Hiring a virtual assistant is a cost-effective option businesses the world over are using to reduce expenses and get more time to focus on other areas of the business. And it’s only increasing!
Because we live in a society that can outsource almost anything, a virtual assistant could be a perfect fit in your business.
Without the headache and overheads of hiring an in-house employee, you can still gain the benefits of that right-hand person you so desperately need.
Efficiency, attention to detail, and timely output of work are just a few of the key areas a good virtual assistant can deliver. No matter the type of business you have, or the size, a virtual assistant can benefit your business in a number of ways.
Effecitve communication is key in any business. But due to the sheer distance inherent in hiring a staff member based in another country, communication becomes critical when you hire a virtual assistant virtual assistant. But how? Read on
Focus on tasks and processes (as well as goals)
Before you hire a virtual assistant, think about the tasks you intend to assign them.
As various tasks contribute to a number of goals, you should have a clear understanding of tasks you wish to outsource, and the processes designed in order to get these tasks and goals achieved.
- What are the key tasks? List these in priority order
- What other secondary tasks will you need them to do? (These are the less important, but still necessary tasks)
- Which tasks are ongoing and routine tasks? Mark these on the first key list
- The task allocation of a simple A – B – C works well, in that they can see what is urgent, less urgent, and what can be tackled once all others are complete
A detailed layout process of how he or she will complete each task and achieve the daily, weekly and monthly goals should be laid out clearly as well.
Create a communication calendar – and stick to it!
It is essential to set up a communication process with your virtual assistant.
Schedule appointments with your virtual assistant using calendar invites, which you share with them, and stick to these appointments religiously. Some suggestions:
A 15-minute online chatting (using a tool like Google Hangouts or Skype) chat first thing in the morning (time-delay dependent of course, to suit you both).
This morning meeting should cover urgent matters that you need them to deal with that day.
Once a week, schedule a 30 minute to 1 hour meeting, where you go over the week’s work, and anything new coming up (ideally this should be at the end of the week on Friday)
You could also consider Monday and Friday meetings that cover the upcoming week and the week gone by.
A brief summary of what you are going to discuss should be sent before the meeting, and a brief minuted summary should be collated afterwards.
These meetings also provide the opportunity to raise issues and grievances. It is best to address these regularly.
Embrace all types of communication
There are many ways to communicate with your virtual assistant. Some will work better than others, and we suggest you try them all out to see what fits your relationship best.
Online video or audio chats
These are great for quick catch ups, opportunities for clarification, and team meetings.
These tools include screen-sharing capabilities which is a great way to provide clear clarification around specific task requirements.
These are great to keep track of what instructions have been sent, the response, time taken to respond, and the outcome
Google Docs and Google Calendar
Each of our virtual assistants are given an email address and have a paid G-Suite account – this allows you to share events, appointments, and all the documents your business works with.
It also includes Google Hangouts as an alternative to Skype.
How often should you communicate with your virtual staff?
Tools for communication are key, but your communication style is also vital to a great ongoing relationship with your virtual staff.
In the first month, it’s important to be available to your virtual assistant on an ongoing and regular daily basis. This is because the training is done in the first month and you want to make sure they stay on track throughout this time.
Thereafter, it really depends on the work they are doing for you, and your expectations.
This might include catching up at various times throughout the day, maintaining ongoing online chats, and lengthier meetings.
Feedback and motivation is also an area which will greatly grow your virtual staff relationship, so use both regularly!
Talk to the best provider of Virtual Assistants in Australia
Make no mistake, without effective communication your entire business could very well fall apart.
However, all the communication in the world doesn’t count for much if you begin by hiring a virtual assistant who’s incompetent, has the wrong attitude or is just plain lazy!
If you’re looking for a virtual team that adds value to your business, you need to talk to Melbourne’s Virtual Staffing experts! VirtualStaff365 have a rigorous recruitment and selection process, as well as time management and attendance systems to make sure that your virtual team is chugging along great.
Find out more about how our diverse set of specialist VAs can help your business get things done. Contact us today!