Last week in this series, we discussed the importance of game planing. This week, we’ll dive deeper into the best way to use meetings to get the most out of remote freelancers. If you’re just joining us on this journey, you can also refer back to Hack #1: Consistent Motivation.
To many a manager and freelancer, the very word “meeting” elicits a chorus of groans. However, when it comes to managing remote freelancers, meeting with them regularly is absolutely essential. In this post, we’ll discuss some of our best tips for hosting meetings that solve problems and provide great feedback.
Stick to a schedule
When freelancers work remotely, they don’t have the same structure that an in-office environment provides. That’s why it’s so important to keep to a routine. Schedule check-ins at the same time and day weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Even if the meeting is brief, meeting regularly will help freelancers and will make them feel they always have a space to address any concerns.
Always have an agenda
You should always have an agenda for your meetings, even for the one-on-ones. Schedule out a couple of minutes to chat with a freelancer and build the relationship. Then, you should both be looking at the agenda for the rest of the meeting. A planned agenda saves a huge amount of time. It’s a way of not only saving time for yourself, but also letting freelancers know how much you value theirs.
Don’t forget to praise good work
Genuine and honest praise can motivate freelancers to keep performing at a certain level, and a meeting is a great time to give it to them voice to voice. So even if you sent a couple email praises, make sure you take the time to say so if a project turned out to be particularly outstanding.
In a group meeting, praising a freelancer could also a good way to give them public recognition. If you are meeting with all remote freelancers, take time to give shout-outs for work well done.
Ask the right questions
Speaking of public recognition, asking freelancers how they would like to be rewarded is key to providing motivation. Some love public praise, while others might appreciate a small gift instead. This is a question you should ask occasionally in one-on-ones, to make sure you are on the same page.
In any meeting, you should also be asking very specific about whatever a freelancer is working on and the people they are working with. If you know of an issue—or suspect one—bring it up directly rather than letting it linger. Here are some other, more general questions to consider, particularly for remote freelancers.
Questions to ask in 1 on 1’s:
- What’s the biggest challenge you are facing right now?
- What are some recurring challenges you are facing?
- How well are you working with remote freelancers? Any problems with communication?
- How can I best help you as a manager?
- How do you feel about your current career path? Your opportunities for growth?
Questions to ask freelancers:
- How is your latest project going? What resources can I provide to help you?
- How are you delegating and dividing tasks? Does everyone have an appropriate workload?
- What are some ways we can improve as a company?
- How well are you working with others? Any problems I should know about?
Asking a lot of great questions is important. It’s harder to gauge how a person is doing if they are working remotely, so meetings are your chance to make some observations.
Consider adding a visual component
This might seem like an odd choice for remote freelancers. However, visuals are huge in meetings, even if you are far away. 90% of the information the brain processes is visual, and many studies have shown that freelancers get more out of meetings with visual components.
Even remotely, you can take advantage of this data by building a slide deck for everyone to review while the group meeting is going on. This is especially handy if you are going to talk about anything numbers heavy, like growth stats.
We hope this post has been helpful. Be sure to check back next Thursday for our latest hack. In no time at all, you’ll be learning every trick we know for using remote freelancers to grow your business at rapid-fire speeds.
Emily Bell has worked in digital marketing for seven years, tackling projects for a wide variety of tech and PR companies, as well as a few of Amazon’s top third-party sellers. Her work has appeared in Entrepreneur, Influencive, Addicted2Success, Forbes, and around the web.