This is a guest post by Nathan Hirsch, a remote hiring expert and the CEO of FreeeUp, the hands-on solution to hiring remote workers in the eCommerce industry. He has sold over $20 million worth of products on Amazon, has co-written an eBook on remote hiring, and is featured on leading industry podcasts such as Entrepreneur Ignited.
Managing remote workers is no small feat. Issues unique only to remote workers are plentiful, and the same amount of care and attention must be given to each worker to ensure that there are no problems with oversight.
So how’s the best way to deal with these issues and bring out the best from your remote hires?
There are little-known secrets that most newcomers often fail to discern when managing remote workers. This can stem from a lack of previous experience or oversights in communication, and it takes time and commitment to master finding them all.
However, once you’ve learned the trade secrets in the field of remote hiring, you’ll gain the experience required for success. In this article, we’ll discuss how to properly utilize these secrets effectively.
1. Get to Know Your Worker.
While there’s a great chance you will never speak to your remote worker face to face, you’ll still want to take the time and effort to get to know them on a personal level. After all, you are hiring these people to work for your business, and you want workers who are enthusiastic about the opportunity to do so.
When you first meet, take some time to ask about who they are and what they do. Discuss with them their goals and aspirations, hobbies, family and their work life.
It’s important that you are able to gauge their interest and commitment to your company, and it’s one of the key ingredients towards hiring a successful worker.
Being able to connect to your worker on a personal level will go a long way towards solidifying your working relationship with them. It doesn’t have to be a long journey either, simply take 30 minutes or so to go through this process. Your worker will appreciate the effort, and will feel more at ease in bringing up any issues that arise.
2. Set Clear Expectations.
Once you have introduced your workers to your business goals, it’s time to set the standard you want them to uphold.
While many workers are able to attain a firm grasp on what they are doing for you and your business within the first meeting, it’s important to note that they often deal, or have dealt, with multiple clients a year.
Since there’s no standard towards what you can expect from each client, workers don’t always have a perfect understanding of how you want them to pursue your business goals.
Right after the hiring process is over, set clear expectations that you want your worker to follow. These expectations include:
Communication: Ensure that your worker is able to reach you from anywhere and at any time, through either email, texting apps or by phone. Share your working hours, as well as when you’ll be unavailable as well, and make sure your worker understands the steps required to communicate effectively.
Worker Unavailability: Sometimes a worker will have to deal with a loss of internet connection or emergency situation that will temporarily make them unavailable. Make sure they know what to do in this situation, and that they’ve given you full notification that they will be out during this time.
Schedule: You’ll want to set up a schedule with your worker that is right for both of you. Using this schedule as a guideline, you can keep track of what your worker is performing, and when that worker is doing so.
Setting Goals: Remote staff thrives off completing tasks and setting goals. By understanding this, you can give your freelancers a reasonable amount of time to complete each task that allows them to complete repetitive goals while remaining motivated. That makes managing remote workers easier.
3. Keep Yourself Updated.
Keeping track of your workers daily / weekly progress is an important part of communication.
The secret towards keeping things consistent is to have your worker give a daily or weekly report on what they have accomplished during those time periods.
For example, have them send in a small paragraph detailing what they have worked on, what they have completed, and what goals or deadlines they will strive to meet the next day.
Such a productivity analysis serves well when managing remote workers.
4. Hold Regular Meetings.
It’s important that your workers feel as close and appreciated as any member of the team.
Since working remotely can be filled with oversight, it’s recommended to hold about 1-2 meetings every month with your workforce. These meetings can be used to discuss company updates, direction, highlighting professionalism and welcoming any new workers to the team.
Not only is this a great way to keep in touch with your workers, but it allows them to feel as though they are part of the bigger picture, and keeps them focused on your businesses goals and direction.
5. Promote the Opportunity for Growth.
Remote workers are highly proactive about reaching their goals, and are motivated by success. Try encouraging this behavior by showing them how they can take on additional responsibilities and become a more valued member of the team. By taking on other ways to contribute, you’re giving your workers a chance to grow and build upon their skill-sets.
The growth of your workers requires your input as well. Communicate to them your thoughts and opinions on their work in a reasonable manner. Offer monthly evaluations and the chance for promotion so that your worker remains focused upon reaching their goals and working efficiently.
Bonus Secret: Inspire Your Workers
While your workers are performing their set of daily tasks, always talk to and encourage your workers to perform at their best. Be an active presence in your workers’ daily routine, even if it’s a quick check-in to offer them a good morning or a celebratory update for completing a desired goal. You can do this for all your workers as a group, and it will remind them that you value them as part of a team.
What about you? What else can you add on managing remote workers?