As a fellow business owner, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this one.

I was feeling indulgent the other day and couldn’t help popping into my favorite ice cream store as I was driving by.

Okay, maybe I wasn’t driving by, but I was in the neighborhood.

There were no other customers, just four employees and here’s the thing – they were all standing around chatting. In other words, not working.

My business antennae started freaking out. I mean, I almost lost my appetite (not quite).

I don’t really blame the employees – this was clearly a management issue.

I guess there was no manager on duty, or maybe I just walked in when they were taking a short break. Who knows?

They were all sweet and polite and I got my ice cream treat and went on my way.

But it got me thinking about one of the questions new clients ask most often – how do I make sure my virtual employees are using their time productively?

It’s a legitimate question and deserves a thoughtful answer. Fortunately, over the years, we’ve given this quite a bit of thought at Hiresmart Virtual Employees.

There are a couple parts to this question, the way I see it. First and most basic, there’s the minimum effort principle and it’s pretty simple.

There’s a minimum amount of effort that all employees have to give in order to keep their jobs. They have to show up, meet deadlines, and perform given tasks adequately.

No one will keep an employee around who doesn’t meet these basic requirements.

The trickier part of the question is how to create a system where employees are challenged so they’re working at a high level, not only accomplishing their tasks, but learning, growing and becoming more efficient.

With a system like this in place, employees become more valuable and more productive. They put themselves in position to advance and your business in a position to succeed.

Now I can’t teach you a management system in the space of an email. Hundreds of entire books have been written on the subject.

But, at Hiresmart Virtual Employees , we do spend lots of time coaching our clients on how to build this type of management system.

So, I’ll give you a few pointers:

Making sure our clients get the best work from their virtual employees is something we take very seriously at HireSmart Virtual Employees. It’s an essential part of our repeat business.

Maybe that’s been the sticking point keeping you from hiring a virtual employee? If that’s the case you should click here and set up a free consultation.

We’ll be happy to address your concerns and match you up with one of our hard working, experienced virtual employees.

If you’re like me, you’re a creature of habit. I have my routines and enjoy the stability of knowing what the future will bring.

That’s what they call the left brain stuff and it’s a real asset in business because that’s how the checklists get made, the assigned tasks get marked off, and everything moves forward.

Fortunately, I also have a creative – call it “business artistic” –  side. I feel lucky in that regard because, really, you need both sides of the brain to succeed in business.

What’s so important about being creative when it comes to business?

According to McKinsey partner, Marc Brodherson,

“Creativity is associated with superior performance, and creative leaders outperform their peers on key financial metrics.”

Creativity helps you see outside the box, it helps imagine new and different ways of doing things.

And it makes sense that a creative leader would outperform peers because they spend time thinking about new and different solutions to improve their systems and processes.

When it comes to hiring new staff, you probably have a set way of going about it, and since you’re running a successful business, your way has produced at least good enough results.

But you might be wondering if there’s a different approach, another place to look for great staff?

That’s a creative question – wondering is a creative act.

Many years ago, we were introduced to the world of virtual employees as an outside-the-box way of finding great staff and saving serious money. We loved this creative idea so much, we started HireSmart Virtual Employees soon after.

The advantages of virtual employees are many, but one of the most significant is the competitive advantage of lower labor costs.

In this new, highly technological age of business, your potential employees are anywhere in the world that has stable internet connections.

Why limit yourself to potential employees only in your area, or your state, or even your country? Whether or not the world is your oyster, it certainly is your potential hiring pool.

Maybe it's time to consider expanding your search process to include virtual employees. That’s the kind of thinking outside the box that will definitely improve your labor costs.

With HireSmart Virtual Employees as your staffing partner, we’ll make sure that translates into a competitive advantage for your business. Click here for a free consultation.