Effective Way to Onboard Your Virtual Assistant: 9 Steps to a Successful Connection
Published May 11, 2022 •
TAs the world increasingly moves towards an “all-connected” society, businesses and individuals turn to virtual assistants (VA) as a vital tool for success. From scheduling meetings and handling telemarketing calls to reviewing proposals and monitoring customer accounts, VA’s vast abilities make them indispensable in today’s market. Yet many small business owners don’t realize how important it is to properly onboard their VA – or they do but struggle with implementing the right strategy. Here are nine steps that will help ensure a successful connection between you and your VA.
1. Establish clear and measurable goals for your VA relationship.
Creating and sustaining a successful Virtual Assistant relationship is about understanding each other’s goals, expectations, and boundaries. Too often, however, this critical communication gets lost in the fog of daily interactions. That’s why it’s essential to establish clear and measurable goals from the get-go—so both parties can know where they stand and how best to optimize their working relationship.
2. Choose the right virtual assistant software to help you manage your VA’s tasks.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when managing a virtual assistant, but you need the right software to be successful. Here are four types of VA management software that can help:
- Task managers like Asana and ClickUp keep your assistants organized by allowing them to “chunk” large tasks into smaller ones, making the organization much more accessible.
- Messaging tools let you manage VA conversations remotely from any device with an internet connection—no more waiting for responses!
- Google Workspace is one of Google’s most excellent features ever introduced. It’s a simple way to store, edit, and manage all your VA outputs in one place.
3. Train your VA on using the software effectively, including setting up everyday routines and filing required paperwork.
Virtual assistants perform various tasks, from essential email/text management to strategic planning. To be most effective in their work, they need familiarity with the software used for these tasks. One way employers can provide this type of training is by understanding how software works, shortcuts, and tips. A good starting point is to have a list of software that the company uses and an excellent Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to pass on to your VA.
4. Monitor and review performance metrics regularly so that you can make adjustments as needed.
Too often, organizations apply the concept of performance Monitoring and review but fail to place a system that makes it a reality. Too often, monitoring and review is an event rather than an ongoing process that helps you identify areas where your organization needs improvement when changes are required in how employees are doing their jobs. Here are four reasons why organizations should implement regular M&R processes:
- It enables you to improve performance;
- You can better assess employee satisfaction;
- It prevents complacency from setting in and leads to continuous improvements;
- Your board will appreciate your efforts if it sees tangible evidence of strides being made toward organizational goals.
5. Set expectations with your VA from the start, explaining what is expected of them during their working hours (vs. scheduled downtime).
Employees aware of and understand their employer’s expectations will be less likely to experience workplace dissatisfaction. When employees know what you expect out of them, they are more likely to feel engaged in their job and appreciate the time they spend at work. Setting expectations from the start can help ensure that your employees stay focused on their tasks and are not grumbling about hours they would instead be spending elsewhere.
6. Encourage collaboration between you and your VA by sharing ideas and creating joint plans; this will maximize productivity both ways!
Teamwork is essential for any organization, but it’s even more critical in business. A company that can encourage collaborations will be better equipped to handle both short-term and long-term challenges. By working together, you can share ideas and develop plans that are executed as a team. This approach not only maximizes productivity but also fosters trust and communication within the workplace.
7. Understand your VA’s strengths and weaknesses. Provide feedback and praise when needed, but keep a close eye on performance metrics.
To build a good work environment for your employees, it is essential to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. However, if you attempt to micromanage every aspect of their job and performance, they may become resentful. It is also great to be aware of key performance metrics to monitor progress and meet goals. When warranted, praise should be given, but excessive or undeserved praise can also harm employee morale. By knowing this, you can successfully motivate and manage your workforce
8. Match their skills to the tasks you need them to perform.
The days of simply hiring someone based on their skills and abilities are gone. Today, employers look for employees who match the tasks they need them to complete. This means looking at the employee’s skills and skills related to the specific job requirements.
9. Set clear expectations from the start.
There are many reasons why people break agreements. One of the most common causes is unclear or inconsistent communication between parties involved in a contract. When one person misunderstands what was agreed to, they may mistakenly believe that they can go ahead with their plan regardless of the consequences for the other party. To build agreements that are both effective and reliable, it is essential to set clear expectations from the start. This way, all parties know exactly what they agree to and can better avoid misunderstandings that could lead to disagreement or conflict.
The incorporation of onboarding into an employee’s initial experience can have significant impacts on their retention and performance. Ensuring a smooth process that addresses the needs of both new employees and current ones can help to create a cohesive team from the get-go.
Not only do these programs help to create a positive first impression, but they also can act as an early indicator of whether or not the employee will be a successful member of the team. In order to ensure that your virtual assistant has an enjoyable and successful experience with your organization, make sure to invest time and energy into their onboarding process!