Fantastic Tips to Easily Train Your Best Virtual Personal Assistants Now

These days, productivity does not only mean that you have done a lot of tasks within a working day, it means that you have delegated your tasks. In order to achieve this, you may choose to hire a virtual personal assistant to help accomplish more for your business. This will help you acquire more time for yourself and your loved ones.

Just the mere thought of doing everything by yourself may already be overwhelming, especially when you take into account not all tasks laid out before you are those that you really look forward to in the first place. This is where the wonder of training your VA enters the picture. If done right, you get to do the work that you enjoy while your virtual assistant completes tasks that they are really good at which may also be those that you do not particularly like to do. It’s a win-win situation, to say the least!

Establish Company Rules and SOPs

If you plan to train a team of VAs in the future, you should have everything in writing! Actually, you may want to prepare a training manual even before you hire your first VA. While it is more convenient to let everything go and just conduct video and audio chat training sessions, everything is more concrete when properly documented in writing.

This is also beneficial especially if your VA is a visual learner. The best part is, you will not have to design a manual over again if you need to hire more VAs in the future. All you have to do is update your information as needed. In case writing manuals is not your thing (hint: you can delegate this task), you may go for audio and/or video manuals as well. This is especially important if you are about to assign voice-related tasks.

Once you’re done creating your training materials, upload them on your dedicated drive. This can make the files more accessible for your trainees. This will also help save time in the long run because you do not have to repeat everything for them. Instead, you can focus on matters that were not directly tackled in the training materials. Once the new concerns are tackled, you may organize the ideas and concerns that were raised and create even more helpful training materials!

Set Expectations

Not to assume that something will go wrong, but preventing things from going awry can save you and your VA from a lot of problems that can be avoided if you talk about the essentials beforehand. This can also help improve your professional relationship with them from the get-go. This is especially ideal if you plan to hire your VA on a long-term basis.

A couple of days before the first working day of your VA, hold an orientation meeting. Video calls are ideal to help you see and hear each other in real time. Seeing and hearing each other while talking to each other is a good way to establish better communication online, according to experts.

Prior to the orientation, prepare a checklist or simply a rough list of what you think you need to tackle during the meeting. You may initially list any random ideas that come to mind. After listing everything, group them into categories depending on the nature of the topics. For example, group together rules and regulations, workflow essentials, filing for breaks and leaves, payment schedule and terms, and so on. If you have ideas that do not seem to fit your categories, consider them as miscellaneous and discuss those last.

During the orientation, you may also tackle personal and business expectations, responsibilities, and even the entire business process. You may also establish a time frame for replies and when you need a heads-up for anything. Most importantly, encourage your VA to ask questions and voice their concerns during this meeting. This will help you get on the same page and develop a harmonious working relationship.

Manage Expectations and Prevent Being a Control Freak

Remember that your VA is also a human being with feelings and aspirations. Therefore, they also have limitations. If it is their first time working with you, make sure to set realistic goals with them. Don’t expect them to provide you with a “100% output” during the first few days of work. Most VAs will still need to undergo an adjustment period. If you expect them to provide that type of output and they fail to give it at once, you’re in for a great disappointment.

Instead, ramp them up for a gradually increasing workload. For example, if they are tasked to answer bulks of e-mails, provide them with a minimum of 20 e-mails in a day. After a week, increase the number to 30 e-mails, and so on. If your target number is at least 100 e-mails in a day, then you should set a goal of reaching that level in about five weeks.

During this period, make sure to periodically check your VA’s progress. To check progress, set metrics like the number and length of e-mails sent. Identify weaknesses and strengths. Let them express how they feel about their experience and if there are other things that may need to be reinforced or improved upon.

Especially during this time, withhold judgment and establish trust with your VA. It is not a pleasant experience having someone (virtually) breathing down their necks while they work, nor is it a good to feel like they are being interrogated all the time. Be compassionate and your VA will surely work at their best potential.

Takeaway

One of the largest mistakes that you can commit is assuming that your VA already knows everything. While VAs are already considered experts, you still have to teach them their roles and your typical workflow. This will help them see the bigger picture and engage in their role accordingly.

