A Virtual Assistant is a great addition to your team. They allow your business to get more done in less time. By definition, a Virtual Assistant works remotely to you. This means you may never have the chance to meet them and your working relationship may take longer to develop.
Whether you’ve just partnered with your VA, had a long term working relationship or perhaps are considering a partnership; here are five ways to strengthen your relationship with your Virtual Assistant.
Communication – The key to any successful partnership!
Clear – Invest your time, particularly at the outset of your partnership to communicate regularly and at a high level. Don’t assume your VA knows everything about how you work and try to be as specific as possible. The clearer your instructions are, the less likely they will be misinterpreted. As your working relationship develops, your VA will be able to anticipate your needs and read between the lines when it comes to repetitive tasks.
Changes – As your schedule or project develops and changes invariably occur, be sure your VA is aware of the new plans. If he or she is working to an outdated process, timeline or contact it will delay the task.
Responsiveness – When your VA communicates with you for clarification, be sure to respond promptly. By delaying any response, you are also delaying the completion of the task or project. In some instances, delegating decision making to your VA will save time and give your VA a sense of empowerment and ownership.
TIP | If you can’t respond fully to your VA’s question immediately, send a quick message to acknowledge the request and a timeframe when you can respond fully.
Respect – Your Virtual Assistant is a business owner in their own right.
Remember they work with other clients and run their own business. Talk to your VA about availability and turnaround times, and respect the boundaries they put in place.
Listen – Be open to suggestions.
If you’ve partnered with an experienced Virtual Assistant, chances are they could teach you a thing or two. The right VA is skilled in working remotely and with many different business owners. If you are open to listening, they can share their knowledge with you to improve your business.
Technology allows your VA to work remotely from you, but only with the right programs, apps and access levels. Therefore, it’s critical to give your VA access to the tools and files he/she will need to get the job done! You can discuss with your VA whether it’s better to delegate access or share your own login details. My suggestion will always be to provide your VA with their own login details. As per the point above, they may even have a suggestion for greater productivity.
Pay promptly – The best way to show your Virtual Assistant you value his/her work is to pay on time.
It will strengthen your relationship and reputation with your VA. This in turn will allow them to feel valued by you and connected to your business, and bring more passion and purpose to their work with you. Paying on time is the extension of providing great feedback. As Abraham Lincoln said “Actions speak louder than words!”
Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments box below.
by Sam Spence – Owner & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.