1. Set clear goals and milestones - having clear goals, tasks and milestones is essential for the success of a project. It will assist ensure that a freelancer understands what is required of them and help you to better monitor the progress of your project and resolve issues as they arise. Using 360WORK's ProToolkit, divide your project into smaller tasks, with clear description on what needs to be achieved, what resources may be required, any other specific requirements, and deadlines for each task. Review each task, as you go along and request changes, as necessary.
2. Communicate effectively – have consistent and regular communications with your freelancer. It will help you both to better understand each other, as well as helping you to receive regular updates on the progress of the project. It will also help the freelancer to resolve any issues and/or answer any questions that they may have.
Your conversations must be clear, to the point, and two-sided - there’s no point in one person speaking, while the other is just doodling on the other side!
Ensure that you are not overly critical or offensive in your communications, and instead welcome new opinions and ideas. A freelancer must feel that they are safe to discuss matters with you. They must also feel that you are knowledgeable and can answer their questions, and that you also value their work and effort that they put into your project. If you need to change something, you must set clear goals and timelines, and schedule further discussions to review the changes. You must also try to avoid conflicts as much as possible – see points 4 and 5 for more information.
3. Regularly review project tasks – the work of a freelancer is only one side of a successful project delivery. The other side is entirely dependent on the methods and consistency of project reviews. You need to assess the quality of the freelancer’s work one task at a time, and examine the accuracy of each job delivered, as the project goes forward. You must suggest improvements as required and ensure that you set clear deadlines for their delivery. In the end, this will guarantee your satisfaction, and reduce your stress, throughout.
4. Express yourself! – giving feedback is essential to individual and professional development. If you are unhappy about something, say it! If you’re not satisfied about the delivered work, communicate it to the freelancer. Clearly explain to them why you’re unhappy and what needs to change. Let them know how you would like each task amended and delivered and ensure to set clear deadlines for the new version(s).
Similarly, if you are happy with your freelancer, let them know. It will boost their confidence, as well as motivating them into putting more effort and attention into your work, now and in the future!
5. Manage conflicts; don’t prolong them! – when you have an issue, communicate it to the freelancer straight away. Do not wait for pressure and conflict to build up! Prolonged unhappiness and conflicts are a recipe for disaster!
6. Don’t be afraid (or too proud) to ask for help – we are always here to help. If you have questions, just ask us! If there’s a conflict that you do not know how to resolve, tell us and we will guide you through the conflict resolution processes! If you need guidance on how your account works, just contact our customer services…we will gladly help you out through any issues that you may face!
7. Be empathic and understanding – don’t put too much pressure on the freelancer. Remember, they are people too! They may have personal reasons or other deadlines that they need to work towards. Be mindful of their individual situation and problems and communicate what needs to change.
8. Be an effective critic – if you want top-quality work delivered to you, one of the most important things that you need to be mindful of is the way you treat others! Treating freelancers well will result in comparable respect on their part - they will put more time and effort into your project and will try anything to make you happy!
Conversely, being overly critical, rude and offensive; or neglecting the freelancer’s needs will only result in an unhappy work environment and unsatisfactory work delivery! Freelancers are not robots! They are highly skilled and passionate professionals who are offering their experience and services to you and in turn deserve to be respected, just as much as you do.
Constructive criticism is the best way to go! When you are unhappy about something, talk to your freelancer and explain clearly the reasons for your lack of satisfaction. Let them know how they could improve. Provide them with enough tools and guidance to help deliver the work to your standards. Give credit where it is due and say thank you!
Let them know you appreciate their effort! It will guarantee a better work environment and more success in your project.
9. Do NOT gossip! – you may think that it is harmless to talk about another freelancer to your new recruit. It might be that the previous person you hired was not so skilled as they claimed to be or that they had been lazy, and you feel like you’re (safely) getting back at them by talking to a total stranger, behind their back. You might even think that gossiping about how awful a previous recruit was will ensure that your new hire will put a better effort into their jobs! YOU ARE WRONG! Gossiping about past recruits will only increase the anxiety levels in your new recruits. It may cause them to feel that they too will not be appreciated or rewarded for the work that they do for you. It may demotivate them or even make them change their mind and stop working with you altogether! Or even worst…they might be a friend or a relative of your previous recruit that you are gossiping about! Oops!
If you want a positive, calm and collaborative work environment, become a role model! Be positive, encouraging and helpful and avoid all types of negativity.
10. Learn to appreciate other peoples’ shortcomings! – a freelancer may be an excellent programmer, but they might not be an effective communicator! Appreciate their shortcoming and realise that no-one can be the best at everything. Instead of expecting the PERFECT freelancer, be a great leader and show them how they can improve. You will both appreciate it!