How To Manage A Remote Team
Okay so a big question that I get, I am sure that John gets a lot as well, when you hire somebody remotely, hire somebody in the Philippines or they’re just not in the same building as you, how do you manage a team like that? Well I learned everything I know in the beginning from John and so he’s the best person. John Jonas here he’s going to teach us how to do that. So managing a remote team is different than managing a team of people in your office.
There’s, there’s some challenges that come with it and there’s some really good things that come with it too. Number one, a remote team is usually quite a bit cheaper than a team locally. So as you manage this remote team that’s cheaper you have to be able to deal with that sometimes they’re not as busy and that’s okay. Where often people find, you know you have someone fifteen bucks an hour and if they’re not working that’s a problem right? Well if you have someone at three dollars an hour and they’re not working it’s okay. And so that’s something that I often find people who don’t do a good job of managing they get all bent out of shape when someone only works 36 hours in a week instead of 40. Where for me, what I find is if my workers get 26 hours of work in a week in a 40-hour workweek, that’s really great. So there is someone that’s, that’s the first thing to consider as you as you’re thinking. They’re overseas life is harder for them and it’s affordable enough that it’s okay if they’re not working as much as someone locally would be. So then as you as you try and manage them and this is kind of going to sound cliche but communication is really really important and not just that they communicate with you, but that you communicate with them is really important to what I often find is, employers hire this person and they just want to walk away and they just want to let them do their thing or whatever and they don’t want to be involved. And that doesn’t work with a remote team especially in the Philippines. Filipinos need feedback from you. So as you manage them, give them feedback. And when you give Filipinos feedback, it’s important that you give them positive feedback before negative feedback. Filipinos just thrive on this positive feedback and this is kind of a common-sense thing but it’s especially important in the Philippines. Even if they do everything wrong and something I will say, hey thank you for trying to work on this. Thank you for putting in the effort. Here’s the things that we need to fix. And that goes a long way in working with them is that positive feedback in that communication. So with me I need communication every single day from them because if they’re not communicating every day I start to lose track of what on and then things start to go the wrong direction. So if they’re communicating everyday I can say, hey this is taking too long and this is not worth our time let’s stop doing this. Or maybe this is not quite right let’s change the direction of this thing. So that daily communication is really really important. Where with a local employee, you may not need that daily communication because you’re in the office with them and you talk with them at the water cooler or whatever. With the Philippines, you’ve got to be talking about work every single day. So for me in doing this communication I use a couple things. I use email as one means of communication. I use a project management system as a second. So we use Basecamp which we absolutely love in working with a remote team. It allows us to communicate with them in various ways That, that, that track how projects are going. Basecamp also has a way to engage those workers every single day where it will ask for an automatic check-ins so it in recording communication every day, Basecamp will ask them at the end of their workday what did you work on today? here’s something you need to respond to in our project management system. And then I get a response from them about what they worked on today. So some of my workers, customer service people, they write the same thing every single day because they did the same thing every single day. Respond to emails, chat with customers. And I get the same response from people every single day but that’s good because I still know, okay I know what you’re working on every day and that’s important. So in managing remote, remote team, people often want to know about time tracking. How do you track the time? how do you know if they’re actually working?
For me, I don’t use time tracking software because I don’t like checking up on it. Some people really like to check up on their time tracking and so there’s a couple different options and all my jobs that page has a free option of time proof where they install this software on their computer and it takes periodic screenshots of them and it tracks how long they work. And then it reports it back to you and you’re in your account. There are some others that if you search our time trackers you’re going to get a bunch of them. Here’s my thing with it, I don’t love it because it gives me one more thing to do where I can usually get are you working or not just based on your output. I know you know you work really well for the first three weeks in productivity decline. I know that you’re not working as well. And it’s very clear to me. So you know, you’re doing time tracking is it show me anything different than what I already know maybe it gives proof for me to confront you with it. I’ve done that a couple of times where I then if, if I know someone’s not doing it I say hey we’re gonna start using this and as I do that as a team so everybody does it so I people don’t think they’re being singled out and then I can see like, hey look you’re not working what’s going on? Some of the issues with it, is it’s very intrusive like it takes screenshots of their desktop and what you’ll find is Filipino workers, and most remote workers, if they’re having screenshots taken of them They don’t want you to ever see anything that’s not work-related. So in an office job here in the US, if someone is working bill you know look at a YouTube video or check Facebook or or check their personal email and in the Philippines, They’re so careful if you don’t if you have time tracking software they’re very likely to to only log four out of eight hours in a day. Because they have to take a break. Can’t just work straight for eight hours you’re gonna have breaks and stuff and I just find it creates problems. It creates more problems than it solves. That’s me. Some, some people don’t agree with that. It’s pretty easy to implement, you can give it a try and see how it works for you. So in managing Filipino workers, here’s something you’re really interesting with Filipinos. The number one problem you run into is that is the disappearing Filipino where culturally they’re shy. They are embarrassed, they they, they if they don’t feel like you’re going to be happy with them or if they don’t know that you’re going to be happy with them they don’t want to try and they don’t want to didn’t want to lose face. And so they’d rather disappear than lose face.
