Hiring a dedicated virtual assistant is the perfect staffing solution for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs who are focused on the bigger picture and working hard to build their organization. These heavy hitting professionals do not have time to keep up with hundreds of emails, endless to-do lists, IT issues, and the financial health of their company. How do they streamline their workflow and make the most out of every minute of every day? Simple. They outsource those job tasks to remote workers. Hiring a virtual assistant can be a highly strategic and valuable business move. Despite the fact that your virtual assistant might live on a completely different continent, they are an absolutely integral part of your team. Once you’ve hired and trained your new VA, they’ll provide you with more time to realize your ambitions and goals, not to mention time with your family. So how do you make certain your VA is working at their highest capacity and happy with you as an employer? Through years of experience as a successful outsourcing company, we’ve learned the top tools to effectively manage any virtual staff.
First, it’s important to flesh out a specific role/job description. Begin by pinpointing what tasks you’re spending too much time on and what you can outsource. These days almost anything can be outsourced, from Lead Generation Specialists to Human Resources, but most of the time it’s the highly prized skill set of an incredible multi-tasking executive assistant that a CEO requires. No matter what, hire for the role, not the tasks. Start the relationship off on the right page and be upfront and clear during the interview process.
Weekly catch ups and development/management chats are vital to make sure all items and tasks have been completed, questions answered, as well as addressing any learning curve mishaps. One of our not-so-secret weapons on this front is Google Drive. Shared documents are key! Having documents available to share and collectively update & maintain is a daily management tool to keep all players on track. It also aids in any miscommunication issues. Skype is another staple tool we love. It’s free, easy to use, available everywhere, and gives you the ability to see your virtual employee, screen share and train or share design ideas.
One thing we cannot stress enough is: your virtual assistant is not a robot. They’re human and need to feel appreciated for their efforts, hard work, and sometimes long hours. Building a relationship is the fun part of having an employee but it’s more important when that employee lives on the other side of the planet. Communication plays a big role here, always over communicate. We’re going to mention that one more time, communication. Build the relationship with trust, positive encouragement, creative incentives, and understand & appreciate cultural differences. Actively show interest in getting to know them as a human. Ask about their weekend, their family, what they like to do after work or what other interests they might have.
These essential management tools will go a long way toward creating a successful working relationship with not only your virtual assistant but all of your employees. At the same time, you’ll be able to use your time more efficiently which will, in turn, impact the future of your organization.