A cold hard truth that one needs to understand to have engaged employee- You need to be an engaged manager first. There is a concept called, the world is your mirror. Whatever is reflecting you from your external world is due to the result of something that is going on within you. So if you are finding that your employees are not engaged in your team, in your company, then it has something to do with a lack of potential engagement from within yourself.
Hence, if you were, to be honest with yourself, can you say that you are fully engaged as a manager everyday hundred percent of the time?
If you look around, there would be hints here and there that show lack of engagement within yourself. It should be no surprise that there is a lack of participation in your employees as well.
Motivating Freelancers team just like motivating internal work team is the greatest thing you can do to drive home productively.
- DETERMINE THE TYPE OF WORK
Motivating a remote or outsourced work team is not the same as driving an in-house team. Firstly, it is essential to determine what type of work you are collaborating on. If it’s a quantitative work based on per unit either per minute of audio transcribed or leaves gathered, you are going to pay them on a per unit basis. This way your costs are directly correlated with their outputs. If it’s more of a qualitative project make sure you have clear instructions and expectations and deadlines at the outset and then go ahead and pay per hour or per month of work delivery.
- SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS
During the hiring process, it is essential to discuss what to expect from your employees. Be sure to cover hours of availability, communication expectations, including responsiveness to emails and phone calls. The employee must understand their work responsibilities and how their products will be measured.
Also, decide on what kind of non-monetary rewards you want to give your team. Set up challenges and reward them. The award may not be just money but, it may be any value that offers a feeling of recognition.
- ENGAGE OFTEN
To ensure that your freelancers feel like an essential part of your team, you must engage them. Be in contact with your staff daily via phone calls, email, or other channels. Be sure to include them in the weekly staff meeting. Also, plan individual phone calls with each freelancers to see how things are going on on a personal level, and to make sure there are no obstacles in their way.
Make sure that you FaceTime using both audio and video. A lot of people treat their teams like they treat their computers. Get on Skype video chat with them and have a general conversation about how they are doing in their life, as you would do with a regular employee in the office. Also, if you have the time and money, it is excellent if you can make a trip out to your freelancing team to boost the teams’ morale.
- PROVIDE RELIABLE TOOLS
Today, the technology is so advanced we can work from almost anywhere in the world seamlessly. The following apps could be beneficial:
- Zoom or Skype for conference calls or video meetings.
- Trello for project management.
- Evernote app is excellent for sharing business and meeting notes with others.
- Zixmail is a superb tool to transport sensitive data over the internet. The HR professionals are required to protect the data of their employees. This tool ensures that everything is encrypted, secure, and they are compliant.
These are a few apps that are in use, mostly. Many other apps might work great for you and your company.
- TRUST YOUR TEAM
When you manage a freelancers, you have to trust that each person is working towards your shared goals. Focus more on the results and the quality of their work endless on what they are doing at any moment. As their leader, you must behave in a way that shows you trust your team to do their jobs well. They will likely live up to your expectations.
BONUS TIP: During the group calls to add a unique “what’s going on” topic to your agenda. This conversation will help each person to briefly discuss non-work-related activities such as graduations, family trips, or their grandchildren. It will encourage personal connections between your team members, and everyone will benefit from that.
I am a solo mom of two beautiful angels. I have worked remotely for several years now, and it has been an extremely positive experience both for the companies I worked with and for myself.
Great work can be rendered from anywhere, and you are most creative and productive when your people and your surroundings inspire you. At Remotepanda it has been a life changing experience with a group of interesting people. I am an experienced back-office virtual assistant with experience in building a complete back-office process from scratch and run it.