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Building your team is a necessary step for your business growth; you can’t continue to scale without at least a little help. You’ve done the work of hiring your team members and bringing them onboard. This step is a milestone to be celebrated, but it doesn’t come without some challenges, too. In the entrepreneurial space, they may be working from anywhere in the world at any time. As an Online Business Manager, I manage a lot of my client’s team members for them. Not everyone wants to manage a team, and that’s okay; that’s just one thing that OBMs can do for you! Here are some of the best tips and tricks to help you manage your virtual team successfully

How to Manage Your Virtual Team Successfully

The transition from solopreneur into a leadership role, is rewarding! Not only does it bring increased revenue for  you, but it means you are impacting more people and allowing you to discover talents within yourself you may not realized before. As with anything, there are plenty of learning lessons that you will experience as you navigate managing your team.

Set Up A Project Management System

A project management system is a way of having all of the projects and tasks in your business planned, organized, scheduled, and managed. You have probably been using a tool like this since starting your business. Some of the best project management systems are ClickUp, Monday, Asana, or Trello. Your project management system is the hub for all tasks, projects, SOPs, and other essential information. In my business I love ClickUp because it allows me to assign different team members and due dates on subtasks and checklists which has been a lifesaver on more robust projects.

One thing you want to avoid is using a paper planner calendar that can’t be shared virtually, or a digital planner that lives on your computer and doesn’t allow for you to assign tasks and due dates to other people on your team. 

Having a streamlined project management system in place will help you manage your virtual team successfully. Not only help you know what your team is working on, but your will team feel confident knowing what they are working on, too. You’ll be able to track the workflow of a project as team members check tasks off and move the project along tagging in others within your organization. You can see some other recommended tools for starting and scaling your business here. 

How to Manage Your Virtual Team Successfully

Communication is Key

Communication with your team members is essential for a smooth working relationship. Right from the onboarding phase, you need to communicate effectively with your team about their roles, responsibilities, and expectations.

 

Your team can’t read your mind, which is where the ability to communicate comes in.

You’ll want to establish guidelines around how you and your team will communicate, and then work to be consistent within those rules. For example, will you ask questions and tag in other team members within your project management system so all notes and communication around a particular project stays together? Or will you use a separate messaging service like Slack or Voxer for your team messaging. These are points you can establish when onboarding your new team members.

Make sure your team knows when your office hours are and when it is okay to reach out to you regarding a project or in what circumstances. Remember virtual teams may be located in different time zones and working on various schedules. If you don’t want to be contacted nights and weekends except in emergencies, let them know your notifications will be paused and not to expect a reply. Likewise, be considerate of your team member’s boundaries around working hours and time zones as well. 

An exception may be if you are working during a launch or striving to meet a deadline for a project and a client’s tech needs troubleshooting, that may not be an issue that waits until Monday morning. 

Establish Expectations and Provide Feedback

Letting your team members know your expectations about a project (like deadlines!), their communication, and their responsibilities are important for your team to run smoothly.

This is where SOPs come into play. An SOP is a standard operating procedure in your business, or how a task should be completed within your business. SOPs should spell out your expectations clearly and consistently for tasks. Creating these documents for your business can save you time, money, and frustration because you’ll have a pre-established set of standards on how things should be completed. If you don’t yet have SOPs within your business, learn to create them quickly and easily here.  

Along with this, you need to be open to providing genuine feedback. Your team won’t learn if you aren’t giving feedback or guidance on their work. Set time in your calendar to meet with your team members regularly to let them know what’s going well in your working relationship and what might need some improvement. 

Providing feedback is a time to be honest with yourself and your team members. The rule in business is “hire slow, fire fast.” It’s sometimes common to allow our emotions to come into play, especially when we like a person, feel like they are trying hard to do well, feel bad for their situation, and so on. Remember you are running a business, and you need to do what is best for moving your organization forward. When you feel like someone isn’t a good fit even after providing them with training and opportunities for improvement, it may be time to let them go. 

Be Open to Views and Suggestions

While you need to be a great communicator for your team, you also need to be open to their views and feedback. This is sometimes challenging for us as business owners because we see it as our business created through our vision and hard working. However, in my experience, having this open two-way communication just creates a happier environment where your team feels heard, valued, and respected.

Your team members have different skills, knowledge, and experience that they bring with to your business so you might be pleasantly surprised at some of the incredible suggestions or ideas they provide! Use their feedback to your advantage!

Focus on Your Team Culture

Believe it or not, team culture is an experience you need to consider in order to manage your virtual team successfully.

Team Culture is important, and it goes along with knowing your brand values. What is most important to you? How do you want your team members to feel? This starts with having a streamlined onboarding process. A small onboarding gift or an occasional gift card for a project well done goes a long way to building a long-term relationship with your team.

Remember the way you express team culture doesn’t have always have to be monetary. It may be something as simple as remembering their birthday, giving praise, following up with them if you know they’ve been going through something difficult (or celebratory), or even respecting their boundaries around work hours.

One thing I always strive to put into practice is Simon Sinek’s advice that the role of a great leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen. 

Ready to Have Someone Else Manage Your Team?

If you are tired of managing your team while also being the CEO? You might be ready for an Online Business Manager who can take this over for you and help you manage your virtual team successfully! Click here to see my services or here to book a discovery call to see if we’d be a good fit to work together.

Karrie Chariton

Karrie Chariton

As an Online Business Manager, Launch Manager, & Tech Specialist, I remove the tech and systems barriers for women entrepreneurs so they can strategically grow their business without sacrificing time with their families. I am a wife, home schooling mom to 3, and cat mom. I live in Chicago, IL. I love reading, traveling, trying new restaurants, and watching movies.

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hi! I'm Karrie!

Pinterest & Digital Marketing Strategist, homeschooling mom of 3, wife, and cat mom! Welcome!

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