Managing staff remotely as a business owner can be quite difficult, especially with the tendency to become quite laser-focused on your business. You might end up trying to do all the work on your own. It’s easy for the management of team members who are not working right there alongside you to get away from you. Particularly as you’re growing and things get busy.
It can be very difficult to let go of the work your staff can do for you, but you must do it. By setting up systems for others to contribute to everyday operations – even when they’re working in a different location – you’ll make a massive difference in your business and quality of life.
“People come and go but the systems remain constant.” Michael E. Gerber
Now, if you’ve gone to the effort of setting up your processes, and writing them out with solid steps and clear instructions, you should use them. When managing staff remotely, you can feel like you lose touch. You want to keep them involved. Also getting your people invested in your systems takes enormous pressure away from you. It also stands to reason you maintain those systems, and keep them up to date. This is how you’ll be able to support your team. Helping them to help you.
Interestingly, 60% of Australian businesses fail in their first three years, yet only 17% of franchises do. This highlights the impact of a well-designed system. A system where everyone participates and contributes to the smooth running of the business.
Let’s look at four ways your team can help you with process management.
Firstly, you need to train your team on how to help. Get them involved, and show them how you create a successful process. How do you record the steps and where did those steps get filed? How are they referred to in everyday work? Show them under the hood how you’ve been managing the systems yourself so they can contribute.
You should also set up routine reviews of your processes. Take the time to manage and evolve them. It is important to make sure everyone has adequate time to update the processes as needed. Being able to improve on them as you go helps adapt your business to any unexpected changes in the business landscape.
Make sure your team can make fixes when required. Don’t just leave it to yourself to oversee any changes. There may be a problem in your system you have missed. If the work instruction isn’t clear or needs correcting, your team should be empowered to make those corrections themselves.
Managing staff remotely needs extra care with any system of process management. When there is a problem in the system, how do people communicate that to each other? What is the process for fixing it up? When changes are made how does everyone learn about them? Clarifying this will empower your team to become involved so it’s not all left to you.
Michael Gerber says “People come and go but the system remains constant”. This is true for your business. You should value your people, but you should set up an effective system for them to be involved in. New people should be able to slip right in. It should be there to support you and your people, so you can all grow the business together.