How to Build a Remote Team
In today’s economy, knowing how to build a remote team and being able to motivate them is a requirement as a competitive advantage. Based on the latest information from Global Workforce Analytics – they confirm what we already know to be true, the number of remote workers in the US is rising.
While many larger corporations are becoming more open to this idea, the small entrepreneur has to think about how they can have a competitive advantage. We believe that advantage can and should be hiring staff globally and incorporating a global workforce. HireSmartVirtual Assistants.com specializes in helping business owners in the hiring and training of global virtual assistants as full time staff. We try to make the process easy and painless.
While for some this may be a new and scary idea, the results are tremendous and the cost saving is significant. The quality of work is great when you hire correctly and when you have the skills to motivate, train and manage a global workforce.
Here are some ideas to get the most out of your remote staff.
1. Telling your virtual staff “Good job” goes a long way.
Most Virtual Assistants love to have busy schedule. This gives a sense of security and helps them believe that they are valuable in your business. However as busy days turn into weeks, and turn into months and years, their motivation may wear out with the day-to-day grind if you do not acknowledge the benefits that they are adding to your business.
Celebrate small successes by acknowledging your Virtual Assistant’s effort. Take a moment to recognize your Virtual Assistant’s success with a job well done. This is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to boost morale.
If you are working with more than one Virtual Assistant, this also creates a healthy competition within your team to get noticed by the boss.
2. Discuss challenges head on
In every relationship, there will be moments when your Virtual Assistant experiences low morale. It’s perfectly normal. We can’t always be upbeat all the time. However, if you find that there is a recurring theme, don’t dismiss it. Talk with your virtual staff.
If there is a performance issue, make sure that you have clearly communicated with your Virtual Staff about the goals and objectives. Sometimes, we believe we have communicated and if we look back and assess ourselves, we find that we have not been totally clear. This is a great opportunity to evaluate ourselves as managers of remote staff.
Assuming you have clearly defined the objectives and there is still a problem with performance, use this time to get feedback and find out solutions. Proactively find out what the issue and ask about what can you do to make the situation better. Talking about expectations and having your Virtual Assistant come up with a solution will help them to be a part of the solution. Invest in the relationship and you will be excited to see the results.
3. Encourage rest days & time off when possible
Because of time zone differences, sometimes we forget that we may be making requests of our Virtual Assistants on their rest days. While we don’t think anything about it, sometimes our Virtual Staff may believe they are expected to respond even when they are not supposed to be working.
Have very clear communication about expectations. I share with my Virtual Assistants that even though I may email or message them outside of working hours, my expectation is that it is not responded to until their work day.
While we don’t pay for vacation for our Virtual Staff, be open to their request for additional time off. They may shy away from asking for a vacation because it is an unpaid absent, so if they request it – try to honor their request.
Because we hire from the Philippines which is a predominately Catholic culture, we always share with our clients that Christmas and Easter are holy times and most Virtual Assistants will want to have time with their families at that time. If you really want to motivate them – offer to have those days off with pay. That goes a long way to building the relationship.
4. Listen to your Virtual Assistant
Probably the most important and valuable thing you can do as a boss is to be open and willing to listen to your staff. Give your Virtual Assistant the chance to voice their input to problems, solutions and ideas. When you ask for input from them, it allows them to feel more of a part of the team.
You will be surprised at the valuable insight that they have and they will probably give you a new perspective. Listen and if appropriate incorporate their ideas, you will appreciate the results.
5. Keep your Virtual Assistant in the loop
Keeping your Virtual Staff informed is a must. Help them to understand the why behind what you are asking them to do. Having regular check-ins and sharing how they are contributing to the team is a key component to building trust and a good team dynamic.
Remember your Virtual Staff isn’t around you to hear the changes. You have to make a conscious effort to keep them in the loop. No one likes to be last to know but when your Virtual Assistant doesn’t know what’s going on, productive time may give way to duplicate or unnecessary efforts.
Also, if you are working with more than one Virtual Assistant, it can be worse if you don’t tell everyone all the same information. It can create some tension between each other and lead them to wonder. While that is rarely intentional, you should be careful to make sure that all staff has the same communication.
We hope these 5 tips on how to build a remote team have provided you with some much needed insight. Remember that a happy Virtual Assistant will always provide exceptional results. They are able to have the benefit of a career while maintaining their work/life balance and being close to family. This instills loyalty and commitment to you which will always result it positive results.