If you were in a relationship, would you treat your partner any different if you were married or just in an exclusive relationship?
The same question can be applied to managing a virtual assistant or a regular employee.
Virtual assistants or members of a remote team are usually freelancers or independent contractors.
Since virtual assistants aren’t fully employed and are not entitled to regular employee benefits, business owners may have concerns on how to motivate and manage them to deliver desired quality output and to sustain their interest to accept another job, if asked.
Read on for tips and advice on how to successfully manage freelancers or independent contractors:
1. Ask and understand what they want.
Answers to simple questions can be revealing and insight on how to manage your remote team.
Question: What do you find interesting about this job? Answer: It’s an opportunity to hone my current skills.
Question: What do you expect from your boss?” Answer: Clear and concise directions to complete a task.
Question: What do you hope to achieve after completing an assigned job?” Answer: To be assigned another job after proving one’s capability.
2. Be clear on your expectations.
Be clear and specific on required output. It is important to brief your virtual assistants on the overall objective(s) why a task is being assigned to them. This allows them to understand the importance or the value of the task being assigned to them. Thus, they become aware and clear about what is expected from them.
3. Build a healthy working relationship.
Even if you don’t see each other face to face, you need invest some time to engage and get to know them personally. Be interested in who they are and what they are like, outside of work. This makes them feel valued and builds a healthy working relationship. This tip is handy especially if the virtual assistant is highly skillful and could work for you on another project.
4. Make them feel they are part of a team.
Who doesn’t want to belong to a team? It is a basic human need to feel wanted. Work gets done faster if there is honest to goodness collaboration and it builds teamwork and camaraderie. The last thing you want to make your virtual assistants feel is to feel left out. Include them in virtual office meetings or add them to your online work group channel.
5. Avoid micromanaging.
If you micromanage, it reflects lack of trust. Skillful virtual assistants are used to working independently and are professional. They may have schedules and other projects. They allot specific time to work on their projects, so they can focus and produce quality output. Isn’t this what you expect as well, if they are working on your project?
6. Ask for feedback.
Being open to honest feedback, works well all the time. Telling your remote team honestly what you think about their work, whether it is to improve their output or congratulate them for a job well done is a good business practice. If works both ways, too. They may have valuable suggestions on how to improve work or increase productivity. Issues and problems can be handled immediately. Positive feedback will do wonders for motivating your team to work more efficiently.
7. Pay them well, promptly and fairly.
“You get what you pay for.”
If you value their work and pay them market or even premium rate, you can get top notch work.
If you don’t pay well or fairly and expect much, you may end up with a lemon.
Lastly, try to be kind, fair, appreciative, generous, respectful and honest, as often as you can, at work or in life, in general.
It makes one feel good and truly happy, and who doesn’t want this?
Need more advice on outsourcing and managing a virtual assistant?
Find out through Great Work Online, where outsourcing is made simple.
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