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Actionable tips for startups to effectively manage virtual employees

Building a virtual team is the next-big-thing in boosting revenues. Here's some actionable tips on managing virtual employees effectively.
posted on 31st July 2018
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The struggle is real when you are rich in ideas but unfortunately poor in resources that are vital to turn those ideas into a viable business.

No matter how untiring efforts you put into multi-tasking, delegating and mapping out, you and your team still going to experience tough time deciding on decisions that need to be addressed on top priority. The struggle lies when despite all the efforts you are unable to make the progress you have aimed for your business. You started to lose opportunities and ineffectual in completing tasks that are necessary.

That is the point of time to realize you need a “Virtual Team” for your business. With a team of the virtual workforce, you can do a lot more than trading. They will instantly drive your company to top-tier of its industry by working with dedication on specific projects that will reap maximum benefits for your company and make a huge difference.

Being a big-time fan of getting things done via virtual teams, I have successfully conquered some real-time issues that all together helped me elevate various online brands including LogoOrbit. So, here I am going to share with you some battle-proven ways through which you can manage virtual employees efficiently and leverage from them.

Focus keenly on establishing ground rules that keep virtual employees focused & motivated

One of the cornerstones is to establish ground rules, lines of accountability, deliberate expectations that precisely explain how interactions will happen in your team. If due to any reason you fail to do this, things will crack down immediately. You need to keep a check and balance on your virtual team progress on monthly, quarterly and yearly basis; setting certain performance metrics is critical to keep your employees spirit high especially when you are dealing with virtual workforce. In addition, realize each individual has different capacity to meet the project goals at their best.

Therefore, I have deliberately put effort to empower my team into leaders that eventually motivates them to take ownership of the project and find the best way to accomplish a given task. According to a research done by UNCKenanflager Business School, organizations with employees who are extremely engaged with their work had faced an average 3-year growth in their revenues that is 2.3 times substantial than those businesses whose employees are not positively occupied with their work.

Employ the right communication style

Implement communication channels that work best in your startup. It allows you to discourse on important stuff that needs immediate consideration. The top-notch handpicked tools that will help you to effectively communicate are as follows: Google Hangouts, Slack, Skype and WebEx Meeting Center. You can pick one that smoothly aligns with your business needs. It encourages valuable participation among team members and enables you to conjoint ideas from different territories, which eventually result in smart and effective strategic decisions.

Deploy a project management system for adequate reporting

According to the Gallup Business Journal, only 2.5 % of startups are successfully able to accomplish 100 % of their projects. Almost hard to believe – it is when you are unable to manage your diversified business operations. Here the key discovery is to employ project management tools that streamline your business operations, especially when dealing with the virtual team.

Startup founders can implement Wrike – one of the best cloud-based solutions I have come across to manage diversified work. Its usage enables you to align business activities with your team spread globally with its customized dashboard. Moreover, it is equipped with certain collaboration tools that will instantly enhance productivity.

For instance, live activity stream option, the function of proofing and approval, co-occurring of email and calendar; articulate communication will enable you to execute tasks among your dispersed workforce. There are other tools as well that can also help you in maintaining efficient workflow including Monday.com, Zoho projects, Basecamp, Asana etc. You can employ the one that best fits your business model.

Foster culture of Meritocracy

Meritocracy is a process that rewards and recognizes people based on their talent and skills. The takeaway here is to realize the importance of appreciating and recognizing your virtual team members for their efforts and the value they bring to the company. Lack of communication and due to time and place constraints, your virtual employees are more likely to feel left out and demotivated.

Consequently, being a virtual leader you need to follow the practice of recognizing each individual specific achievement that has contributed positively. Initiate with the implementation of employee recognition programs where you provide certain rewards to your employees for their ceaseless efforts. Ask them directly what they want in exchange for a great job they have done while respecting their culture.

Startup founders can benefit from the above-field-tested tips to manage their virtual teams around the globe based on real observations that I have adopted over the years leading a virtual team.

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