You’ve hired a virtual assistant to work for your business. Their support will reduce your workload and help the business to grow – but only if you establish a successful working relationship as their employer.
After all, a virtual assistant is fairly different to a standard office employee! While their responsibilities may be the same, virtual employees rarely interact face-to-face with their employees, so you may need to use a slightly different style of management.
Here are six tips to help you get the most out of your virtual employees.
1. How To Get The Most Out Of Your Virtual Assistant: Establish SOPs
Create clear standard operating procedures (also known as SOPs) to ensure your remote employees are working efficiently. Sure, it might take some time and effort on your behalf to write out clear, detailed SOPs, but in the long run they will likely save you a lot of time and money.
This is because clear, easy to understand instructions will make it much easier for your employee to complete a task without asking you for help – and they are also less likely to do the task incorrectly the first time. So sit down and come up with a few SOPs for each virtual assistant, and then go over each SOP with each employee individually.
2. Use Respect To Build Trust With Your Virtual Assistant
A recent study found employees who feel respected are over 50% more engaged at work, so make a conscious effort to establish a relationship of trust and respect with your virtual employees. Many managers overlook this, especially with employees they don’t see face-to-face, but doing so will only negatively impact your business. So communicate regularly with your virtual employees, and reward their hard work with praise, increased responsibility and respect.
3. Get Creative Together
You can also get more out of your virtual assistant by frequently mind-mapping together. This situation will promote creativity within both you and your assistant, and it will also encourage them to share new ideas that could benefit the business.
4. Ask For Feedback
You can also help your VA by asking them for feedback. Ask them for their thoughts and ideas regarding their roles; what do they feel they are best at? Is there anything they would change about their role? Do they have any suggestions to improve their efficiency?
Asking these questions will show your virtual assistant that you value them, and if they answer honestly you will be able to increase both their productivity and job satisfaction. A win-win situation for everyone involved!
5. Don’t Worry About Over-Communicating
When you are going over new tasks, big projects and SOPs, don’t worry about over-communicating. You may worry that you are explaining the obvious, but in reality many employees don’t feel comfortable asking lots of questions as they worry it will make them look inept. So be very thorough and clear, and at the end take the time to ask each employee if they have any questions or concerns. This will create a positive communication channel, and employees may feel more confident to bring up anything they are unsure about.
6. Pay Them Fairly
Finally it is important to pay your virtual assistant fairly. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for – so if you hire a virtual assistant for a very low wage, you should only expect them to complete simple admin tasks. If you offer a higher wage, you will be able to hire more skilled virtual support (for instance, you could hire someone with web design skills). So think about what you what you expect from the employee, and then set a reasonable, fair salary that reflects their workload.