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5 Ways to Get the Best from Your Outsourced Service Providers

There are great advantages of working with remote professionals. For example, when you outsource, you won’t have to pay for office space, and you have access to a range of talents from all over the world. But fact is that working with a team of employees based in one location is completely different than leading a team of freelancers whom you may never physically meet. There are very many factors involved and you need some tips to help you benefit immensely from this:

Here are some tips on how to get the best from your remote team of freelancers.

1. Culture.

First, you need to set up a culture for your team, just like any other location-based team, especially if you expect them to work together. Your team’s culture will determine whether they make an effort to collaborate with each other, how often they communicate with you and with each other, what hours they work and how quickly they respond to emails. Basically, you are establishing guidelines of behavior for your team.

Establishing a tram custom among your outsourced staff require ground rules. All of them need to be clear on what behavior is ideal, what is acceptable and what is not. For example, you may want your team to be creative and think out of the box. To achieve this, consider giving them freedom to test new ideas, perhaps once a week. They can share the results with the rest of the team for helpful critique. Discourage bullying behavior and deal with any form of intimidation on the team.

2. Have clear expectations.

You may not be able to easily and completely monitor what your remote staff are doing at their computers or control how they work, so it’s best that you set clear expectations from the beginning. Make sure that everyone is given clear description on what their responsibilities are and what roles others within the team are playing. Give them goals and targets to reach. Ensure you include deadlines whenever appropriate.

In addition, it is also important to keep in touch with each freelancer regularly. Schedule daily or weekly meet ups online to review their progress, give feedback and to answer any questions that he or she may have. It’s better to do this through video conferencing instead of a phone call. You can pick up a lot more by seeing your freelancer’s facial expressions.

3. Communicate and collaborate

Promoting the building of both professional and personal relationships as and friendships within the team will help cement it and increase productivity. Better work relationships produce higher job satisfaction. Though remote teams miss out on opportunities for the daily chit chat that happens organically in office environments,  you can increase communication and collaboration among your team by intentionally creating opportunities for these to happen.

Consider investing in technology and tools such as video conferencing, project management, screen sharing and resource sharing software. These will help you achieve better communication, collaboration and camaraderie. Video conferencing software enables face-to-face and voice communication. With project management software, teams can work together better with organizational tools, time tracking and resource planning tools. Screen sharing makes it easier for teams to discuss work that appears on each other’s computer screens. Resource sharing allows online files to be shared across the team. Accessibility to the team is also very important. They will have questions and inquiries. Provide them with easy ways to reach you. If perhaps, they need to take up more of your time, create a clear calendar of when you are available for longer meetings online.

Once in a while face-to-face meetings have a role to play in cementing working relationships among remote teams. This is because despite all the effort that you may put into promoting online relationships and collaboration, nothing beats the trust and closeness that is forged through face-to-face meetings. At least once a year, try to bring your team physically together. This can be a work and play event combining both project work and team bonding activities. You may even want to get the team together on location for a couple of months’ brainstorming sessions, if you have the resources to do so.

4. Compliment.

When your outsourced professional or remote worker performs well, compliment him/her. It’s important to give appreciation, recognition and praise to your remote workers, especially when he or she exceeds targets or expectations. It’s easy to get busy and only contact him or she when something goes wrong or when you need to provide new instructions. However, just like any other normal relationship, a lack of appreciation may result in a remote freelancer feeling unappreciated and unmotivated.

Sharing wins and milestone achievements across the team to publicly acknowledge a staff for progress made or a job well done and to inspire the whole team to aim higher is a great move.

5. Generous Compensation

Until recently, freelancers are regarded as a cheap alternative to location-based employees. But today, as more and more workers are choosing freelancing as a lifestyle, companies now pay better for higher quality freelancers to encourage them. While generous pay can only provide a certain amount of job satisfaction, it is still necessary that you offer adequate compensation to your freelancers to encourage them to commit fully to your work.

You can also build loyalty among your team by showing appreciation to your remote staff who have demonstrated outstanding output with special performance bonuses, paid family holidays or  tickets to their favorite event. Understand what else motivate your freelancers beyond a better pay. When your freelancers are reminded that they are part of something really important that will make a difference in their world that could become another great motivation.

Daven Michaels is a New York Times Best Selling Author and CEO of the premier global outsourcing company123Employee. The company employs hundreds of young bright individuals on three continents. His International event, Beyond Marketing Live! Inspires entrepreneurs to build & grow their business with revolutionary new theories and systems allowing them to design the business and personal lifestyle of their dreams.

2 Responses to “5 Ways to Get the Best from Your Outsourced Service Providers”

  1. Good blog post. You now have a follower. Cheers, Mate!

  2. David Avrin says:

    Definitely appreciate you discussing this article. Great!!

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