Practical Tips that can Make You Effectively Delegate to Your Dedicated Assistant

No matter your intention, delegation is easier said than done. It doesn’t just mean you have to distribute work that you hate to your dedicated assistant; in fact, how you delegate is sometimes considered an art. When delegating is done correctly, it can pave the way to more tasks getting done within a day without you technically completing them yourself.

Why Delegate to Your Dedicated Assistant?

One common mindset business managers have with delegation is it’s simply passing off random pieces of work to their VA. When done this way, delegating becomes a constant cycle of trial-and-error. Here are some benefits that you and your company may have if you master the art of delegation:

    • You save more time and resources because your dedicated assistant does not have to figure out how a large chunk of the task should be done.
    • It makes everyone’s workload more manageable, thus reducing stress levels for everyone on the team.
    • Delegating provides you with precious opportunities to teach your VA. Not only will this improve their skillset, but it will also sharpen your communication skills further.

Preparation Before Task Distribution

Preparing does not mean you just have to list down everything you want done. Preparation requires discernment to determine which tasks you can definitely allow your dedicated assistant to handle. To distribute tasks easily, you have to realize that you can’t do all the tasks yourself. To help determine what tasks can be managed by your VA you may use the following tips:

    • Build rapport with your VA. Delegating tasks helps to build a long-lasting and harmonious relationship with your dedicated assistant over time. You have to do this for you and your VA to develop trust before you assign anything to them.
    • Consider their skillset before you give out the tasks. Also, consider their interests before you assign tasks as well as the current workload. Also, determine their success in taking on similar tasks, how they work on those tasks, and how they deal with pressure when working on these things.
    • Explain why you need to delegate the tasks to them. At this point, you may also consider telling them about the bigger picture – how this task can affect business operations. If applicable, you may also tell them how this can affect them as a part of the company.
    • Set your expectations. Set timelines and milestones to further enforce commitment on the project. Specify the delivery and check that they understand this as well as the terms laid out.

The Art of Delegation

Here are some important tips to check out when you decide to assign the tasks to your dedicated assistant:

    • Develop trust and accountability. This goes both ways. Show them that you place your faith in their skills and how they can help you in the long run. Never be overbearing even if you feel the pressure to meet an urgent deadline. Doing so will sap the productivity out of your VA even more.
    • Clearly communicate the tasks. Make sure to specify how you expect the task to be done. If the task does not require a rigid process to complete, you may instead inform your VA of the outcome you expect to have by the end of an agreed working period. Encourage them to ask questions and seek clarification to ensure that you’re on the same page.
    • Devise a project plan and discuss it with your dedicated assistant. You may include how you prioritize the tasks during this phase. Consider the urgency of the project and the length of time needed for completion. When devising the plan, be realistic about the goals and expectations.
    • Use relevant tools and equipment, if applicable. You may also conduct a short training or provide materials and resources to reinforce the skills they can use to finish the project. Thoroughly review the materials that you’re giving your dedicated assistant to ensure that these are up-to-date and relevant to the tasks.
    • Document crucial information such as workflow, tracking systems, relevant project data, summaries, and endorsements.
    • Make sure to be available if ever they have questions or problems as they work through the project. This will help further improve their efficiency with the task. If you can’t be available all day, make sure to set a specific time slot each day when they can easily contact you for any concerns. Your availability is important to resolve conflicts as soon as possible instead of learning about them a few days or hours before the deadline.
    • Provide constructive feedback. Try using the sandwich method when giving feedback to your dedicated assistant. This involves presenting them with some positive points at the beginning then gradually introducing points for improvement. Cap everything off with some more positive feedback based on how they performed so far. When providing feedback, remember to give credit where it’s due. Always show gratitude to your VA for a job well done. Show sincerity and genuine appreciation for their help. To show your gratitude even more, point out the things that they did really well during crunch time. The gesture will not only warm their heart but will also improve how they see you as a leader and as a person.

While following these tips, remind yourself that when you’re on good terms with your dedicated assistant, they will do all they can to do well with tasks so your project will be successful. Be sure to match this level of enthusiasm with your own passion so you can be successful.

