Maintaining a solid, proactive and highly productive professional working relationship with your Virtual Assistant is not only logically necessary but also crucial both in the short and long run of your business’s lifecycle.
Since a Virtual Assistant by their very nature is operating in the online space, it is critical to lay down processes and avenues that foster an uninterrupted means of communication, mutual empathy, understanding, professional insight and goal-focused collective foresight.
Here are a few ways you can not only cement but also sustain, maintain and regulate a rewarding and captivating professional relationship with your Virtual Assistant – even from half the world away – every day!
Communication is the very bloodline of any professional working relationship – be it personal, social or professional – with anyone, let alone your Virtual Assistant! Communication barriers should be eliminated so that a strong line of fluid, timely and effective communication is established on a continual basis with your Virtual Assistant.
Devising a systematic outline of workflows, systems, processes, and tasks, as well as daily or weekly follow-ups and regular meetings, is necessary to ensure communication levels are always optimal.
Eliminating barriers to communication and utilizing all the right tools and resources to increasing, bolstering and maintaining strong communicative channels enables you to avoid time delays, project mishaps and meet deadlines.
Setting goals that are realistic is not only important and time-worthy but also conducive to the overall growth of a business. Goals that are not realistic is the same as shooting darts at a target in the dark!
A highly effective goal-setting process of setting business goals more powerful is the SMART technique. SMART stands for:
S – Specific (or Significant goals).
M – Measurable (or Meaningful goals).
A – Attainable (or Action-Oriented goals).
R – Relevant (or Rewarding goals).
T – Time-bound (or Trackable goals).
Knowledge About Culture
Your geographic location, as well as that of your business, maybe different than that of your Virtual Assistant.
For example, if you’re locating in New York and your business is based in Downtown Manhattan, your organizational and social culture will be vastly different than that of a Virtual Assistant based in Hanoi, Vietnam!
Hence, immersing yourself, understanding and applying the right cultural knowledge in all your interactions with your Virtual Assistant is key in building a strong, long-lasting and rewarding professional working relationship. This shows empathy, respect, and compassion and you win instant respect in the eyes of the Virtual Assistant, who in turn strives harder to exceed your expectations by putting in that ‘extra’ effort as a natural human response to job-satisfaction.
Knowing culture includes being sensitive to people’s cultural, religious, ethnic, social and nationalistic rituals, observations and holidays. Giving your Virtual Assistant leverage, room, and convenience of celebrating his or her cultural observations in a calendar year speak volumes of your professionalism and empathy as an employer.
Being flexible in terms of work parameters is a great way to smoothen things and build a vibrantly effective relationship with your Virtual Assistant.
Remember, your Virtual Assistant is ‘virtual’, yes, but that doesn’t mean he or she isn’t human. You are dealing with a real human being, with feelings, sentiments, limitations, personal life, and its many dynamics, etc.
Being flexible in terms of vacation time and other elements of freedom is crucial in making the work environment ‘breathable’. Many online Virtual Assistant agencies or online businesses lose great Virtual Assistants because they end up treating them like a mere ‘cog’ in a big machine, devoid of empathy and flexibility.
Every human being has a ‘breaking point’ in terms of how much they can handle, and therefore being flexible in the work environment is of utmost importance!
Training and Development
Your Virtual Assistant is a valuable asset for both short and long term of things. It is necessary to treat him or her keeping in mind that investing in their training and development is a tangible and detrimental aspect to your business’s overall progress.
Ensuring that your Virtual Assistant is continually guided, coached, trained and developed through various tools, resources, courses, and supplementary education is a great way to build trust, rapport, and genuine compassion. When a Virtual Assistant knows that you care and value their success through personal development, they will be more receptive to taking your business as if it were their own!
Conclusively, building a long-lasting and strong professional working relationship with your Virtual Assistant is utmost necessary if you want to empower your business with consistency, quality, and continual results. Relationship building is an art and it takes time, however with the tips mentioned above you can be on your way to cementing great relationships with any and all Virtual Assistants you choose to hire for yourself or your clients. Successfully!
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