When outsourcing team members for your business, thoughts of managing them may be overwhelming. Outsourced employees are typically work remotely, how do you manage someone who is not your formal employee and remote?
The good news is that managing your outsourced team members is a lot easier than you think! With open communication, clear expectations, and valuable feedback, you can manage your new team members the same way that you’d manage anyone that works for you in a more formal capacity. We’ve put together a list to help you on this new journey, from start to finish.
1. Provide Your Outsourced Employees with Resources and Instructions
When onboarding new employees, they are typically given a plethora of instructions to help guide them through job duties, expectations, and rules in the workplace. These instructions come in the form of employee handbooks, video resources, and training manuals.
When onboarding outsourced employees, we tend to forget that even though they are an expert in their field, they could benefit from these materials as well. Taking the time to create resources for your outsourced employees is a great investment in the long term because it provides them with clear instructions and expectations, setting guidelines from the very beginning. This ensures a seamless process and transition into the workplace and helps ease anxiety and stress.
2. Educate on Work Culture and Brand Representation
One of the biggest mistakes an employer can make when taking on outsourced team members is treating them as outsiders. Though they are not standard employees, they still represent your brand and company!
Taking the time to educate your new team members on your brand and work culture is a great way to include them and let them know that they are welcome. This also reinforces expectations and shows them exactly what it is that they are representing.
It’s easier to work hard when you feel like you are included in the results. Teaching your outsourced team members to represent your brand through their work encourages hard work consistent with the standards of your company.
3. Show Them Where They Fit In
Is your outsourced employee answering phones, or is he/she answering calls from potential clients and providing excellent customer service while gathering information to provide to the sales manager in order to encourage and complete a transaction?
Showing your new outsourced team members where they fit into your company is important, as they may not know the way that you operate. Educating them on exactly where and how their work is contributing is a great way to encourage them and to help them understand that the work they are doing matters.
They aren’t coming in after doing tons of research on your company and the odds are that they have received a very small job description. Taking the time to let them know exactly where they fit into the dynamic of your business is critical.
4. Encourage and Support Regular Communication
While you may meet regularly with your employees, perhaps you haven’t been scheduling meetings with your outsourced team members much or at all. This can lead to communication and performance issues down the road, as there is little to no encouragement or positive reinforcement.
Regular communication is critical, even with outsourced team members. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a business owner is treating your outsourced employees like they are less than your formal employees.
Meeting regularly is a great way to encourage positive performance, inquire about negative performance, and answer any questions that they may have. These meetings don’t have to be long and many times there may be nothing to talk about, but having them in the first place is critical for your relationship.
Anyone in any environment is going to work harder for people that they feel care about them. Meeting regularly and showing your outsourced employees that they are part of the team is a great way to encourage hard work and open communication, which solves a lot of issues before they even happen.
5. Do Not Micromanage
While open and honest communication is important, micromanaging is something that you want to avoid completely.
Many outsourced employees work remotely and enjoy their work because of the freedom it allows them. At the same time, you probably hired this employee because you wanted a task to be taken care of without you having to overlook it 24/7.
It is important to walk the line between support and micromanaging carefully. Utilizing project management tools are a great way to keep up with task progress without overstepping and getting in the way of your team member doing their job. Regular communication is important to get updates on a scheduled basis, but messaging them constantly throughout the day asking for updates is not efficient. It is all about finding a balance.
Remember that you hired this person because they are a professional. Offer them the support that they need and implement task management tools and then let them do their job!
6. Deliver Feedback and Recognize Great Work
Providing feedback to outsourced team members is critical. Whether the feedback is negative or positive, it is important to make sure your feedback is always constructive.
If your team member did something great, let them know! Recognize their accomplishments just like you would any other employee. If they did something that you didn’t love, don’t just brush it off because you know that they are just temporary.
Building a relationship is important and letting them know when something doesn’t meet your standards is the only way to ensure that their work DOES meet your standards. How can someone fix a mistake that they don’t know that they made?
How to Manage Outsourced Employees
At the end of the day, the best bottom line and the common denominator for all of these points is communication. Communicating with your team members is the best way to be a great leader and provide as much support as possible.
When you open up a line of clear and honest communication, you let your employees know that they have your support and can come to you when they are unsure. This solves a lot of problems and prevents a lot of issues from happening.
Probably the most important thought here is to keep it simple. The way you would manage your own W2 employee is the same as you manage your outsourced team mate. Outsource companies take that one step further and support you in managing the team mate, so be excited about your new hire and grow!