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A New Approach to Team-Building

Video Highlights:
0:01 How do you track what your outsourcers and employees are doing?
0:44 Some people like to micromanage—I don’t.
1:07 I want members of my team to be enthusiastic
1:30 I invest in my employees
1:45 What you get out of the help you buy is based on what you put in
2:38 It’s important for people to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing
3:30 Deadlines are important
3:43 The result is a team that is engaged and excited to work

Click Here For Video Transcript

How do you track what your outsourcers and employees are doing? What software do you use? Are you making sure they’re doing what they should be doing? I get this question all the time and I have a bit of a controversial viewpoint on building a team that is, you know, not as talked about. And this is Ezra here from, by the way.

So the way that I do it, and this is really more for people who are on your team. Outsourced work, like you have an outsourced designer who does something for you every now and again or an outsourced developer or whatever, not really going to apply here. But if you want to build a team, people to help you in your company, people to be on board with what you’re doing and engaged in your mission and actually showing up and being enthusiastic about their work and putting their best foots forward, there is a couple ways to go about it.

So there’s all these time management tools out there where you can kind of record people’s screens and micromanage them and all this kind of stuff and some people enjoy that. Some people enjoy really knowing every little thing that people who are working on their teams do. My viewpoint on it is that if you’re micromanaging someone to that degree, they feel a little suffocated. They feel like they don’t have freedom and agency within their job. And what I want is when someone comes on my team, I want them to be enthusiastic about their role. I want them to feel like they can make decisions and have agency. And I want them to be an expert more so than I am on that subject. That’s why I’m bringing them on in the first place because first you outsource and hire people for the things that you’re not so great at and then you hire and outsource and build the team for the things that you are great at, which allows you to scale.

And so the way I do it is I invest in my employees. I’ve got nine full time people here just for And we have other folks who work with us on our other companies. What I mean by investing in the folks who work with you is you’re going to get out of the help that you buy what you put into the help that you buy. So you want to think about people who are working with you as buying help. When you first start buying help for your company, you know, you may be buying 30 hours a week of help. That 30 hours a week of help that you’re buying is going to be worth 60 or 70 hours in a couple of months because the people are going to get better; you’re going to have them better trained. And so what I like to do is, first of all, we have weekly company meetings, couple times a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays right now. The whole company shows up. We all are there. And everyone talks about what they’re doing and what they’re doing that week and how things are going. And we talk about things that are happening in the company and everyone puts their viewpoints in so people feel heard.

But I also meet with my employees who are new once a week. And I put an hour or two with them talking about what they’re doing, letting them understand what we’re up to as a company and what their job means within the greater picture of our business, because it’s important for people to understand not only what they’re doing but why they’re doing it, have context on why you are doing the things you’re doing. And so if you’re willing to meet with an employee once or twice a week and make sure that they feel like they understand what they’re doing and that if they have questions they can come to you. And the other thing that we do, this has been a little trick, it works really well, is I assign them a couple blogs. I say, “Look, here are three or four blogs on your particular expertise. I want you to read an hour or two a week of these blog posts and I want you to come back to me and each week let’s talk about what you learned and things you think we can do in our business that you learned from these posts that you read.” So you want to have your employees and the people who work in your company feel like they’re a part of something, feel like they’re becoming an expert in their own right, that they can make decisions within their position. And the way to do that is to not micromanage them, in my viewpoint.

I don’t care when you do your work. I don’t care how much you work. I just care that you do the things that we ask you to do by the time that we ask you to do them. Deadlines are huge. If you don’t give people deadlines they won’t get stuff done by the deadline. So you have to give deadlines. And you have to make sure that the folks working for you understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. And if you do that, what happens is you end up with a group of people who are engaged, who are enthusiastic, who are on board and enrolled, more than just showing up to work, like they care about what they’re doing; they have a relationship with you. And this is how we build a team of people that is really up to something cool that we can count on, that show up, that put in that extra mile when it’s required because sometimes it is. So there’s more than one right way to build a team. This is the way that we found that works for us. If it sounds good to you, try it on. Let me know how it goes. Ezra here from Looking forward to seeing you in the next one.

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