Today’s globalized, decentralized, wireless economy has contributed to the rise of virtual assistants. Nearly 70% of business owners hire a virtual assistant and other virtual experts from all corners of the globe – working together, braving language barriers, cultural differences and even time zones.
But in the workplace where managing your in-house staff is hard enough, how do you ensure that your virtual employee is kept motivated to work and help your company succeed? Here are 5 effective strategies for you to follow.
Rule #1: Hire The Right Virtual Assistant
A successful employer-employee relationship starts with hiring the right person for the job. A simple online search can provide you with a multitude of outsourcing websites where you can hire a virtual assistant, most of whom would be freelancers, while others are from virtual assistant agencies. Advertise for the post, set up interviews and then provide your potential hires with trial tasks to see if they could really do what they said they could. Ensure that they’ll be a good fit for you and your existing team.
A good Virtual Assistant is not only a disciplined self-starter who is self motivated and able to work independently, but also able to maintain connections with other team members. The VA must also be trustworthy, organized, efficient, and dedicated to his or her own and the company’s success.
Rule #2: Communicate, And Communicate Often
It might be tempting to keep emails, chats or phone calls between you and your virtual assistant to a minimum, but communication is VITAL in a virtual relationship. When you’re starting out, check in by phone or chat each day to go over assignments and to make sure that things are going smoothly. Hold one-on-one, 20-minute meetings (or longer) at least once every two weeks with your virtual assistant and encourage him or her to discuss any questions or concerns that they may have. Make the effort to really get to know your VA because this strategy really motivates people working in virtual teams.
Rule #3: Give Reasonable Workloads And Deadlines
When you’re assigning tasks, make sure that you keep each person’s workload reasonable. When designating to your VA, you should also set realistic deadlines and establish criteria for measuring progress and success. Having a goal generally motivates employees and improves their productivity.
Rule #4: Reward The Skills You Value
Reward your Virtual Assistants’ desirable behavior in ways that are meaningful to them. Cash is a good motivator but recognition in front of peers might be better. This helps create a positive work environment and motivates workers to do more and do better. You can also give out gift cards, trophies, plaques or awards to boost your VA’s morale.
Rule #5: Provide Career Growth Opportunities
Most virtual workers would welcome the opportunity to do more for their company but you have to help by providing them with the tools they need to do this. Regularly putting them on various courses and trainings or even personally teaching them what you already know would give them the confidence to take on more complicated tasks and motivate them to do more for you and your company.