Need Some Help Getting Started with Your Virtual Assistant?
Let us give you some tips and tricks for your day-to-day work with your new VA and some advice for making your outsourcing project run smoothly. Remember that it is up to you to keep your virtual assistant busy at all times and to make sure he always has a task to complete. Our online project management system makes this easier for you but you still need to put in some time into mentoring and training your virtual assistant just like you’d have to do with any other staff member. For your business to be more profitable, you should designate tasks that bring more clients and generate more sales.
Keep Your Virtual Assistant Happy
There are really unavoidable instances where a company might end up with a virtual assistant who just leaves without finishing the entire project. They may have personal issues, but most of the reasons for quitting are work-related. You must try to avoid losing a good VA as this wastes your money on training but most of all wastes your valuable time. Below are a few reasons why VA’s choose to leave so you can take action in preventing your VA from leaving.
Lack of Recognition
A simple compliment will go a long way, and this is something that you should always give your VAs each time they deserve it. They need to know that their work has a contribution to your business in general. Recognizing their efforts will give them a sense of purpose for being your employee.
Tasks are below their specialization
It is only natural for an employee to aim for professional growth. Although it may be beneficial for the staff to learn new things, priority would always be to enhance the skills that they already have. It is also discouraging when you are giving them too simple tasks for their skills over a long period of time because this will not encourage growth and learning.
While it is important for both of you to adjust to each other’s culture, there are just instances when the Virtual Assistant will fail to break some of the barriers. From there, miscommunications will happen, and eventually, the work will just become too toxic for the employee, thus urging them to leave. This factor though is totally inevitable.
Failure to Establish a Personal Relationship
A personal relationship is one of the reasons why employees get attached to their jobs, both in the virtual and office-based context. Therefore, not having a personal relationship with your Virtual Assistants will simply make them leave their job easily. Filipinos are less concerned about other aspects of a job but care a lot about building strong relationships. If you can do this, you will keep your VA longer, saving you the need to train another employee.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Outsourcing will only serve you well when you know the proper strategies for doing it. More importantly, there are also common mistakes that need to be avoided so your outsourcing endeavor is not a failed opportunity.
Treating Virtual Employees as Machines
There are employers who are so stern when it comes to their Virtual Assistants that they neglect to establish a good relationship with them. This aspect should not be taken lightly because this is the key factor that makes employees productive and convinces them to stay longer in their job. The relationship you build with them will shortly translate into loyalty and motivation.
Not Having Enough Tasks for Outsourcing
Some people are so eager to join the outsourcing bandwagon that they sign contracts and send out payments without really having tasks prepared to be outsourced. In business, there is no room for wasting time, so before forming your virtual team, make sure that you have their tasks laid out 2-3 months before their official start date.
With this item, we mean your schedule. Of course, your virtual employees already have their fixed working schedule, but it should also be clear for them at what time of the day they can reach you, or how often you will check on their output. Otherwise, this will not only compromise the consistency and accuracy of your employees’ output, but will also create clutter in your email, Skype, Gtalk, and even phone. Moreover, because of this clutter, there is also a greater possibility for you to not to properly address all their concerns.
Well, in almost any project, this is a big mistake. It becomes even more important to avoid this when you are outsourcing. There are times when you trust the output submitted to you too much, just because you get too lazy to substantiate them. Leaving mistakes unnoticed or uncorrected can gradually impede your business operations and image.
Whenever you set a task for your VA, you should follow up. You should have a certain amount of trust and faith if your VA but take into consideration the fact that your VA will usually show little initiative and will never care about completing a task as much as you do. Make sure you make your VA report to you every single day and try to set aside some time at least once a week where you can really go through the project until they have gained your trust and have proved they can really work for you.
HR and Project manager
Failure to communicate with the HR and project manager that we have put in place to assist you and your daily project needs is a mistake that you should avoid. They are always there to assist you and know how your project operates so they can quickly resolve any problems that you may have. If you have any concerns about your project it is better to contact the project manager as soon as possible to get it resolved.
Procedures and delegation
You must always set procedures for your VA. Make sure the procedures are easy to understand. You have hired you VA to save you time so there is no point to always follow up on them and spend too much time delegating their tasks. Let us show you how to organize best and delegate tasks. Some techniques and software we use are listed below.
1. Screen Sharing – Skype and other free online tools already allow this function. Nothing is more efficient than being able to show your Virtual Assistant exactly how you want things to be done. This may only take one chat or call session with them, and you will find out that giving out instructions has never been easier, and clearer (on the VAs’ end).
2. Video or Audio Instructions – Jing is the most recommended for this task. This is even more helpful because the Virtual Assistant can simply get back to the video if they have clarifications instead of personally bombarding you with those.
3. Calendar – more importantly, you can organize a planner for your VAs by using collaborative or online calendars (ex. Google Calendar). These calendars will remind your VAs on your behalf, about the tasks that need to be accomplished within a certain day.
4. Procedures- Basically procedures concept are simple written documents that can be read by anyone to explain them what to do and how to do it so your business runs smoothly. It’s about making sure every task in your business is done in the most efficient way to save time and money. If you’re self employed and trying to do everything in your business, it can be hard to set up these types of systems but you should stop and take the time to set them up because once they are set up you will save yourself so much time, effort and money.