You want your first month with your virtual assistant to be seamless. After all the scouting, interviewing, contract signing, and dealing with the first few days, you’re ready to pave the road to long-term success with your virtual assistant.
To set yourself on the path to success with your virtual assistant, here are a few tips that you can implement in your business.
Trust your virtual assistant
Micromanagement is an issue with a lot of business owners who are hiring their first virtual assistant.
It makes sense because you’ve been running your business solo for so long. You’re the only one that knows the big picture of your business. Your livelihood is completely invested in the business.
Now you have to hand over those reins to someone else.
This can make any business owner nervous.
You might be tempted to message your virtual assistant frequently, double check their work, and make sure everything is done the way you would do it, but this can hinder your virtual assistant’s progress.
Remember that there was a reason you hired this specific virtual assistant. You liked their resume. Their interview was great. You felt good about hiring them. So let the virtual assistant do their job.
Hanging over their shoulder or micromanaging every part of their work can make them feel nervous or anxious, which doesn’t make for a positive work environment. If you’re starting to feel unease over delegating tasks out to your virtual assistant, you can let them know. Give your virtual assistant a chance to put your fears at ease.
Use the “sandwich method” when giving feedback
There will come a time when you need to give your virtual assistant feedback because they misunderstood your instructions or something was done incorrectly. There’s a learning curve to every business so it’s natural that a virtual assistant will have speed bumps along the road.
When giving feedback, start with a positive, insert the negative, give constructive criticism, and then end with another positive. For example, if your virtual assistant needs to have better manners when answering your emails, you can say something like:
“Thank you for handling all of my emails so promptly. I appreciate that you’re diligent with the customer support. However, I’d like to ask that you remain courteous in the emails using “please” and “thank you” for the sake of professionalism. Otherwise, you’re doing great!”
The sandwich method allows you to give criticisms in a softer way. People are more receptive to criticism when you also add some positives that they’ve done because it shows that the good is also noticed.
Answer your virtual assistant promptly
Sometimes your virtual assistant needs extra information from you before a task can begin. Maybe you need to give them a password or you forgot to give them a piece of content to upload for the week. When your virtual assistant asks you for help, do prioritize answering them because it can be critical to completing a task.
Your virtual assistant also might need further explanation for a task or assignment. If you decide it would be quicker to do it yourself, you can do the task while taking a video of yourself doing the task. This can help your virtual assistant ensure that your tasks get done in a timely manner going forward.
Another thing that you can do is check up on your virtual assistant if they seem quiet. Some virtual assistants may be too shy to ask for help and spend endless hours trying to Google the answer themselves. Check on your virtual assistant and ask if everything is okay.
Decide whether the relationship has been worth the investment
Virtual assistants are definitely an investment of your time and money. The first month with the virtual assistant works as a trial month. You get to see whether the virtual assistant is responsive and if they are pleasant to work with.
If you’ve been unhappy thus far, it’s worth having a conversation with your virtual assistant about things that they can improve on. You should also consider looking for other candidates for your virtual assistant, especially if you anticipate using a new assistant in the following month.
However, if you’ve been happy with the virtual assistant, you should also let them know. Sometimes virtual assistants take on several clients and they don’t know which clients will renew their contracts for the following month. It gives your virtual assistant a sense of security when you let them know that they’re doing well and you’d like to keep them on a month by month retainer basis.
How was your first month with a virtual assistant? Let us know in the comments below.