By Bryan Miles, Co-Founder of BELAY
We're often asked how someone can be sure they’re ready to make the leap to a virtual workforce. And while at first pass that may seem like a loaded, nebulous question, determining the answer can be surprisingly straightforward.
Because just a few qualifying questions can make light work of a heavy-hitting query.
Ready to find out if you’ve got what it takes to hire a virtual workforce? Then read on …
Round 1 Questions: Ask yourself these four initial questions.
- Are you proficient with technology?
- Do you need to be physically available to your staff?
- Does your team work independently?
- Are you a superior communicator?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, you may not be ready to effectively manage a virtual staff. But no worries – all it takes is a little retooling. This is a good resource for getting yourself up to speed.
If, however, you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, move on to Round 2.
Round 2 Questions:
Congratulations on advancing to the next round. This round is short but exhaustive – and will be able to more definitively tell you if you’re ready to lead a remote team.
- Are you an effective delegator? This is arguably one of the most mission-critical traits a leader must possess to effectively manage a remote team. Sure, you can tell someone to return a phone call or order more reams of paper but can you effectively delegate important tasks to someone using the 70-percent rule?
The 70-percent rule states that if the person you’d like to perform the task is able to do it at least 70 percent as well as you can, you should delegate.’
If you answered ‘yes,’ advance to the next question. If you answered ‘no,’ we got you! Here’s a great resource for priming your delegation skills.
- Are you an effective communicator? This qualifier is rivaled only by delegation; it’s that important. At BELAY, we over-communicate – meaning we embrace the ‘virtual nod’ to let people know we’re ‘on it’ since we rely so heavily on email and instant messaging. As such, we use ‘email as the pillar, and instant messaging as the glue.’
And whenever possible, we suggest that you try to cater communication to the style(s) each employee prefers to help them stay connected in the manner that best suits them. While some may prefer more video conferencing, others may prefer written communication – and recognizing those individual preferences will go a long way to let them know you care.
If you answered ‘yes,’ advance to the next and final question. If you answered ‘no,’ don’t sweat it. Here’s a great resource for remote team-building activities that double as a list of ways to engage employees with out-of-the-box communication ideas and connection points.
- Are you human? And no, this isn’t some existential trick question. This question is critical in that regardless of industry, job or whether you work in a brick-and-mortar office or virtually, it’s important to remember that what we all do – both personally and professionally – inevitably impacts and affects other human beings.
Because on the other side of that screen is a person – a person who, incidentally, has chosen to partner with you to help your business thrive. So those qualities that we consider to be inextricably human – sociability, empathy, compassion, kindness, patience, adaptability and a willingness to learn – will be the key to the success of your partnership.
If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, that’s not the end of your virtual workforce road. The way we work has evolved and as such, the way we lead has to evolve, too, in order to successfully adapt to a virtual workforce model. Your time could still come.
But if you answered ‘heck yes’ to these three questions, then you’re ready to join our roster of extraordinary clients using the virtual workspace to multiply their business.
And if you’re ready to take your remote management commitment to the next level, our new Managing Remote Teams course will help you buck the status quo and manage a thriving remote team.
It’s grow time!