The trend of hiring Virtual Assistants (VA) has gained much momentum. Companies and business entrepreneurs have begun to hire the services of VA(s) to take care of day to day tasks like email and calendar management and perform administrative duties. Not only is it easy on your business budget but the fact that you are not bound by geography, offers you a vast talent pool to choose from. With so much to offer, what else can you ask for? Well, increased business productivity – that’s what keeps you going. Wondering how you can get your VA(s) to contribute to this? Well, here’s something to ponder upon.
1. Encourage Proactivity
Be sure to reward your VA(s) for proactive behavior. As an employer, it is your responsibility to praise your employees when they perform well at their tasks. Even though your VA(s) are remotely located, be sure to include them in the reward programs that you have for your in-office staff. Help them chalk out ways to improve their performance. Provide suggestions whenever possible and be a morale booster. Use rewards as a means to recognize their efforts and watch your VA(s) get better with every task.
2. Its 50:50 – Equal Treatment
VA(s) aren’t merely assistants based in some faraway place! It is the duty of the employer/company to treat their VA(s) in the same manner in which they would deal with in-office employees. The onus of helping VA(s) understand their role in the business/company lies with the management/employer. Allowing them to grow and share in the day to day activities of the business will create a sense of ownership. If you want your VA(s) to go about the business like it’s their own, treat them well.
3. ‘WE’ and not ‘ME’
Business is surely not a one man show. It’s Team work with a capital T. Employers must understand that VA(s) are remotely located and are away from the business. Chances are they will feel separated from the business/company. Take steps to ensure that they feel that they are a part of the corporate family. The ‘We’ factor creates an invisible bond between the business, you – the employer, your in-house employees and of course, your VA(s).
4. The Including Act
One of the reasons a company /business hires a VA(s) is due to the vast talent pool to choose from. Now when you have a talented person on board, even though he/she is remotely located, why not include them when it comes to idea sharing and brain storming? Do make a note of this. The icing on the cake is that your VA, being away from the actual scene of action, could come up an idea or perspective that is ‘out of the box’ and that which never occurred to you or your in-house employees. Why do I say this? Well, an in-house employee may come up with an idea that is based to the office environment he/she is in. A VA is based in a remote location and not necessarily limited.
5. Note, Prioritize and Track
As an employer it is rather easy to send task after task for your VA(s) to work upon. It’s even easier to lose track of the tasks delegated. If you are looking to get the most out of your VA(s), it is essential that you, as the employer, get your act together. Prioritizing and keeping a track of the work that you’ve delegated is important. Should you need any change to be made, convey it to your VA(s). Stress on the urgency of a task when it is needed. Never toe the line with project deadlines.
6. Straight Cut Directives
There is no room for ambiguity when it comes to handing over tasks to your VA(s). As an employer, you need to be clear cut about the task in question, provide all relevant details, and establish ground rules for performing the task. Well, how does this help? It cuts down on the back and forth communication and allows you to focus on the core business activities. Streamlining tasks and business activity spells success.
7. Set the Bar
As an employer you must inform your VA(s) about your business priorities, expectations and quality parameters. A word of advice (not that you don’t already know), make a list of the tasks at hand and decide which ones you wish to outsource to a VA. Once the task is handed over, set goals that need to be met, deadlines that have to be met and quality parameters that ought to be adhered to. This creates a sense of awareness among your VA(s) with regards to your expectations and the standards they need to match up to. This ensures maximum business productivity. However, do be realistic when you set the bar. Keep in mind that a VA uses his or her personal resources and could be limited as well. Nevertheless, this should not affect the desired output.
8. Onboarding Matters
You do have a set pattern for hiring in-office employees, don’t you? Why not apply the same rules and methods when it comes to hiring a VA. You do sift through scores of CV’s before shortlisting a few and then subjecting them to a battery of tests and interviews. It only makes sense to follow the same methods and adopt the same policy when selecting and hiring a VA. You will be able to choose the best VA! Talking about getting the most out of your VA(s)? Hiring the best is the first step towards achieving this. Focus on quality communication skills and promptness when it comes to hiring (let’s leave this to you – after all, you have hired before and know what to look for).
9. Together towards Business Success
It’s not in-office workers versus VA(s). As a matter of fact, team them up to work together on tasks and see your business productivity sky rocket. This will provide the VA with the opportunity to understand and feel what it is like to be a part of the organization. This team work and feel good factor is sure to boost the VA’s morale and inspire him or her to perform the task to the best of their ability. And no, a little healthy competition, if handled well by the management, won’t hurt the business.
Business productivity – yes, this is what this post is about. At the end of the month and financial year, you do want see your business grow from a certain level to the next. Well, the onus lies with you and how you deal with your employees; not just the in-office folk, but also your VA(s). If you wish to make the most of your investment in virtual assistance, take the points mentioned above into consideration and implement the same. Practice does indeed make things perfect. In this scenario, your business productivity is sure to get a boost if you know how to deal with your VA(s).
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Author: Rintu Biswas
Rintu Biswas is an SEO Expert and Virtual Assistant at MyTasker. He is extremely passionate about his work. He always tries to help people by his informative articles.