First, a shout out to Gerjo for his voice message that inspired today’s episode.
Spotlight: How to manage growing a team in-office and virtually
Meet Gerjo, an entrepreneur who is currently focused on growing his team both in-office and virtually.
Only trouble is, he’s finding it challenging to make sure he incorporates his virtual assistants into the team. Sometimes he fears they don’t feel a part of it.
Gerjo also struggles with delegating – not so much in that he’s afraid to let go of tasks, but from a time-management perspective. You see, it takes time to write out instructions for how to do a task, especially when you consider everything else Gerjo has going on – like running his business.
As a result of Gerjo not being able to get the instructions together for his team members, they become frustrated because they’re waiting on him.
How to create a plan to help grow your team
I bet you can guess what Gerjo needs help with…
How do I deal with this in a better way?
Gerjo, I’m glad you asked, because as you noted in your voice message, growing a team is a HUGE project, but not one that’s impossible to create a plan for.
Gerjo, let’s going on a journey together…
Imagine each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – having a very detailed and specific schedule, so that when they start work all they have to do is go to their list and start taking action.
Removing the question “What’s next?” goes a long way when it comes to productivity and focus.
Each of your team members should have a daily, weekly and monthly task list.
Recommended resource: Google Spreadsheets
Now, imagine your team members – both in-house and virtually – having a single platform they can go to in order to look up instructions on how to do any task that isn’t familiar to them.
Recommended resource: Process.st
What happens when each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – has a schedule that doesn’t make them guess at what’s next on their to-do list, and also a place to go to look up instructions without ever having to interrupt your workflow?
Sounds like perfect harmony, doesn’t it?
How to create the plan
You know just as well as I do right now that Gerjo would love to have the scenario above. He can picture it so clearly, but his current struggle of not having the time to write out the instructions is holding him back.
But that’s not Gerjo’s only struggle; he also struggles with making his team feel, well, like a team, and he fears that his virtual assistants feel disconnected.
Gerjo, your first step is…
To schedule a weekly, recurring team meeting where every employee – both in-house and virtually – comes together online to prepare for the week ahead. This includes YOU.
Recommended resource: Zoom.us
During this meeting you’re reviewing the projects in progress for that week, and the role each individual team member is playing in those projects.
You’re offering up your time and giving your team your full focus for, say 30 minutes, to answer any questions, and to make sure you’re nurturing them. This is what will make them feel like a team.
Your second step is…
To create that daily, weekly and monthly schedule for each of your team members.
Don’t worry – this isn’t going to be all on you to create. Send each of your team members an email that says “Your #1 focus for today is to send me a list of everything you work on daily, weekly and monthly.”
This will not only help you recognize what each of your team members is working on, but also identify gaps. You might realize there is a significant task or project that no one is managing.
Your final steps is…
Once each individual team member has that daily, weekly and monthly schedule in place that details out how often they’ll perform their tasks, it’s time to document.
Together with your team start creating a list of the tasks and projects that are unclear. Whether they’re individual steps or entire chunks of a process, it’s time to get a list going of exactly what needs to be documented.
Now you have two parts:
- Tasks and projects that are clear and that your team understands and is currently working on, and
- Tasks and projects that are unclear and that your team needs you to help them with by creating instructions.
For the tasks and projects that are clear, but that don’t have a process or documentation on how to do them, have the team member responsible create the process.
For the tasks and projects that are not clear, reorder the list by priority, and start scheduling your Focus Sessions.
These Focus Sessions aren’t going to be you writing anything down. They will be you recording via voice and video how to accomplish each task or project.
Recommended resource: ScreenFlow
From those videos, your team will be responsible for actually documenting the process.
Growing a team and creating freedom
Gerjo, once you’re able to clearly define the roles of each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – the sky is the limit.
These are simple steps in a process, not a totally unmanageable beast that you’re never going to be able to tame.
Schedule your weekly meetings. Record your employees’ tasks. Document your systems.
It’s going to take time, but be patient – because what waits on the other side of this project – you providing your team with a schedule and specific direction – is growth, scalability, and freedom.
Next up in Season 6
Next up: another spotlight! This time our spotlight will be focused on how to manage overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome.