What’s The Secret To Effectively Communicating With Your VAs?

15 copyConsistency is the secret to effectively communicating with your VA team. Whether you rely on email, an online collaboration area, a team chat facility, social media or something like Skype to communicate with your VAs, you need to dedicate some of your time on a regular basis to simply chatting for awhile about this and that, and catch up with members of your team.

Get to Know Your VAs

Since your VA team may be scattered around the globe, it’s your responsibility to reach out and get to know them. Host a weekly chat session with the entire group, or if your team is located in varying time zones, schedule monthly or quarterly one-on-one chat sessions. Learn more about the hobbies and interests of your VAs, ask them about their career goals and aspirations, favourite sports teams, authors or movies – whatever, take a genuine interest in their lives and what makes them tick. Not only does this help you uncover hidden talents that could be harnessed to improve your business, getting to know your virtual assistant team helps you build trust and camaraderie in a very big way.

Treat Your VAs Well, Very Well

Send out monthly ‘thank-you’ messages to VAs who exceed your expectations by completing exceptionally difficult tasks or to those whose work has in some way positively affected your business. Letting your virtual assistants know they’re appreciated instills confidence and builds trust even more. You can send an email, post a list of awesome independent contractors on your website and list their accomplishments, or you can simply say thanks during a team meeting.

Unfortunately, when working with people remotely, entrepreneurs sometimes forget that they’re actually dealing with real people on the other end of their messages. The simple act of saying ‘thank you’ can help humanise the experience and make everything so much more worthwhile, especially from the VA’s perspective.

Delegate the Right Amount of Work

Even if your VA always turns in projects and assignments early, don’t assume they aren’t busy. When delegating tasks, make sure everyone on your team has enough time to finish their individual elements within the overall project. This is especially true for larger tasks, so you may want to break tasks into smaller ones or in certain situations, assign more than one team member to help move things along.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to remain in contact with your VAs as they’re working through their tasks – be attentive to any questions they put forward, and always try to respond to them as soon as possible. When working with a team of VAs, encourage team members to help each other as well, because if your team feels overworked and overstressed, the final product / result will almost invariably suffer. Furthermore, if you create realistic milestones and deadlines for projects to ensure quality work every time, your expectations may very well be exceeded and your VAs will have a great deal more ‘on the job’ satisfaction too.

To Manage or Not to Manage

Depending on the complexity of the task, you may need to provide more or less oversight. This also depends on your VA’s experience and skill level, of course. With time though, you’ll be better able to gauge how much oversight will be needed to complete certain tasks and hopefully, your VA will also acquire a better understanding of your expectations and, in turn, require less guidance from you.