If there’s one thing I haven’t enjoyed as a client managing outsourced talents, it’s getting straight talk when things go wrong. I believe it’s only human to avoid bad news, so much as becoming its torch bearer. The truth is that the days of lifetime employment are over and we’re now seeing a shift to agile workers who defy time, culture and place. In a perfect world, you would want to have top talents who are loyal to your brand. Those who share their skills, offer solutions, add valuable ideas, help the team and boost the morale of the group – are a gem. They are the very heart of successful companies.
Loyalty: The Tie that Binds Creativity and the Entrepreneurial Spirit
To my fellow business owners, the real question to ask yourselves is this: How open are you at encouraging your people to take chances? There have been many bad stories that add to the list of nightmares any client can have, whether running a virtual team or managing a vendor-client relationship. While everyone is in the quest for innovation, sometimes, the problem here is not really logical.. but emotional. Mistakes do happen and you know that there’s a risk in every business. Why take the blame on the person completely? The more you practice this, the backward your business model will be. You have taken all the risk to become the leader that you are. It’s time to support your people to take smart risks and learn, don’t you think?
How to Inspire Loyalty in Outsourced Teams
A loyal employee makes for a winning team. When you’re dealing with cultural and geographical differences, the challenge is even tougher. The key here is giving everyone your flexible and undivided attention, starting with:
1. The Hiring Stage
It’s a rigorous task to filter the right person or agency among the batch. If you’re careful selecting now, the lesser percentage of attrition rate you get later. Those who are well-matched are more likely to stay loyal. What values do they share with yours?
2. The Onboarding Stage
You want your virtual assistant to work now and become more productive so s/he can produce results quickly. Would you suffer quality for quantity then? If you can spare a week of properly introducing the person to your business so s/he can fully understand the brand, the lesser room for miscommunication and demotivation in the future.
3. The Training Stage
While many independent contractors and consultants are equipped with the latest tools and tricks of the trade, providing upfront training about your brand will give new recruits to talk to you intelligently and contribute ideas to the group. If you’re short on time and budget, why not use your top performers to introduce your organization, mission and vision?
4. The Work Stage
Your team’s needs will always evolve and as their leader, you can inspire them to help you succeed by offering career advancement opportunities, other than monetary rewards. Offer everyone the opportunity to tailor their job to your needs so they won’t simply leave and join your competition. Give your people the right to make choices, the freedom and control to make decisions, and trust them when they do so. Communicate clearly their roles and responsibilities.
And simply have fun… as you watch your A-team fulfill the success of your dreams. If you value them more than their job titles, you may just win their heart over. Not everyone is created equal, but having an open mind to change may just send a domino effect leading to a positive change.
Are you ready to lead by example this time? Or, better yet.. ask your team what they want you to stop doing right now.