Managing and leading a team can feel overwhelming. This proves to be true when managing someone virtually.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
You thought you did everything right. You looked for the right people, posted ads online, asked for referrals and finally hired the perfect employee, contractor, agency or service provider.
You email your list of to-do’s to your VA and project manager, have the quick meeting to get things going… then you patiently wait to see the magic happen…but nothing happens.
Unbeknownst to you, the team that you think understands your requests is unclear of the priorities and is actually waiting on you for additional instructions.
Now you’re left with your stack of to-do’s, a breakdown in trust and reeling from the experience that leaves you vowing to never hire or outsource again.
But before you write off outsourcing, maybe it’s time to rethink that maybe the problem wasn’t them..it’s YOU.
The key to leading an effective team lies in your communication. As the leader of your business, you have to do just that, step up and lead. Outsourcing doesn’t give you a free pass to check out. Effective leaders and managers know how to communicate with their teams like pros.
So instead of squashing your dreams of creating your dream team, here are 4 tips that will help you “help” your team get things done:
1. Delegate responsibility
If you need tech support, you hire a tech person, if you need graphics made, hire a graphic designer. It’s not just about having the right skills but also about having the heart and passion for it.
Don’t hire someone who is not passionate about what they do or how they do it; but do give them space to grow and learn new skills if they are interested in working on the particular project and don’t have much experience.
Assign the project at hand to the person on your team who is best suited for the job.
2. Talk it out
Email is great but your email inbox is not a to do list for you or your team. If you want to get things done try having a live meeting, a Skype call or a simple phone call with your team. This will help take things to the next level and you can avoid any miscommunication.
Checking in with your team from time to time to see where projects are is also ideal. Talking about your expectations and the results needed makes for a stronger connection and better synergy.
Effective leaders and managers know how to communicate with their teams like pros.
It’s important to communicate and communicate well, it can be deadly to assume, so ask the right questions and avoid confusion.
Extra tip: If you don’t have time for a call you can have a quick check in using the chat function on Skype.
3. Trust But Check-in… and Give Praise
Trust your team members to do the job, but stay in contact without being intrusive. If you hired the right team for the job, you should trust that they will support you and make things happen while still supporting them.
One way to support your team is to let them know when you will check in. Book a meeting with them if necessary but more than anything respect their boundaries.
A happy team makes for a happy business.
Open the lines of communications so that feel comfortable contacting you right away if something comes up or if they hit a snag in the project (Trust me there is always something!).
Your attitude is key. You have to be open and accepting and don’t forget they are your biggest cheerleaders.
Give praise as you go along for job well done, or even a piece of the project that has been accomplished, we all love compliments so you don’t have to wait until everything is finished to let them know how you appreciate their support.
4. Let them direct you
Remember that you hired your team for a reason, so trust that they are the best at what they do. Although you are clear on your vision and your business goals, communicating the big picture to your team can actually help you achieve your results faster.
Be clear about your expectations and listen to what they have to say in return. Make sure that you know what they need from you to make things happen and be a successful. A business relationship is just that, a relationship, and there is a certain amount of back and forth that is bound to take place.
Managing a virtual team can be a rewarding experience. By treating your team as a partners rather than using them as a dumping ground for your tasks will open the doors of possibility for your business.