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Many staffing options become available through the web in addition to traditional full-time employees. In fact, there is an increasing demand for virtual assistants, who live and work at another location. Your communication is often reduced to phone calls or email. However, utilizing contractors who work from home or are located in other economic environments can enable you to off load administrative work, which requires less skilled labor.

This pool of virtual labor consists of many types of people. Some are stay at home parents who can only work 10 or 20 hours a week from home. In many instances, these “part time virtual employees” are highly competent people whose focus on their family removes them from the conventional work force. Tapping into this resource can enable you to hire a top flight employee part time on a contract basis and eliminate the overhead of an onsite employee.

You can also use virtual assistants or companies that live in India, Pakistan, Romania, or almost anywhere around the globe. The current going rate for highly competent, well-educated labor is around $5.00 to $10.00 an hour. You can off-load and systematize some of the work in your business to these individuals or companies and still expect the same competency of work as you would from an onsite employee.

An interesting aspect to using labor in other locations is the time difference. Your virtual assistants may live in countries half way around the world from you which may enable them to accomplish work “overnight.”

The key to taking advantage of virtual assistants, outsourcing companies or any offsite employee lies in your business systems. Using your systematizing techniques, ensure that you have instructions well-documented for tasks you assign to off-site labor. Be sure to specify the format you require and any other details that are important to ensuring the work is done correctly. The clearer you can be about what you want and how you want it done, and the more systematized your outsourced tasks, the better result you will get.

Rewards and Incentives

A continual issue for many employers is productivity. Many methods have been tried to motivate employees to apply themselves to their jobs and encourage excellence in their work.

One successful technique involves offering rewards and incentives based on outstanding performance by either your company or by an individual. For company-based rewards, the achievement is shared company-wide. Everyone in the company receives a bonus. This sort of incentive generates increased loyalty and a sense of personal responsibility toward the well-being of the company.

Personal incentives reward individuals for outstanding achievements. If people do what is expected, then they receive their normal wage or salary. If they perform over and above what is expected then you should consider offering incentives to encourage this behavior. Incentives are an effective reward strategy and contrary to popular belief, most incentives are not cash-based.

To find the most effective incentive program for your company, do some research. If you are the owner of the company, do not make the assumption that you automatically know what they want. Ask them. Visit with your employees individually and ask them about what sort of rewards they would like if certain goals and objectives are achieved. Take note and listen. Most of the time, they will give you great information that you can execute based on their input.

One very effective reward strategy is peer recognition. Employees want to know that you have noticed their extra efforts. Pat them on the back and thank them personally. In addition, recognize their performance in front of their peers. Let everyone know the value they have brought to your business. For most people, this public recognition far exceeds a cash payment in motivational value.

With employee-based incentives in place, you will generate a more responsive workforce that you can count on to deliver what your company promises.

Take Action

As the famous marketer Dan Kennedy said: “Are you still collecting information or are you doing something”

This chapter collects a lot of business shaping information, so… “are you doing something?!” Adopt a few of the techniques I have described and implement them in your work environment. You will see an immediate improvement in all facets of your life and business.

Does your business drain your time and energy and not give you financial rewards for your efforts? Is this what you envisioned when you first opened your doors? If not, then you should review my Business Autopilot system. This system helps you regain some personal time and gets your staff “locked and loaded.” Defining what you want for your business ultimately adds asset value and positions you for the future. If and when you want to sell, your business will be worth substantially more than it is now.

About the Author

“Murray Priestley has 25 years of commercial and asset management experience having served in board, CEO and senior executive positions with a number of global public and private companies.”