Every day we manage multiple responsibilities, some of us excel at taking care of the details and thrive in such an environment. While others struggle trying to keep track of the details and truthfully dread having to do any kind of follow up.
As an Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant, I often find myself in the position of managing many aspects of my clients business, especially coordinating and following up with other freelancers and outsources that my client has on their virtual team.
That’s the fantastic thing of being an Online Business Manager I can directly support my clients in getting more things done, but taking care of all of the administrative aspects of their business and let my client focus on what they do best and what brings in the revenue for them.
So when I step into the role of managing my clients’ virtual teams I often try and follow these tips to keep things on track focused on the projects at hand.
TIP #1 – ESTABLISH OBJECTIVES
Whenever a new team member is brought on board or we are about to start a new project I take time to ensure that everyone understands their role and their work within the project scope and make themselves and me happy. Sometimes this is just a quick email to the team or if it’s more elaborate I might organize a team meeting or individual meetings to cover objectives and roles.
I’ll admit, at times I could (or maybe should) be more forceful and aggressive but that;’s part of the challenge of being kind in the corporate world. Yet I’m feeling like there’s a fine line between being more forceful and being rude. There are so many effective ways to make your point like having patience and intelligent talks, listening more, keeping it simple, or emphasize certain objectives.
TIP #2 – BRING EVERYONE TOGETHER
Yes, we might all be individual contractors but we’re all working on a common goal for the client. If everyone knows they are part of a team working on a common objective and deliverable I find that everyone feels better about their work and they are often more collaborative with everyone on the team.
If you bring everything together, others will be more likely to invest as they believe that finding the person with the right time management skills for a job is key. Headhunters might be looking for you so if you are that particular person, just start investing in yourself rather than investing in other persons or things.
TIP #3 – COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE
When you are working with team members virtually everyone needs to know the importance of communication. Part of my keys jobs is ensuring that everyone is on board and in loop. Whether it’s a quick email or gathering a team conference call. This is probably one of the most important tasks that any Online Business Manager, Virtual Assistant or Project Manager needs to do and if this is something you struggle with consider hiring someone to manage this process for you.
TIP #4 – MANAGE THE WORKLOAD
It’s important to stay on top of what tasks are completed, near completion or maybe slipping through the cracks and stepping in to help the outsources with their workload and refer back to Tip #3. So often, I find myself beyond control again and to be honest, one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with over the past years is simply accepting that I’ve got no or little control over so many elements in my life, especially when it has to do with people.
But finally, one day, I got it. I figured out what the reasons were why I felt so totally burnt out of the job that I liked so much. When I started out recruiting, my tasks were just minimal. I just needed to make the candidates feel at ease and happy by just providing a dream job. Simple and beautiful work. And then, one day, it wasn’t good enough any longer. I wanted better. I wanted bigger. I wanted excitement. So I entered the corporate world… And wow, did things get complicated! Read more here, but it’s all about Managing the Workload!
TIP # 4 – ASSIGN SHORTER ASSIGNMENTS
Think of this if you give someone a task or project that will take 6 weeks to complete and if it goes off track you might not know for 4 weeks or so and that makes it difficult to make up for lost time. So instead, think of any longer-term projects and break it down into shorter manageable chunks, then you can keep track of the work and know the work is being completed. If you think about a career as a phlebotomy technician, check out this post.
TIP #5 – PROVIDE SYSTEMS FOR THE TEAM TO CONNECT
Technology is making it easier and easier for teams to connect and stay in touch. There are many great collaboration applications available now that allow for teams and clients to connect. Services like Basecamp, DeskAway, My ClientSpot all offer ways for teams and clients to manage tasks, projects, and communication with one another.