You’ve hired a virtual assistant to work on your business tasks and projects. You want things done, and you want them done well. But how do you know if your virtual assistant will be awesome?
Think about what you need from a virtual assistant — are they someone who takes direction well, or will you be managing their every task closely? If it’s the former, there are some key strategies for ensuring trustworthiness and success in a virtual assistant. And if it’s the latter…well, your virtual assistant just might have a hard time!
Ensure Your Virtual Assistant’s Identity Is Secure
When it comes to online work, any virtual assistant or independent contractor using their own identity can be subject to misuse. And the cases are often more severe than you would expect — for instance, a recent report says that many of the top ten most-hacked websites in the world are owned by small companies with minimal security protocols.
For this reason, some virtual assistants and contractors have their own unique email addresses and have separate social media profiles. Many will even require a phone number to access their accounts; you may also want to periodically check in on the security of your virtual assistant’s online assets yourself.
Encourage Positive Feedback
You should encourage your virtual assistant to give feedback when they make mistakes, as it will help them learn from those mistakes. At the same time, you should also have a robust process for accepting feedback and resolving disputes between you. This will ensure that you’re both learning from the experience, and resolving any issues quickly.
Automate as Much Work as Possible
Virtual assistants are often given simple tasks, such as making a phone call or copying an email for backup, so that they can focus on other more complex parts of your business. These tasks are also ones that can be automated. If you’re using a task management tool like Asana or Trello, have your virtual assistant complete the simple tasks automatically — this will save you time and effort in the long run.
Reward Good Performance
You’ve hired a virtual assistant to help your business succeed, so it’s important that you show them an appreciation for their good work. This can be in the form of a salary or bonus, but you may also want to give your virtual assistant some public recognition — this could help build trust and ensure future success.
Hire Often (If Necessary)
You don’t necessarily have to hire one full-time employee when it comes to virtual assistants; instead, you can hire freelancers or on-demand providers when needed. But remember that your virtual assistant has to have all the right tools, and can’t be just “passable.” In the rare situation where your virtual assistant isn’t performing well, you need to find a replacement quickly.
Keep a Written or Recorded Track of Everything
There are always things that get lost in email — like important agreements or tasks listed in project management software. Ensuring that your virtual assistant has the right work-related resources, such as notes and instructions, can help prevent issues down the road.
So how do you keep track of all this? Reviewing and following up on tasks is one way to ensure success — but I recommend recording your meetings so that you can refer back to them if necessary. If possible, make sure that your virtual assistant has its own separate calendar to record their time spent on tasks.
Provide Clear Instructions
Your virtual assistant should be clear about what you expect from them. This means that you need to make sure that they understand your expectations, and can get the right information in a way that makes sense to them. And it’s also important to be encouraging: provide ample support but don’t give too many direct instructions or corrections. This can make your virtual assistant feel like they’re not trusted — and they may find it difficult to succeed.
Be Transparent and Trustworthy
A virtual assistant or independent contractor should be doing most aspects of your business work. If a particular task is not assigned to them, it’s a sign that their trustworthiness may be in doubt. Similarly, if your tasks change too often, or you create a new project that doesn’t seem related to their previous work, this also could indicate problems.
Your virtual assistant should be accountable for the work that they do. But you don’t need to micromanage their work. Instead, provide them with accurate task descriptions and clear goals, so that they can have a good sense of what’s expected of them.
You should be empathetic to the needs of your virtual assistant — but not too much so. Provide them with clear expectations, but also listen to their feedback and suggestions. This will help them feel like they’re a worthwhile person in your business, and they’ll have more confidence in their ability to succeed.
If you want more information on how you can trust your virtual assistant, contact Gig Village today. We can help you manage your virtual assistant better than ever before.