When a business puts out a vacancy for a new manager, everyone is on tenterhooks. All staff members want to make sure the company hires the right person, and they also wonder whether they’re going to make changes for the better, or for the worse. If a business chooses to hire a manager from the outside, the risk of radical changes is even higher, and many staff fear that these changes can affect their daily work or even their job.
A new manager is bound to make mistakes, especially when it comes to the staff members they don’t see. Virtual team members are often the first people to fear changes in their jobs, and it’s not without reason. Below we list five mistakes new managers make with their virtual staffing team and how to deal with these.
They slim the virtual staffing workforce
There’s a common misconception that if work isn’t carried out on-site or at the place of business, those completing it are the first people to be made redundant. A new manager can walk in, look at the budget, see money sent to various people outside of the business, and decide to cut those costs. The reason for this is they often feel like those jobs can be distributed evenly among current staff, making the position of a virtual assistant no longer necessary.
While this might look beneficial on the books, it’s a mistake for many reasons. Firstly, it puts undue pressure on the current staff members who often already have enough on their plate, and secondly, managers don’t usually take the time to review the tasks that are being carried out by virtual assistants. In reality, a business manager should evaluate whether current staff members have the skill set to take on those jobs, or whether the small additional cost is worth not having to worry about someone else completing that work correctly. The flow-on effect of distributing this workload to other staff is also huge. Those staff members may now feel overworked and underappreciated, leading them to find work elsewhere.
They try to fix what’s not broken
Often, new managers feel pressure to carry out drastic changes within a business to reaffirm their position and the reason for their hiring. In reality, they are merely expected to carry on doing what the previous manager did, making changes only when necessary. However, that very rarely happens. Some managers choose to change processes that already work well, and this can lead to upset both in the physical workforce and within virtual staffing services.
If a previous manager left the virtual staffing team in a good position where they know what they’re doing, what’s expected of them and when it’s expected by, then there’s no reason to change the process. It would run smoothly, everyone gets a goal to achieve, and there would never be any complaints.
If you go and upset the apple cart and cause confusion among your virtual team, then mistakes can happen. Work can become lost through the cracks, changes in software can cause data to become lost or incorrect, and it can, in many cases, cost the business more. If you don’t try and fix what’s not broken, it will be business as usual, and that’s a good thing.
They make poor hiring decisions
If the previous business manager managed all the hiring of a virtual assistant team, they would have their finger on the pulse on what they’re looking for. However, a new business manager walking into the role may not know who they need if they require a new team member. Do they hire the first person to show an interest in the position, or do they look for a particular set of skills? Misinformation and a lack of knowledge can lead to the hiring of the wrong virtual assistant, and this can significantly impact the entire team.
The best approach to hiring a new virtual assistant team member who can work well within a collective group is to talk to the current team. Find out what that former virtual assistant did, and what virtual staffing solutions they provided. Only the very people working within the virtual team will know what they brought to the table and can offer tips on what to look out for when choosing someone new. Too many managers try to tackle the task alone, not realising that input from their staff is invaluable when it comes to choosing new staff members.
They invite a culture of fear
When a company hires a new manager, there is already a sense of anxiety in the air. No one knows whether their job is safe, and they fear that significant changes are on the horizon. Rather than appease those fears, many new managers only add to them. They can become reckless in their approach, and don’t encourage their staff members or try to alleviate the worry. This is a big mistake.
If you invite a culture of fear into the workplace – whether it’s a physical or virtual workplace – you significantly increase the chances of your staff looking for work elsewhere. If they are scared to talk to you, scared to ask for advice, or are afraid of making an error for fear of reprimand, then they are not going to want to stay. The best way to fall into a new role as manager is by talking to each staff member to either:
- Give them a heads up on changes or
- Alleviate their concerns about major changes.
If drastic changes are on the horizon, there’ll be no surprises, or if staff members are worrying for nothing, you’ve eased them of their concern.
When someone new comes into your workplace, there are always going to be mistakes, but as a manager, those mistakes can be so much bigger, affecting far more people. Have you been affected by a new manager as a virtual assistant? Or were you the manager making mistakes?