Keeping Workers Productive
One of the biggest motivations for outsourcing is to free up your own time more. However, in order to do this you need to make sure your workers are operating efficiently In this lesson we give you some tips for keeping your workers (and you) productive.
Don’t keep all the tasks to yourself, just because you think you have a clear idea of how you want them done, especially if you know your workers are more than capable of carrying them out for you. Some people find letting go of pet activities is tough at first, but if you ever want to free up your time it is absolutely necessary to delegate.
This also ensures you are making the most of your workers by giving them a continuous supply of work, rather than trying to take it all for yourself.
Set a specific time aside each day to send an email, have a video chat session or otherwise get in contact with each of your workers. Use this time to find out how they’re going, what they’ve done during the day, what problems they’ve encountered and anything they need to ask you about.
Setting aside a specific time allows you to free your mind to forget them the rest of the day. Additionally, finding out what they’ve done in the day keeps them accountable; actively asking what problems they’ve encountered also ensures you find out early if they’ve hit a problem they can’t solve, rather than having to wait for them to come to you.
However, don’t make the mistake of making yourself always available for contact as this can lead to interruptions by your workers to deal with their problems; instead, set aside specific ‘contact times’ in which your workers can contact you – this ensures that you can still stay productive, while still dealing with any urgent issues in a timely fashion.
Look after them
A happy worker is a motivated worker! Remember, your workers aren’t machines - you have off-days, and so do they, so don’t try to expect 100% efficiency, 100% of the time. In fact, if you don’t put excessive pressure on your workers to meet such expectations, you will often find that when they don’t meet their set goals in a given day they will try to make it up on their own time!
If one of your workers does something really well, or achieves beyond expectations, give them an unannounced bonus on their monthly salary! This is one really easy (and still cheap) way to keep them motivated to keep outperforming expectations! It also improves loyalty; hiring and training suitable workers is one of your most time-consuming activities, so retaining workers for as long as possible is ideal.
Let them think
Just because English might not be your worker’s first language, don’t make the mistake of assuming they’re not intelligent. If you give your workers some independence and time to solve problems themselves, you will often get more out of them (and free your time more!) than if you try to micromanage their tasks.
If something isn’t happening to your liking, don’t try and go in and do it all yourself – that’s exactly the opposite of what your outsourcing is here to achieve. Instead, work with your workers to get what you actually want, but let them do the actual work; this also lets them learn so they can perform the task without your input again in the future.
Help them out
Occasionally your workers will encounter an issue they can’t solve; don’t let them flail about – ask them about the issue in your daily collaboration, and work with them to solve it. Also make sure they’ve grasped your solution completely – if they learn it, they should be able to apply their new knowledge to any other similar problems in the future.
Your workers are there to implement your ideas, but they’re not mind readers. Try to be as clear and unambiguous about your requests as you can. Use tools to help you out – if you need to show how something is done, or you need to point out an issue in a design, you will probably find it quicker (and easier) to record a short video, or to take a screenshot, than you will to write everything down in text,
One very useful tool we use ourselves, here at Affilorama, is Jing. It allows you to take short videos of your screen, which you can use to make short tutorials on how to do certain things. You can also take screenshots and quickly draw arrows and text to quickly point out things you need done, fixes you want on a design or anything else you care to point out.
The aim of outsourcing is to reduce your work load, not create more. Trust your workers; you don’t want to spend your time creating locked-down user accounts, setting up securely isolated hosting environments and performing other time-consuming tasks every time you hire someone. Don’t assume that, just because they’re from a different country, they are out to scam you.
Obviously this will be up to your common sense – you may not want to give your employees root access to your hosting straight away and we don’t recommend giving your employees your bank account details or payroll information but, at the same time, providing your workers upfront with access to your eBooks, your articles, membership content, etc. will make things easier for you overall.
Here at Affilorama we use a system called ClockingIT. It’s free, and it does the trick!
Add in the tasks you need done and assign them to your workers! They can clock their time and add comments (e.g. to provide an update or request information from you); ClockingIT also sends notification to email, so you don’t have to worry about having to stay logged in yourself.
The time tracking system will also help you locate what tasks are taking the longest to complete, and help you identify issues that may be cropping up.
Did we mention that it’s free?
Visit, and signup for, ClockingIT for free!
In this lesson we’ve taken a look at keeping your workers productive. We took a look at:
- Keeping updated
- Looking after your workers
- Letting your workers think
- Helping your workers out
- Being clear
- Being trusting
- Task management