You might be wondering why anyone would publish a post about raising a virtual assistant’s productivity. After all, if your VA isn’t as productive as you’d like, wouldn’t you simply let him go and find another one?
Well… actually, this post approaches the topic of virtual assistant’s productivity in a slightly different context. You see, even if you have an absolute rock star of a VA, we recommend that you work continuously with him/her on productivity improvement; and here’s the only reason to do so that matters… Your VA’s productivity is your productivity!!!
Remember Why You Hired a VA?
Your decision to engage a virtual assistant was probably driven by one of the following reasons:
• You want to delegate some tasks so you can focus on core business activity
• You just need to get more work done
• You want to do more, with less personal effort
• You want someone to work on tasks that you don’t enjoy or are not particularly good at
• You need someone to help with your workload, but don’t want to hire a permanent employee
Most people who hire virtual assistants do so for one of the reasons above, or something along similar lines. The one thing all these reasons have in common is their relationship to productivity—your productivity, and that of your business.
How Your Virtual Assistant’s Productivity Creates Value
Just as you probably sought ways to increase your own productivity before you hired your virtual assistant (and hopefully still do), so it makes sense to try and raise your virtual assistant’s productivity, because the more productive your VA is, the more productive you are.
Hiring a virtual assistant is quite different from procuring other types of service. For one thing, it’s a lot more personal, even if you’re not hiring a VA to take on your personal tasks.
You’re not paying for tasks to be executed on a tariff-basis as you might when you hire say, a website developer or an accountant. The objectives of a virtual assistant are to complete any tasks which he or she can physically do from a remote setting and:
• Are within the virtual assistant’s capabilities
• Are legally permissible
• Are delegated to the VA by you, the client
Working with a virtual assistant then, is more like managing a regular employee than engaging a service provider. Therefore, every incremental improvement in your virtual assistant’s productivity raises the amount of value you get for the fees you pay.
Virtual Assistants: Productivity and Retention
When you first hire a virtual assistant, he/she will not necessarily be used to your way of doing things and therefore, may not be as productive as it’s possible to be.
By collaborating with your VA, providing effective training, and continuously supporting and developing him, you’ll be able to achieve more and more with his help as time goes by.
Raising your virtual assistant’s productivity will increase his/her engagement as well as your confidence, encouraging you to delegate more challenging, interesting tasks and to set goals that will stretch your VA and help him/her to develop. That’s a formula that will save you from the frustrations of VA turnover.
On the other hand, simply passing your VA a list of tasks, monitoring him until you achieve satisfactory results, and then leaving him to his own devices, is to invite an early parting of ways.
The best-case scenario is that you will get what you pay for and not a bead of sweat more. The worst case is a cycle of attrition, in which VAs stay with you for a while, then get bored with the stagnant routine and move on, leaving you to go through the entire process of hiring and training repeatedly.
Next Time: How to Raise Your Virtual Assistant’s Productivity
Hopefully it now makes sense why we advocate working with your VA to raise his/her productivity. In the next post on our Virtual Done Well Blog, you’ll find some guidance on how to do so.
Between now and then, if you haven’t really focused on your virtual assistant’s productivity, why not set the scene in advance?
Make sure he/she knows that you’re not dissatisfied with current performance (unless of course, you are), but have recognised that by working together to increase productivity, the two of you can build a more rewarding partnership. You never know, your VA might already have some good ideas to share on the matter—so don’t forget to ask for his/her thoughts too.