Managing Remote Staff

In today’s podcast I talk about how to self-manage your remote staff. From experience I can tell you it’s the most time saving and cost effective measure you can implement, plus, who wants to micro manage someone the whole time? You’ll never get any work done!

When I started out running my agency I used to micro manage, a lot. Looking back on it I realise how ineffective it was – watching emails, timing how long responses took, all the while not realising the additional pressure it puts both you and your assistant under. It’s just a waste of energy doing it and serves no purpose other than to stress everyone out.

My suggestion, (and this comes from training lots of assistants) is to allow self management when it comes to learning a new task or solving a problem. Not only that though but you need to remove yourself from the equation when it comes to this self maangement style. Allow the staff to learn and figure things out for themselves. Give them guidance on how to learn and research and then let them figure it out. Give them “windows” of time when they can reach you for help, but use your time sparingly. You can’t allow a steady stream of “How do I do this?” type of questions otherwise you’ll end up doing the work yourself.

Self Management

The skills I implemented into my staff allow them to figure out the problem either as a team or individually. The rule I have in place for reaching out to me for help is: “If you don’t know the answer to something or how to do it and need to ask me, then come to me with at least three solutions to what you feel may the right way to solve the problem”.

This saves you a heap of time and shows your assistant’s research abilities are improving all the time. Because, realistically, no one wants to come back to someone with no options to a problem. It’s like the person who always criticizes but never offers anything constructive. That person tends to be a PITA to all concerned so too then your assistant wants to offer solutions, so let them. Allow your assistant the freedom and creativity to find a solution. Then, over time you’ll see just how resourceful they truly are and their reliance on you lessens.

In Conclusion

Don’t micro manage. Offer a three solution feedback process where your assistant has to come to you with at least three solutions. This way if they truly can’t find a third solution then you’ve got two good ones to pick from, hopefully.