Now that we’ve covered the benefits of utilizing virtual teams and how to find team members, let’s discuss how to maximize your time training your new team and how to minimize potential issues.
Effective training not only speeds up the work process, but it also helps eliminate many of the challenges of working with people remotely. One way to train virtual team members is to develop instruction sets for the various tasks you will be assigning to them. This method has proven extremely effective in teaching our virtual team members how to complete various assignments.
I have created many instruction sets throughout the years and have found that there ways to create instructions that are much more effective than others. Instructions need to be clear, concise, and easy to follow. One way that I’ve found to help make my instruction sets extremely easy to follow is by utilizing a program called SnagIt.
SnagIt takes screen shots and then allows you to draw and edit directly on the picture. This allows you to take pictures as you walk through a task and then you can draw arrows and diagrams, highlight portions of the picture, do special effects, etc. very easily. What can be difficult to explain in words can easily be explained in pictures. SnagIt is an all-around helpful product. I highly recommend it. Not only do we use it for instructions, but for make only tasks as well; for example, capturing errors on my computer so I can send to the IT person and helping develop our Scope of Work. I’ve found it well worth the $49; it has saved us thousands of dollars in the long run.
Another helpful tool is Jing. Jing allows you to record your screen and creating screen shots or movies that you can either upload to YouTube, viewed privately on its own network, or access with a link. Jing also allows you to record narrations through movies you create. These videos are great for creating how-to instructions, showing your VA exactly how to do something.
Click HERE for an Instruction Writing How-To.
Click HERE for an Instruction Sheet made with SnagIt.
A key challenge to utilizing VA is the using a VA means you have to spend more effort on collaboration. You will need to be extremely proficient at setting forth the project guidelines; clearly and concisely explaining the work that needs to be done, as well as how and when you expect it completed, so that the product output matches your desired results.
One way to effectively accomplish this is to set up a computer and monitor next to your desk and have your virtual team member utilize it. I have a second computer set up next to my desk and monitor. My assistant in the Philippines uses LogMeIn to sign in and access it. We have a line set up through Ring Central we use so that she has a local phone number; I can call her on. I call and speak with her directly and instruct her on how I want things done. I can use the mouse on the computer she is using to show her how I would like the work done, while talking to her on the phone. It is also nice having the computer next to the desk so that if I see her doing something that may not be going in the right direction, I can catch it right away.
By taking the time to train your Virtual Team member, you can fully utilize all the benefits and minimize many of the challenges or working remotely. I hope this series has been helpful to you. Stay tuned for our upcoming Podcast that will delve deeper into Utilizing Virtual Team Members!
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