How to Effectively Manage Your Virtual Assistant

Management, they say, is an art-form.  So, how do you effectively manage a virtual assistant based overseas – it’s not that hard but like all good things there is a structure to follow.

Aussies by nature are mostly direct, confident and upfront. Most virtual assistants are based off-shore and will have a very different cultural lean – you need to understand this when giving information or providing feedback on tasks.

Key Takeaways

  • Be clear on what you want done and when by
  • Utilise online management and sharing tools
  • Daily huddles

Your VA will carry out exactly what they are asked to do – if you are not getting the correct output from your virtual assistant, assess whether the information given to them was direct and unambiguous – or did they indeed carry out exactly what you asked them to do.  Having clear documented procedures will help with this.

Set your VA up for success – let them know what ‘success’ looks like in your eyes and where you’d ultimately like to be with their help.  

This way they will know the outcome you are looking for and how they will add value in your business.  Have daily huddles (quick get-togethers, preferably face-to-face over zoom/Teams) with your VA, ensure that they have the feeling that they are working with you for not just for you.  Face-to-face also creates a closer relationship between you from the start.

Be clear in giving tasks and set deadlines for tasks – let them know the knock-on effect in your business if the task is not carried out correctly or on time.  Good delegation is key – here’s a great process to follow.  

Again, use checklists and templates and online task-sharing tools to assist you.  You don’t need to micromanage but you do need tools (structure) at your fingertips to give you a complete overview of what your VA is doing for you and where they might be stuck or need your input.

Inevitably there will a come time when errors are made – lets not forget, you are dealing with a human being after all, no matter how good your procedures and instruction are.  Crystal clear fair-dinkum feedback with a good level of empathy will result in good long term outcomes. 

Aussies can be quite direct, other cultures are less so – you don’t want to run the risk of being too stern with your feedback at the risk of upsetting your assistant but at the same time you don’t want to be wishy-washy either.

Giving good feedback is equally, if not more important, than the delegation of the task in the first place – if you are not practiced at giving feedback here are a few strategies to use. Equally, seek regular feedback from your VA as to how they feel they are going, and over time where they feel they might be able to add further value to you and your business.

VA Managed Services Providers will already have these strategies in place for you and for managing your virtual assistant on your behalf – but you also need to be fair-dinkum in your feedback to your Service Provider too – as they cannot fix what they are not aware of.

Inevitably there will come a time when errors are made – you are dealing with a human being after all.

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