtual team members feel like they’re part of the business. Touch base with them regularly to share good and bad news. This will help keep them excited, motivated and loyal.
5. Schedule regular meetings
A good strategy for meetings is to schedule at least one per week, preferably on a Monday morning. This allows you and your virtual team member to review accomplishments while planning for the week ahead. This is also a good time for you to discuss what’s working effectively and what can be improved.
As you can see, there are many ways to get the most from your virtual team members. As long as you set boundaries, communicate and motivate, you’ll have a happy and productive team member.
Do you employ local or offshore virtual staff? How are you managing your virtual team? Share your thoughts!