Capping It Off

Delegation is a good way to keep your hands off simple and monotonous tasks while you do other things to help grow your business. To do this effectively, you have to remove the mindset that only you can do everything correctly. Learn when to seek help and where to look for assistance. In this case, we can help you by providing you with high-quality services through our brilliant virtual assistants.

The Power of Delegation: How to Live a Fuller Life

 

To live a truly meaningful life, you need freedom of time. What’s the use of having money if you don’t get enough time to spend it on the things you enjoy doing? Sure, you have adorable kids and a loving partner. Then again, do you have enough free time to cherish their presence? Whatever it is that matters to you, you need time to fully enjoy it.

Everyone gets the same number of hours in a day. But not everybody gets the same value out of it. The key is to develop the skills that will allow you to take control of your time … and win in life!

In his ‘triarchic model’, the American psychologist Robert Sternberg classifies intelligence into three parts: analytical intelligence, creative intelligence, and practical intelligence. He emphasizes that there is more to success than just traditional intelligence, or what generally falls under the category analytical intelligence (what we recognize as academic-problem solving).

Practical intelligence, for one, helps us with our everyday tasks. And this goes beyond just getting things done. Managerial success, for instance, is determined less by academic knowledge than by a shrewd ability to effectively manage yourself, your tasks, and other people. As a matter of fact, business executives who score high on practical intelligence tests tend to receive higher performance ratings and earn bigger salaries.

One of the key skills that determine a person’s practical intelligence is his ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities.

Leadership and delegation – What successful people are made of

Succeeding in life requires stepping into a leadership position. Whether you are trying to run a business, manage a household, or get through college, you need to have the leadership skills to tackle everyday tasks and reach your goals. Leadership is about taking the initiative, holding the reigns, and getting things done.

People who meet outstanding success are those who make one of the most difficult transitions for leaders – that of taking the shift from doing to leading. This translates to learning to delegate effectively. Delegation allows you to be in two places at once. It lets you cultivate and make use of other people’s talents, skills, and time. It also enables you to tap into the power of synergy, where ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.

The Importance of Delegation

1. Efficiency

You achieve greater efficiency when you are able to transfer duty to people whose skills better match the responsibility. This way, tasks will be done more effectively and at a faster rate. You get to save on time, a highly valuable commodity. Moreso, allowing others to carry out routine tasks lets you focus on the big picture. You get to expel more time and energy on planning and strategizing for your next crucial steps. Before you know it, you will be meeting your big goals.

2. Relief

One of the greatest problems in this modern world is that people are spreading themselves too thin. Trying to tackle too many things can keep you on the edge. Just looking at your to-do list gets you overwhelmed, and your stress levels shoot up. Our body deals with stressful situations the way it does with danger, it releases hormones like epinephrine and cortisol. Such elevated levels of stress hormones lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure, and to a generally revved up nervous system. While this bodily reaction helps us properly deal with dangerous situations, it can cause problems when it persists. Prolonged stress has been linked to several physical and emotional disorders, including stroke, hypertension, heart attacks, asthma, sexual dysfunction, depression, and anxiety.

Learning to properly delegate allows you to unload several tasks, and have more space to just sit back and relax. You may not realize it, but this could be the greatest gift you give yourself.

3. Development

Leaders often have skills and abilities that are worth passing down to others. Delegating tasks lets you do just that. Beyond just helping others develop their own skill set, delegation also lets you work on your own personal development. One of the best ways to reinforce your own knowledge base is by teaching others. More so, there’s value in nurturing your mentoring skills. Mentors and coaches tend to gain professional and personal satisfaction as they share their expertise with other people.

Delegation also lends you more time to learn new skills and extend your knowledge base. Many of the greatest success stories involved a lifetime of nonstop learning. Legendary personalities embrace lifetime learning, or the ongoing and voluntary pursuit of knowledge for both professional and personal motivations. It’s what the likes of Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg have in common – they love reading and learning.

Go ahead and embark on your own journey to success. Your idea of success can be as simple as having more time for your family or as big as building the next unicorn startup. Whatever your goal may be, feel free to embrace available resources. From using productivity apps to hiring a virtual assistant, your possibilities are endless.