Having a team for your online business can be one of the biggest blessings – or the worst nightmares. Everyone loves to wax poetic about working 4 hours a week, teams that handle all the worry and the magic of everything “just working” without your input.
But over here in Reality Land, it’s incredibly hard to build that team and achieve those goals without experience, and the process can leave you jaded, frustrated and ready to quit. As a result, many of us have high expectations that get dashed by our team.
The overall impact is that, as owners and entrepreneurs, we lose our trust in the team, and then it all goes downhill.
So how do you establish trust and know that you’re not going in blind?
1. Trust is earned
It’s easy to get excited when you’re hiring and hand over the reins to your entire business. Instead, remember that trust is earned, so begin with some of the smaller jobs and responsibilities and work your way up. Think of it this way, do you want your new assistant to mess up the newsletter that goes out to thousands of your followers or schedule a blog post that may have mistakes? One is easier to fix and you have your reputation to consider. If you throw someone into the deep end, then you have to be prepared if they can’t swim.
Just because someone makes a mistake, however, doesn’t mean they are untrustworthy.
2. Give systems
Without systems, your team will continually disappoint you because it’s nearly impossible to read your mind. Instead of getting something that you don’t want, losing trust, and having them fix the problem start with the end goal in mind. By showing your team exactly what you want and how to do it, you’ve given them a roadmap for success.
Most people don’t even begin to think of systems until they start hiring so if you don’t have many yet, then you’re in the right place! We can help but you have to commit to sharing your systems with your team so you can evaluate if problems are in a) the system, b) your instructions, or c) the team member.
3. Check in frequently
As trust builds it becomes very tempting to say “great job! Bye!” and go relax on a beach until Spring. Instead, you have to accept that the vast majority of people will do the minimum required unless you check in. A big part of having a team is learning how to manage them well so everything is completed to your standards.
Here’s the thing… if you don’t check in, then you won’t be able to make adjustments and changes to the tasks. Often times there are unasked questions, concerns and support that you need to give to get the project done, and without asking, they will go unanswered. It hurts your trust in the team when things go unfinished so you too have to make the commitment to checking in.
If you don’t trust your team then you’re sabotaging your business. It may be recoverable with some of the strategies listed here, but it may also be time to stop working with the wrong people and find the team you trust and can rely on. Otherwise you’re just pretending to have help and growing more frustrated with each passing day.