Regardless of whether you are a team of five or fifty people, all employees require management with special considerations depending on their role. However, to ensure that you get the best from a team of freelancers, you need to deploy specific tactics and tools to help them boost their performance.
From straightforward communication techniques and task division to creating a flexible work culture and ensuring engagement, here is our guide for effectively managing a team of freelance employees.
#1 Ensure engagement
Freelance employees are not long-term members of your team. However, to do their best and achieve your business goals, they still need to feel engaged in your team and company. So, as a manager, it is your job to make them feel appreciated while also ensuring everyone knows where they stand in the business structure.
One way to do that is by providing them with a work from home survival kit to help your freelancers thrive in their remote environments. These thoughtful small gift boxes are a fantastic gesture to make them feel included and boost their morale. Furthermore, they are an excellent way for you to check their overall commitment to any project they are involved in.
#2 Invest in a comprehensive freelance management system
A freelance management system is simply a must for companies that need a freelance workforce for their business. These types of tools can help hiring managers save valuable time evaluating freelancers across different marketplaces and providing them with a robust onboarding process.
Nevertheless, make sure you invest in a freelance management system that can offer you multiple features. Look for a user-friendly platform that integrates options such as sourcing, onboarding, managing, and paying freelancers, simplifying workflow, and centralizing information. Ultimately, by helping you streamline processes and reduce admin tasks, this tool will enable you to retain and successfully manage the best freelancers for the job.
#3 Set clear expectations and effective communication
Effective communication is key to getting things done. So, before working with a new freelancer, it is good to establish what you are both looking to get out of the working relationship. Make sure you discuss the upcoming work and time expectations beforehand and ensure your project’s deadlines match their schedules.
More importantly, be flexible and choose communication channels (and style) they are familiar with, as they often work on multiple projects and can not instantly respond to your requests. Furthermore, make sure your team of freelancers is always timely informed by receiving company updates or adding them to chat groups. By doing so, you will make them feel like part of the team and drive them to work eagerly toward shared company goals.
#4 Establish regular check-ins and provide feedback
Naturally, managers need to keep an eye on the work done. To do that, they need to clearly define what and how freelancers’ work will be tracked. The best way to do that is by setting up regular (daily, weekly, or monthly) check-ins, depending on the need for the project and freelancer.
In addition, managers should provide their freelance employees with feedback. Many freelancers welcome feedback, as they want to know when they did a good job or how they can perform better. But providing feedback also helps in strengthening working relationships and deepening trust. Depending on your management style, this feedback can be a more extensive review at the end of the project or continuous feedback throughout its duration.
#5 Learn from your mistakes
Your team of freelancers’ performance depends significantly on your ability to manage the project. So, if a situation occurs when the project outcome is not to specification, think twice before pointing fingers. Instead, use the experience to learn from your missteps, improve your processes, and come up with a better system of mitigating risks.
Naturally, there may be a situation where it is evident that the project is not being completed because of a freelancer’s fault. You can end the contract in these situations, but that should really be a last resort. However, try working with the freelancer to resolve issues before doing that. If things do not work out, the contract agreement will protect you and you’ll know not to re-engage with that freelancer in the future.
Managing a team of freelancers takes time, effort, and preparation. Luckily, there are many tactics and tips that can help you out. Nevertheless, start using the ones we provided for you in this article. Once you begin to effectively cooperate with a valuable and skilled addition to your regular team, we guarantee you will be able to reach a high level of project quality.