Managing the different personalities present with any team is tough. Doing so with an SEO team is a little more challenging because people tend to be younger and less experienced in a working environment. Add in the variability of virtual co-workers situated anywhere in the world and you really have your work cut out for you as a manager/leader.
Here are 3 tips to better manage a virtual SEO team without pulling your hair out!
Establish Leadership Right Away
For any team that’s working virtually, and especially ones who are inexperienced as employees or freelancers, it’s important to confirm that there’s a hierarchy regardless of their virtual status. To plan a business operation, the operational parts of it must be somewhat predictable with enough flexibility to swap people in and out of roles as needed. Different types of team bonding exercises are needed with virtually situated people too, but are just as important to get the team to gel as one.
If you’re having difficulty performing well as a leader, you might want to consider taking a degree course on executive leadership. The Norwich University Masters in Executive Leadership covers many different topics around management of a team, planning for the future, resolving conflicts, and other important areas. Norwich University runs the course online, so it’s easier to study when you have time while operating your SEO business.
While SEO practitioners have their specific roles to play, it’s a good idea to establish the skill level of different people to know who can cover for absences, sickness or someone leaving suddenly. Furthermore, swapping job roles around makes it more interesting for the staff while keeping their knowledge current; the SEO field is constantly evolving.
Training on the systems and methodologies the SEO team use makes it possible for someone to jump into a different role when a co-worker is swamped and could do with a helping hand. Doing so reduces the instances where bottlenecks occur which could affect results for customers.
Don’t Discuss Everything with Everyone
There is the tendency to overshare information with a team of people by treating them as your friends. This creates problems later should difficulties in their performance arises. Keeping some details about your business close to your chest prevents a team member taking proprietary information to a competitor too.
When in general discussions in an app like Slack, always be aware when a discussion begins to cover issues that should be discussed one-on-one. Shut down the group chat and pull the person out, or schedule a time when it’s convenient to talk one-on-one about the problem. Soon enough, virtual workers will get a better sense of when discussions should be private and those suitable to be shared with the group.
Managing virtual teams presents different challenges than with employees all situated in the same office. While nothing can replace a face-to-face meeting, companies large and small are realizing the cost benefits of dealing virtually with workers. Along with that, they’re having to create a new rulebook about how to effectively manage virtual teams because it’s a whole new deal.