Whether your new remote workers are working on an island, on the moon or a few doors away there are some sure-fire ways of giving the relationship the best possible chance of blossoming.
Here we show you how to best manage them with high-impact internet business coaching aimed at getting the most out of them and ensuring that they get the most out of their work too – it’s a 2-way process as the happier people are, the better quality work they generally deliver.
The first thing to bear in mind is that they usually won’t do things perfectly the first time. If you start with small tasks, the mistakes will be smaller. Checking their work closely at first and noting the areas that can be improved upon will set out the coaching requirements. Give feedback early and give it often and once they have proven their ability in an area you can give them more sizeable and involved tasks.
Your virtual assistant may be working at home alone and will usually appreciate the contact and any constructive criticism that comes his or her way. Your feedback, input and suggestions is the only means of them knowing how they’re travelling on a task.
You can’t just go into their office or have a chat by the water-cooler so you’ll need to show them by Skype chat, video, screen flow software or screen captures how a task can be completed more effectively or efficiently.
If you can’t Skype or GChat then audio messages are great for explaining the ins and outs of what can be improved upon. This is much better then drafting a 1500 word email that can be terribly impersonal and can also be read differently to how it’s written. I think we’ve all had experiences where we’ve sent a mail and it’s produced a reaction from the recipient that we didn’t expect and we’re left thinking, “Why the heck did he take it like that? That’s not what I meant at all!” The point is that video and audio creates the right tone for the message as well as providing the information.
Once you’ve shown your remote workers how to master a task you can get them to do it with you as a “dry run”; give them feedback on how they performed. Then get them to do the task on their own to reinforce it and again provide guidance on what they did well and what can be improved upon. Repeat this until the task is completed flawlessly.
There is great reward in then getting them to teach someone else and this really ensures that the message has been received, internalized and applied in the correct way. If they can teach it correctly then they can certainly do it correctly. It also helps to spread the knowledge and skills around the team and will encourage the team spirit which is all-important to successful remote working.
This is just scratching the surface of how to manage your team of remote workers effectively. If you want to know how we do it here at Melbourne SEO Services you can take a look at our outsourcing training DVDs.
Before working online I worked in the field of HR and I can honestly say that the hardest part about managing people is communicating messages correctly and appropriately. This is even more challenging for online based businesses and managers. Aside from the right tools and processes I would also recommend taking the time to know a little bit about the cultural background and living situation of your VA.
It really helps that an effective system is in place to manage virtual assistants today. On the other hand, VAs also need to pay close attention to where the company is heading so they can also contribute ideas to help the business succeed.
Skype is a very useful communication tool. Previous to that I only know of Yahoo! Chat but soon realized it was not that popular as a business tool outside the Philippines. That was how I got to know about Skype. And for over 2 years now, I can’t remember the last time I logged into my Yahoo! Chat account. 🙂
Hi David, great insight on how to manage remote worker. I also agree on you that it is good to check their work closely and give feedback at first. These way workers will know and have an idea on how to do their tasks efficiently and effectively. It is also a good way to communicate to workers via chat or audio messages. These way workers can easily understand what you want them to do. It is also a great way to know if that person understands what you said. Another is in my opinion reading a 1500 word email can be so boring and you cannot assure that your workers read and understand it. Basically, trust and communication is the key to effectively manage remote workers. Online tools like Skype, GChat and Yahoo Messenger can help you improve communication to remote workers. Feel free to check this blog for more alternative tools that can help you manage remote workers.