Businesses hire freelancers for various reasons, such as assistance with time-sensitive tasks, extra coverage, or when in need of a particular skill set. Since they don’t work full-time and essentially operate their own businesses, freelancers will interact with your team differently and will have their own needs to complete the job. So, if you aren’t used to having independent contractors on your team, mastering the art of managing this type of workforce successfully can take some time.
Below, we’re sharing six proven tactics for managing large teams of freelancers and maximizing their contributions.
1. Establish effective communication
Before the freelancer starts the job, you should specify your communication expectations to ensure everyone is on the same page. To keep everything in one place and reduce the chance of missing any communications, it might be a good idea to communicate with your freelancers using the same platform you use to engage with your full-time staff. Additionally, it could be a good idea to check in with your freelancers once a week, even if it’s just via messaging, to make sure everything is going as planned.
2. Track time accurately
Since every freelancer has a different working process, some may take longer than others to complete a project. As a result, you might find it challenging to keep track of a freelancer’s time spent on a project. However, with the help of a dependable freelance management system, you can effectively track time, keep up with each freelancer’s project progress, and sign off on timesheets.
3. Set a standard process
You and your freelancers should have a monthly schedule so that everyone is on the same page and understands what to expect. For instance, assign all of your tasks during the first week of the month, check that all content is correctly described with the appropriate resources, and schedule regular check-ins all at once. By establishing a standard operating procedure for your contract employees, you may reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and inquiries and better organize your own management duties. Speak with each freelancer before developing your freelance management process to learn how they work best, their preferred channels for communication and frequency, and other practical issues.
4. Host regular one-on-one meetings
Have regular one-on-one meetings with freelancers to ensure they are productive members of your team. Meeting with your freelancers regularly will ensure that you’re on track to reach your goals and will show them that you care about how they’re doing and are there to support them. In these one-on-one sessions, you may get to know them better to develop a connection and sense of trust and get their opinions on your management. You can adjust the frequency of your one-on-one meetings based on the nature of the work and the freelancer’s level of experience with such projects.
5. Include the freelancers in team building activities
Even if freelancers aren’t full-time workers, you should, at the very least, invite them to take part in team-building activities. When people feel like they are a part of a team and there is fellowship, collaboration happens more naturally, they tend to perform better, and tasks are finished even more successfully.
6. Provide regular feedback
Do not hesitate to act accordingly if you believe one of your contract employees has been performing subpar. Talk to them about how their work has declined in quality and see if you can do anything to help. Showing support instead of reprimanding demonstrates that you care about them as well as that you’re committed to holding them accountable. Make sure your criticism is constructive and usable. Give them specific suggestions on how to enhance their latest piece rather than just telling them it was badly written. Don’t forget to acknowledge and compliment them for their ongoing hard work as well. Your employees will feel unappreciated if you only voice your issues, which could eventually result in burnout.
If you’re not used to managing large teams of freelancers, it could be challenging to understand how to do it. But once you get the hang of it and start incorporating specific habits and practices into your management style, you’ll enhance freelancer efficiency for the business and successfully complete projects. Engaging independent contractors is an amazing approach to take advantage of their specialized knowledge and abilities to advance specific organizational tasks. Before adding a new freelancer to your team, review the tips provided here to ensure that you follow best practices!