9 best ways to leverage virtual assistants

9 Ways to Get the BEST Out of Your VA

Every entrepreneur believes that they can never get enough done. 

There are always more appointments to add to the schedule, more data that needs to be entered, and something else that needs urgent attention. 

As schedules get stacked to the brim with tasks, it is wisest to move to smarter options. And, virtual assistants are the smartest option. These online assistants not only ease your workload but also help cut down costs.  

However, hiring the right virtual assistant is only the first step. To ensure that your collaboration is long and productive, you must ensure that your partnership serves both parties well. 

To aid you with your businesses, we’ve compiled nine best ways to leverage virtual assistants. These practices ensure that your partnership gets you the desired results. You can also expect a long collaboration with your VAs if you actually take note of these tips! 

Setting Up a System That Works

Be smart about the help you will be getting from a virtual assistant. While they can help you clear your schedules in more ways than one, you need to be aware of the VA’s range of responsibilities. 

Before hiring, we’d suggest an informal chat with your VA. You can use this chat to discuss expectations and compensations to avoid problems in the long run.

Make sure your VA understands your needs and check if they’re willing to work to meet your expectations. 

Lastly, set up targeted and realistic goals. Then plan your tasks accordingly. Delegating tasks efficiently minimizes losses. 

  • Provide clear and concise instructions on the work needed and discuss deadlines. 
  • Be realistic about your goals to avoid disappointment. 
  • Understand that no matter how diligent your VAs are, they will still have restrictions. 

Although it’ll take some time to build an understanding with your VA, it would benefit your business greatly. 

Feedback

Provide feedback on every assigned task, especially in the beginning. Before the VA is familiar with your working style and business needs, it is helpful to communicate praises and complaints.

To make the most out of virtual assistant services, ask for your VA’s feedback too. This makes them feel respected and might bring more creativity and efficiency to your work.  

When they feel respected, your employees are bound to put in more effort. Do not just ask for feedback, actively work on incorporating it. 

Reports estimated that while 60% of US companies ask for feedback, only 30% work to include it in their systems. 

Keep Track of All Tasks

As most virtual assistants work from home, monitoring their progress is an additional task. Mostly, you need to rely on the assistant’s honesty.

Many companies use software to track the time spent on each tab during the work window. There are programs to sync to a cloud so that the company gets immediate access to its VA’s schedule as soon as the work window ends. 

However, we suggest tracking tasks and their progress instead of tracking time. The time spent on each task shouldn’t be our concern. Instead, focus on deliverables. 

Make a progress sheet to keep a detailed report of all your VA’s tasks and their progress. As long as they’re delivering what they are required to, do not stress yourself worrying about their work windows. 

Build A Relationship

Virtual Assistants can be an asset to your business but you should not take them for granted. 

Working with a virtual assistant has its perks. However, you need to work to build and maintain a working relationship with your VAs like you do with the rest of your employees. 

By dedicating time and effort, you can ensure that your VA stays with you. This removes the need to find and train another resource. 

To improve your relationship, keep communication clear. For the first few weeks, be available to your VA. Make sure they can ask you questions and expect assistance from you. 

Until they’re ready to work without supervision, be available for feedback in their working window. Trust your VA to complete their tasks. 

Make time for either a weekly or a monthly video chat for discussions. Employees who feel cared for are likely to work harder for their employers. 

Avoid Micromanaging

Although there might be multiple resources on the internet telling you how to evaluate your virtual staff; none advise micro-managing.

No one likes to be micromanaged as that feeds into the narrative that their capabilities are inadequate or they can’t be trusted with the work they were hired for. 

After providing clear instructions, leave your VA to handle their work and trust them to deliver. 

However, you might need to supervise your virtual assistant, occasionally. You should take time to learn how to use a virtual assistant properly. Try your best to strike a balance and monitor them without becoming overbearing.

Employ Perks And Rewards

While your VAs aren’t working with you onsite, they’d still appreciate rewards or other small tokens of appreciation.

If a VA has stayed with you for a long time, give them employment perks such as designated paid leave or a holiday. 

When the company has recorded continuous growth and progress from the virtual assistant, consider tokens such as health benefits, an equipment upgrade, or treat them with their favorite cuisine. 

Everyone loves getting complimented on their skills and VAs are no exception. Be sure to let them know when their work is exemplary. A simple “Thank you” or “Great work!” can do the job as well.

Respect and Professionalism

It’s easy for virtual assistants to feel neglected as they don’t have many opportunities for face-to-face interactions with the employer. 

Even if you believe you have a great relationship with them, put in effort to ensure it stays that way.  

Give them the respect and acknowledgment you’d give a full-time employee. Employees are more invested in the company’s success if they receive respect and kindness. 

Going a little out of your way to be kind to your VAs can benefit your business greatly.

Invest in Your Virtual Assistant

Show support to your virtual assistants by providing opportunities to build more skills. 

Constantly communicate with them to learn what skills or courses interest them. Educating and training your VAs is the best way to show support.

They can use these skills to benefit your business and advance their careers. Investments like these foster a sense of loyalty in employees and ensure that you build a long-lasting relationship with them. 

Furthermore, investing in your VAs serves as a great PR tactic. Businesses known to take care of their employees and allow career advancements are likely to get more applications whenever there is an open hiring window. 

Aim To Increase VA Responsibilities

Instead of considering another hire, it is better to increase the responsibilities of an old hire.

Once a VA has shown exemplary results, consider hiring them for more tasks as well. For instance, when a VA has shown excellent marketing skills, consider letting them handle your Instagram or Facebook account. 

Not only does this minimize the need for more hires, it gives you a credible and exemplary resource to handle more of your work.

Ending Note

In conclusion, businesses need to understand that while VAs are a resourceful addition to your teams, there are measures you can take to make the most out of them. It requires cooperation from the business to ensure a productive and efficient virtual team.

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