How-to: Lead, Manage, and Empower Your Virtual Employees
Business today has greatly changed largely due to the Internet and one’s access to help from freelancers and various virtual employees from all over the world. A business is no longer confined to the skills they find from the local selection which then gives them an opportunity to grow well outside their means and onward toward success.
Where there is good in virtual employees there are also troubles. It is a large departure in work style when an employee is not readily accessible for physical interaction when tasks need to be completed and meetings need to be held.
Here are some ways to get the most from your usage of virtual employees. The following items will educate you on how to lead, manage, and empower the individuals to maximize their potential to do great work.
Leading the Project
Leadership is a skill that allows you to propel individuals (or a team) toward goals in a logical, inspiring manner but to also have the ability to identify key failures and hold responsibility so mistakes can be amended.
The leadership skills that will allow you to lead the team includes (but is not limited to):
· Great communication between each party
· A passion that inspires others working on the project
· Vision to embrace a challenge to reach the big wins
· Humbleness to admit wrong when others are right
Since the employees are connecting through virtual means it’s your communication that will be the key factor on whether tasks will be done and projects get completed.
Actions you should take include having one-on-one sessions with each team member to identify their strengths and faults so that you may capitalize on their expertise and remove any hurdles that may activate their shortcomings. Once you understand each individual you will want to keep an open channel between all virtual team members so that they may voice their opinion and be empowered, through technology, to manage tasks online.
Managing the Team
There are two main aspects of keeping a virtual team moving forward:
· Using the right project management tools
· Ensuring that each individual is appropriately paid on time
There are dozens of great project management tools from Basecamp to Trello that can help take control of the team’s workflow. Implementing one of these tools is very easy to setup since most are accessible through the Web. Once setup you will have the ability to delegate and assign tasks to each individual as part of a larger project and then track those tasks through reporting. There is no “best” project management tool; it’s whatever works for you, your team, and your business.
Few projects are going to reach completion if payments aren’t delivered in a timely, convenient manner. Payment disputes are often the death knell to a project when working with virtual employees. An easy way to handle this is by using a service like Ria Money Transfer, which allows you to send money online (or to a location) for a low fee, which means everyone is paid, happy, and have what they need to continue their work.
Empowering the Individuals
One other element of working with virtual employees that very few business owners seem to neglect is giving the individuals a sense of accomplishment outside of their tasks. In normal business environments employees are able to grow their skills and social interaction but being online, providing virtual work, these two are often neglected.
Wouldn’t it be better to empower the virtual employees so they gain experience rather than using them for their talent and tossing them once a project is done?
Treat your virtual employees like you would someone in the office:
· Hold online meet ups that aren’t business related so everyone can get to know each other, kick around ideas, and have a fun time chatting.
· Encourage them to expand or hone their skills through online education (be willing to pay for an online course or two for them) so they can bring something more to the table.
· Give them allowances to purchase products, services, and other resources that would empower their work which will lead to tasks being completed proficiently.
If you can lead your virtual team in a succinct manner, manage them through project tools and keeping them paid, and empower them through education and flexibility you will take control of the team and find your success in your projects, plain and simple.
Q: What do YOU do to lead, manage, and empower your virtual employees?
Article Submitted By James Kelly.