You already turned to outsourcing? That’s great! Businesses of all sizes can save on budget and gain on efficiency when they outsource properly. Outsourcing is great because it gives you access to highly-skilled professionals in marketing, IT, project management, accounting, and all other professions that are crucial for the development of your projects.
The problem is: how do you keep your remote employees motivated? You give them deadlines, and the working hours are on them. A remote worker has the flexibility to plan the schedule in accordance with their daily routine. They can work during weekends and sleep through Mondays; they can work in the middle of the night, or they can stick to the 9-to-5 schedule if that works for them. As long as they meet the deadlines, things will work out perfectly.
Throughout my experience, I found that managing remote workers was more complicated than it seemed in theory. There are few problems with outsourcing:
If you solve the lack of motivation problem, the other three issues will go away, too. It’s time to learn how to do that: make your outsource workers more motivated to do what you need them to do.
Let’s say you’re hiring a team of freelance writers to work on a blog linked to anti-aging, so you can sell more beauty products. You pick writers who have experience with beauty topics. You negotiate the price, and everything seems perfect. You assign ten articles to each of them, and you notice that the first posts are brilliant. Over time, you see that the quality level drops in the work of most of writers.
I’ve seen that happen too many times before. When the project is coming to an end, people are just trying to get it done. They started enthusiastically, and they used their best ideas at the beginning. Now that they know I liked their work, they try less to impress you.
It took me a while to figure out the solution: highlighting long-term opportunities. What will they get if they work for you and do a great job? There are few ways for you to keep them going:
When people see an opportunity to make more money in future, of course they will be more motivated to work more. But, make sure to remind them that quality is a requirement for higher fees and bonuses.
You don’t like a remote worker’s achievements? You don’t think it’s bad, but you think they could do better? You don’t think they understood your instructions that well? Well, tell them! You need to have a feedback structure, which will make them feel appreciated when they do a good job, and will remind them they could do some things a tad better.
I once worked as a team leader for a project manager who never gave feedback. I kept sending the projects, and I kept getting the transactions. But, I didn’t get anything else. I didn’t know how the client liked my work. You must be curious: how did that end? Well, I didn’t get my contract renewed because, guess what: the guy didn’t think the work was perfect.
No matter how hard you try to keep your remote workers engaged in the work, you have to keep in mind that they value their flexibility. That’s why they chose to be freelancers instead of in-office workers. If you control them too much and expect them to works during strict working hours, you’ll lose them.
If someone asks for a free day on Orthodox Christmas or Chinese New Year, I allow them the “luxury” to celebrate it. I write personalized emails to wish them a great holiday. If someone decides to have a vacation, I wish them a good time. But, I always let my workers know that I need them to inform me about their holidays and vacations at least one week ahead.
When an outsourced employee does a great job, I want to keep the good work going. If, for example, I’m paying $10 per slide of a presentation and someone delivers awesome work, I increase the final pay for $30. That’s a small bonus payment for me as a manager, but the employee values it greatly.
When you have a good remote team and you keep getting satisfactory results from them, you’ll probably want to assign a team leader, who will serve as the intermediary between you and the team.
That was a bad idea when I first put it to action, since I didn’t carry it out properly. I thought the team leader was supposed to be in charge with the entire project. I made the same mistake as the boss who didn’t give feedback to my work as a team leader: I assigned general guidelines and delegated the details to the team leader. At the end, I got press releases and articles that missed the point. Fortunately, it didn’t take me long to recognize my own part in the failure.
An outsource team can do a brilliant job, as long as you motivate the workers enough. Hopefully, you found the tips you needed above. Now, all you need to do is follow them. Try different motivational techniques and see what works. Then, share your experience with us!
About the Author:
Mary Kleim is a digital specialist and creative writer. She has her own team of freelancers, who are working on assignment help service Assignment Masters.