If you are still wondering if you should hire a virtual assistant, the most straightforward answer is: yes, of course, you should. Who doesn’t appreciate the extra help, especially for tedious tasks like bookkeeping and scheduling that can take up much of your work time otherwise?
However, it is a shocking revelation that despite the many advantages, virtual assistants still haven’t yet caught on with everybody. That is why it is important to take a look at what the recent statistics have to say about virtual workers.
According to Statista, the outsourced service industry’s overall value proposition is estimated to be a whopping $85 billion and is said to be growing.
Considering such figures, one must rightfully think that a big chunk of this number has to do with the demand for low-cost labor like virtual assistants by organizations and businesses.
Hiring a virtual assistant can be an excellent option for lone managers and team heads. Let’s take a look at some best practices to make the most out of them.
Top 12 Best Practices For Virtual Assistant Management for Reaping Boosted Results
The following are some of the best ways you can manage your virtual assistants for boosted results.
1. Understand that they are real humans
The very first thing that you have to instill in your mind before you start keeping unrealistic expectations of your virtual assistant is to remember that they are a real human being, much like yourself. Just because they are working remotely and choosing to maintain a working relationship through emails and calls, doesn’t mean you have hired a robot to operate on your command.
Your virtual assistant is a real human being with real needs and responsibilities other than working for you. Therefore, limiting their exposure, time, and trying to dictate their work ethic will result in unnecessary turbulence. A better way to handle things is to let work flow naturally.
2. Don’t expect them to work without training
Many entrepreneurs undermine the need for training mostly because, for them, it is an unnecessary effort that takes up time. In reality, however, training is crucial no matter how much time and effort it takes for you to train your newly appointed virtual assistant, you’ve got to do it. And do it not only for your own ease but for the ease and smooth workflow of your hired personnel.
Because eventually, in the long run, there will be too many questions that will disrupt the workflow. So it is better that they have been answered and clarified beforehand.
3. Identify clear objectives of hiring a VA
Understand that you are not hiring a virtual assistant as a helping hand to do anything and everything for you. They are not your replacement for incompetence against work. They have their own responsibilities that should be assigned. And that can only happen if you clearly define the objective of hiring a VA and prepare their job summary and job description.
If you lack the objective that you want to achieve through hiring a virtual assistant, you will never be able to get the best of them. That is eventually compromising your own results because you have no idea why you need the VA in the first place.
4. Hire the appropriate person as per the job
Now that you know why you need a VA and have a clear objective to achieve in mind, finding the right person to get the job done is essential. Know your exact need for why you should get one and then hire someone who would rightfully fit the bill.
Hiring someone over-qualified and underpaying them for doing everything you do yourself is supposed to be ethically wrong and unfair. Job specifications and requirements should be explicitly stated beforehand not to have any confusion after.
5. Strategize and analyze work ethic
It is important to strategize your work ethic to achieve more significant results. Setting strategies to accomplish an end term goal helps you attain it more seamlessly than without it. Also, in addition to this, it is vital to analyze your strategies after. If you do not look back at what you were doing right or wrong, you will not know how to improve.
Working with a virtual assistant requires the right digital tools and that level of strategizing where both the parties are on the same page. Therefore, understand their take on things and put your point across.
6. Mutually agreed upon payment options
Many times payment and salary options become a massive reason for conflict between the parties involved. That so happens because you pay beforehand, but the work is not delivered on time. On the flip side, many employers delay the payments or, in most cases, never made it.
To avoid such circumstances, it is better to create a contract and sign a deal over mutually agreed payment and other work options. Straightforwardly stating things makes it easier, in the long run, to deal with such issues where monetary resources are involved.
7. Be open to communicate
Communication is a crucial component when it comes to working with a virtual assistant. You cannot keep limited contact with someone and expect them to read your mind for getting things done. Understand that working remotely has its drawbacks because obviously, both the parties are not residing in the same place.
Therefore, to not make the distance a huge barrier in-between, it is important to openly communicate your concerns and be available for your VA to talk to you. Let it be known that they can easily reach out to you for any queries and concerns regarding work.
8. Decide upon file and document sharing ways
Cloud has definitely made our lives a lot easier because we can easily share files and documents without fussing about attachments and composing professional emails. You can mutually decide upon a good enough free cloud software that allows you both to put up files and make comments and editing.
9. Draw the line that shouldn’t be crossed
It is essential that you set some boundaries for your VA to follow and also ask them for their limitations. Then make sure that both of you do not cross those lines and respect each other’s boundaries. For example: not engaging in conversation strictly other than work, keeping communication only within working hours, etc.
10. Practice what you preach
You cannot expect your workers to be on time if you yourself get to work late every so often. Similarly, you cannot preach for things you yourself do not practice and expect your VA to comply just because you said so. Understand the importance of practicing what you preach because you are setting an example for people who work with you or for you.
As a boss, manager, or team lead, you are allowed to make mistakes. Still, deliberate and repetitive irresponsible behavior will just instill incompetence in your employees even if they work with you. So think about a VA who is working remotely.
11. Draw up a contract
I had already mentioned the term contract earlier in the article when I discussed payment options. That should, in it, be enough for you to understand the importance it can have as you work with someone, even if it is just a virtual assistant.
A contract is not just two people signing up for options to work. It makes a lot of things you need to comply with, mandatory. Which otherwise, if not mandated, would compromise the work ethic both the parties share. Thus, draw up a contract and discuss all the points mentioned before you settle.
12. Help them stay motivated
Lastly, your virtual assistant will require motivation, and it is highly likely that they will expect it from you. Just like a mere compliment or praise from your boss is enough to make your day and make you want to work even harder, your VA needs the same treatment to keep them going.
If you make sure to appreciate their effort and compliment their work, it will make them want to do better for you and stay motivated in the long run. It is a win-win situation because they will give their best performance and you will get the best work.
All in all, there is no doubt that virtual assistants can be of huge help within budgeted means of payment. You can easily get assistance where ever you may need it. The need for a VA can range from specific jobs to general task requirements, and you can easily find someone who can get it done in a compliant and timely manner.
Hopefully, following the tips above can help you make the best of it!