The secret trap that could derail your outsourcing efforts is the lack of attention given to the small business owners managerial skills. This is a skill that most entrepreneurs have not fully developed and could potentially have a negative effect on your outsourcing experience.
Now don’t get me wrong, small business does not mean small profit. You could be making thousands of dollars per month and still be considered a small business. But if you are like me and conduct business as a “one person show” than you probably have little use for managerial skills other than managing your own time.
Outsourcing can be very powerful, IF……you know how to manage people. You have to set real expectations, give them a training platform consisting of what you expect them to know and perform, and give them guidance. If you do not do this upfront then outsourcing as a whole could potential be a negative experience.
This would be mostly due to unrealistic expectations from an outsource professional that doesn’t have the exact skill set that you are looking for. Just hiring people to do the work for you does not mean that you will automatically become more productive.
IT SHOULD…..mean that you are more productive, but the missing link is HOW you manage the people you bring on to perform the tasks you want to out source.
Good people management involves Five Phases of Continual Improvement:
1) Skill Assessment
2) Gap Training
3) Goal Setting
4) Performance Assessment
Skill Assessment:You must first determine the amount of knowledge and skill the individual has. By doing this you will know what training will be needed to get your new outsource professional up to speed to perform the tasks you want to the standards that you expect.
Gap Training: After completing the skill assessment you should put together a gap training schedule to training the out source professional on the specific skills that you want them to perform. For you to be fully satisfied with their performance you should implement some sort of gap training so everyone is one the same page as far as what is expected.
Goal Setting: Now that skill levels have been assessed and training is complete it is time to set realistic performance goals. What do you expect them to do and at what level and time frame. These must be clearly outlined upfront. This will make you happy that the job is being performed to your expectations and will make the outsource professional happy because they will be giving you the results you want.
Performance Assessment: You have assessed skill levels, trained, and set realistic goals, now it is time to Assess Performance. Is your outsource professional performing at the level that you need for your business? Are your expectations being met? This step requires brutally honest, open, yet professional communication. After this step is completed, start the process over again.
Repeat: Repeat the same process over again to continually improve your productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness Following these steps will make your outsourcing experience a positive one and will boost your productivity substantially.