Finding the perfect virtual assistant takes time – a lot of it.
It’s a huge relief when you finally find the one – unfortunately, many business owners take that sense of relief too far, going completely hands-off with their virtual staff.
While your virtual assistant is extremely competent and sharp (we make sure of it), you can’t overlook the importance of a strong relationship between you and your virtual staff.
Make no mistake, this is essential for a strong, long-lasting virtual staffing arrangement!
So you’ve just hired a virtual assistant. What can you do to build a solid employer-employee relationship with them?
Get to know them personally
People are more inclined to work for people they’re familiar with – it’s just human nature.
Now, we aren’t saying you need to read up on their entire life story. But at least make an effort to do the simple things like:
- Remember birthdays
- Learn kids’ names
- Ask about hobbies
- Ask them about their weekends
They’re small things, but they can make a world of difference. You can even try small things like encouraging them to talk to you on a first-name basis (Filipino business culture is generally more formal than most Australian workplaces).
Share your business vision and mission
Another all-too-common mistake that business owners make is not sharing their business vision with their virtual assistant.
For your virtual staff to help your business, they need to know what your end-goal is. That means sharing your ultimate vision, as well as what you value and what you want people coming to your business for.
Let your virtual assistant know your business’ vision and mission. Tell them why you’re in the business, what business goals you have in mind and how will you achieve them together.
This tells your virtual assistants what you expect from them. Not to mention, it gives you some common ground to work with.
Sort out pay and benefits immediately
Any business owner knows that pay disputes and issues can really sour your relationships with your partners and clients.
And the same applies to your virtual staff too!
Put yourself in your virtual assistant’s shoes – would you feel motivated to work with the spectre of not receiving what you deserve hanging over your head?
If you want a strong working relationship with your virtual assistants, you’ll want to get the issue of payment sorted out ASAP. In particular, that means:
- Establishing pay rates
- Setting dates for payment
- Clarifying fringe benefits and extras (if any)
- Communicating how pay runs work
- Paying virtual staff on-time
Luckily, an outsourcing provider like VirtualStaff365 takes all of this off your hands. On top of sourcing virtual assistants, we also look after all of the pay side of things for you.
Doing pay runs, clocking overtime, sorting out benefits… we’ll take care of all this for you. The only thing you’ll need to do is pay a single flat monthly fee.
Work around time zones and cultural differences
When hiring virtual staff from an entirely different continent, it’s important understand and work around differences in time zones and cultural background.
Let’s start with the issue of time zones.
From a purely practical perspective, working with a virtual assistant necessitates good communication and collaboration. And you can’t do that if you’re on completely different clocks!
Luckily for you, there’s only a 2-hour difference between Philippines time and AEST (3-hours in summer), making this much easier.
And when it comes to culture, business culture in the Philippines is usually more formal – expect a lot of “sirs”, “mrs” and a more rigid hierarchy.
This can be a bit of an adjustment. But once you know, you can work around this, either by establishing a less formal atmosphere or leaning into that more traditional workplace atmosphere – the choice is yours.
Communication is key
Emails won’t cut it. The strongest virtual staffing relationships are the ones where the virtual assistant and business owner may as well be in the same room.
Thanks to technology, there are plenty of options out there that make not just communication, but also collaboration and sharing an absolute breeze.
Project management tools like TeamWork and Slack don’t just let you chat to each other in real-time – they also provide a platform to organise projects and tasks, as well as quickly share and locate files and documents.
Another thing you can do is hold regular debriefs with your virtual staff to make sure you’re all on the same page.
Think about holding a short Skype meeting once a week Not only does this help organise your work and communicate what you expect of them, but it can also go a long way towards building a personal link between you and your virtual assistant (see above).
Let an outsourcing provider help you
An outsourcing provider like VirtualStaff365 does much more than just find virtual assistants for you – we also work closely with you to ensure that every aspect of your virtual staffing works flawlessly.
We provide you with the tools and advice you need to build a successful virtual staffing relationship (and by extension, enjoy a better business).
Call us at (03) 8842 4300 to learn how we can create the best outsourcing solutions for your business.