Managing a team is an arduous and sometimes stressful task, even more so if the team is a virtual team! Virtual teams can sometimes be chaotic considering that all members do their own tasks in a remote area that denotes no personal contact with other members.
Having such a situation can be a struggle for business owners, especially when they are not mentally prepared for this new arrangement. Truly, businesses with virtual teams and virtual assistants receive a lot of benefits from outsourcing their tasks, but everything comes with some challenges. Luckily, these challenges can be overcome with proper management, leadership, and strategy.
Here are some effective tips on how to handle virtual teams for business owners:
1. Do not hurry
Growing a business is not a race. Some businessmen tend to put a lot of pressure on their team just to reach the company’s goal right away. This is not a negative action, but as a business owner, it is better to have small secure steps than ending up failing. It is better to tackle one task at a time as hurrying does not help with the team’s productivity.
The original strategy needs to be feasible and achievable. For entrepreneurs with virtual assistants in their team, you should first test the capabilities of the VAs then slowly scale up the work. Owners may be expecting too much of their employees and the team could end up being overwhelmed or even worse, burned out.
This tip does not only apply to virtual teams but also office employees. Tasks will be carried out better if done one at a time. With such, everyone will be able to focus on the specific job and it will decrease errors.
Business growth is a constant work in progress. CEO’s and managers should create a productive and motivating environment that encourages employees to work hard. Same goes for virtual teams, just because they are virtual does not mean that they do not need a positive working culture.
2. Selection process
The most effective action to avoid conflicts between businesses and virtual assistants is at selection and hiring. Poor performing team members generate internal problems, therefore, hirers must have a strong selection criterion to ensure they are picking the most suitable and capable people to do the job.
There are particular tips and techniques in hiring a virtual assistant to help entrepreneurs through the process such as asking proper interview questions and understanding what kind of virtual assistant the business requires. Owners must be certain that both parties are able to communicate well with each other and share the same passion, beliefs, goals, and motivation in working.
There are no perfect virtual assistants and a lack of knowledge or skills can be improved by proper training and orientation, but the relationship between the business and the VA is irreplaceable. Selecting the proper partner in business is a very crucial step that requires time and attention. By finding the best virtual assistant providers, you can feel positive that they will provide quality output for your business.
3. Maintain transparency
Building and maintaining trust in every relationship is very important. This includes relationships between employers and employees or clients and virtual assistants. Keeping the information flowing within the whole team keeps everyone informed about the current happenings and situations. They will also be aware of the improvements and growth of the business as a result of their hard work. With such, virtual assistants will be motivated to improve their work.
A strict hierarchy in a workplace often creates boundaries and limits employees of their full potential.
4. They are human beings, treat them like one
Business owners sometimes struggle with understanding the situation that their virtual workforce is in. Despite not being in the physical office, VAs are humans too. Many employers give lesser value to virtual assistants, which results in negative relationships and unmotivated VAs.
Such an outlook will affect the team’s productivity. Therefore, business owners should appreciate each and every member of their team, treat them with equal respect and have realistic expectations of them.
5. Utilize virtual tools
The internet is a wide space that contains almost all the information people need. It is also bombarded with tons of applications for various services, including communication. For handling virtual assistants, there are a number of online tools that can be used for managing their tasks and communicating with clients.
There are online scheduling apps, organizers, and messaging apps that will be extremely helpful for VAs. For business owners, there are also communication apps like Skype, that allow for real-time talking through video calling. Such apps allow immediate and direct messages, which is ideal for urgent tasks and relaying specific instructions to virtual assistants.
There are indeed a number of adjustments and tactics companies can employ to handle virtual employees properly. But such challenges should not be the reason to give up on virtual assistants. The benefits that a business can accumulate from outsourcing outweigh the challenges that come with changing a few strategies and structure within the team. With a proper mindset and knowledge, owners will be able to manage virtual teams successfully.