Establishing good channels of communication is vital. No business can exist without it and this is particularly true for your relationship with your Virtual Assistant. Briefs change, goals shift and deadlines can be brought forward – that’s life – and it is important to advise your VA about these changes as soon as you can, but, as important, is keeping clear and regular communication.
Here are a few tips on touching base with your VA and creating and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship.
A Virtual Assistant can become an integral part of the everyday running of your business. The best way to build a good working relationship is to speak to your VA regularly. Agree on a time that would suit you both. This can be weekly, bi-weekly, it’s up to you. Also, it is important to let your VA know, so far as possible, if there are set periods that you will not be contactable.
Use Written Communication
Calls can work for quick updates, but for anything detailed, written is best. There is no need to write a novel. Paragraph upon paragraph of information can be overwhelming and lends itself more often to confusion than understanding.
Try putting details in bullet points. It is easier to understand and it’s also easier for your VA to put targeted questions next to points requiring more explanation.
Invest in Task Management Apps
Calls and emails are no longer the only way to keep on top of things. There are many (more) effective ways to manage tasks that are easier for you and your VA. Web and mobile applications are specifically designed to be used by individuals or teams to manage tasks.
Create tasks, delegate assignments to members of project groups and assign deadlines. These apps also have instant messaging functions allowing your VA to immediately be notified of any changes or updates. If you are new to these applications or are not sure which one would be best suited to your needs, ask your VA – chances are they’re clued up and can make suggestions.
At times it can be hard to come out and say something—especially when it’s not positive. You may be worried you’ll hurt your Virtual Assistants feelings by pointing out flaws or errors with their work. Don’t be! It’s possible to be kind while expressing your needs and expectations. Being direct is the only way your VA is going to learn what works best for you.
Everyone works differently – your VA knows this very well. If you do see anything, you’re not 100% happy with, speak up as soon as it arises and they can quickly address it, allowing you both to move on (and up!).
Communication is often a stumbling block that can cripple a company’s chances for success. As much as you focus on building clear channels of communication within your office, you need to aim for the same with virtual assistants. Keep the lines of communication open and flowing in both directions and you’ll quickly find that your VA can be one of the single most vital members of your inner circle.