6 Secrets For Managing Virtual Workers
Thanks to the internet and the power of technology, it’s now completely possible for you to run a small business with the aid of virtual employees. A virtual team presents a lot of advantages including lower overhead costs since you won’t need to lease an office and improved employee productivity as your workers won’t have to spend time traveling to work. But of course, if there are benefits to having a virtual staff, there are also some disadvantages.
One of the major challenges of having a virtual team is management. Since your employees work different shifts and you can’t talk to them personally, managing them via phone, email, or whatnot is the only option. If you find this task very tricky, here are some tips that can help you out:
Establish Ground Rules
Setting up ground rules from day one is a must. Doing this will let your virtual employees know that there are certain policies that they have to follow even if they are working remotely. One example would be the expectation that they can be contacted via phone or email during work hours.
Set Regular Meetings
One of the first steps in being able to successfully manage your virtual workforce is to make sure you have regular meetings. Talking to your employees face-to-face will give you a chance to learn more about them and at the same time, get real-time updates about the projects they’re working on.
There are tons of software and apps that you can use for video calling such as Skype and Google Hangouts. You can even use social media for this as well as other handy programs like screen-sharing apps.
Don’t Forget to Interact Daily
Make sure you always interact with your team even in simple ways like responding to an email with a thank you or giving a compliment to an employee for a job well done. These are the little things that will help strengthen your relationship with your virtual staff.
Encourage Them to Provide Feedback
Make it clear to your employees that they can always provide feedback whether it’s good or bad. This will make them feel that their opinions are valued and that they can contribute to the success of the company outside of their work. You should also encourage them to ask questions and voice their concerns.
Be Informal When Communicating
When your team can be informal when communicating, it helps build trust and strengthen relationships. Be sure to encourage them to chat and converse whenever they like.
Make Them Feel That You Trust Them
It’s hard to build trust especially if you don’t see your employees. But since you are managing a virtual team, trust is essential to make the whole process work. Let your employees feel that you count on them to meet your expectations even without daily supervision.
Do you have any experience in managing a virtual team? What are the challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them? Share your stories with us!