And so the way you solve this is by teaching them and by giving them feedback and making sure that they know they can trust you and when I say that they can trust you, we often think, oh I don’t know if I can trust this worker. Where Filipinos, think the same thing. I don’t know if I can trust this employer and we don’t often think of that, so we don’t spend the time necessary to gain their trust. So when they do something wrong if you fire them, that goes a long ways towards not having good employees. If it’s something wrong you say, “hey thank you for trying let’s work on this like this” that goes a long ways towards creating trust with that worker and in the future having a rockstar employee because they know, hey I’m going to try this because if I do it wrong he’s not going to yell at me and that’s a big deal for Filipino workers. So if you want to have Rockstar workers you can manage them into becoming rockstars by being patient, by working with them, by giving positive feedback, by giving the lots of training, all of these things will significantly improve your ability to manage this team and to create Rockstar workers for you. So in, in managing Filipino workers I know that Nate has a team of workers so I want to ask you.
I managed my way. How do you manage your people? because everybody has their own, has their own style. Yeah I started out learning from you. Learned everything I knew from you and so I use the same tool. I used Basecamp and high-rise. I use Jing to communicate. Well I didn’t talk about that. I use Snagit now. snagit’s my favorite one there’s also screencast-o-matic but it’s basically pointed things on the screen with my mouth and I show my, my team exactly what I want them to do and and I’ve trained myclients to do the same for my website design team. So they all make those videos and then send them over to my team. So if you don’t know what Jing is and you’re not using it, you’ve got to go download it and start using it. This will change the way your, this will change your ability to manage a team of workers its screen capture screen recording software that you drag it out on your screen and then you talk at your screen at your microphone and you can point at things and make a video and then you just send it to your workers and they can watch you describe exactly what you’re thinking. Instead of typing at an email, then they get they know exactly what you’re, what you’re thinking so you,I know you’re big on doing that. And one advantage to upgrading to the Snagit software I think it’s like 50 bucks but you can upload the videos to YouTube and I have a couple of my assistants, will make those videos for me and I like it on YouTube because then when I’m watching it I can double the speed. That’s really really helpful. They send me a six-minute video I can watch it in three and if there’s something I missed I can easily rewind it. Just hit the back then it goes back five seconds. But I give my mice that I talked I’m not as fast a talker as you are so I tell my staff, ok this video this is a 15 minute video. Feel free to increase the speed on this. So because I don’t want them to take a long time watching my videos either. So how do you handle a daily communication with them? what, what do you do for them?
Recently I switched over to a program called slack and all it is, is it’s like a text message but you can have attachments, you can edit things, you can go back and see a history. It’s really really helpful there and my project management system I use now is Trello. And slack can link with Trello. I can connect things there. I like that the most of all the things that I’ve done over the years this is this is the one that seems the most simple. I mean I can get a text message from one of my guys on my phone using slack. I can reply or respond that way and I use it as well with my clients. That’s what I use. okay I like it. So how about, time tracking? what do you? what’s your opinion on time tracking? I’ve gone through several different opinions on that as well. I don’t track their time. I have them track their time and I trust what they tell me. So if they say I worked eight hours today, then I paying for eight hours. And overtime, if I see that they haven’t been productive then I’ll start to inquire a bit more. But you know, when you build a good relationship you see good productive work and then I’m happy to pay them exactly what they, what they tell me. I’m super similar. I do that. I do the same thing. Hope you enjoyed this video. Now outsourcing is definitely worth it. If you’re worried about some of these things, that’s okay. Just take that first step. It’s not that big of a risk. It’s not a huge investment to start with one person. So just give it a try. Thanks so much John. Appreciate you being here. Remember live on purpose, make a difference, be the hero.