Guide to training your Virtual Assistant

As with onboarding any new employee to your company, you will have to train your new Virtual Assistant to complete tasks the way you want them done. Training your VA is one of the major keys to success. Your VA is already skilled but it takes time to incorporate them into your workflow; which is impossible to do without proper training. But before training your VA, the following issues must be considered:

Define the VA’s role

Why do you want a VA?  You first need to define their role.  This entails grouping tasks and delegating based on their functional expertise. Identify the core responsibilities the VA will fill, and the skills needed to properly fulfill the role. This exercise should also help you pinpoint your needs which should the driving point for hiring a VA.

Set expectations

Setting expectations between you and your VA is the cornerstone to a successful relationship.  It is a two-way street with both expected to hold up their end of the deal.  Things like when payment will be made, how much will be paid, how progress will be tracked, and response times are just a few issues that have to be discussed and finalized.  

 

Since you have defined the role of your VA and discussed your expectations, you can now focus on training your VA:

  1. Always teach why and how – When training your VA you have to show exactly how you would like the task done.  Your VA is not a mind reader and you cannot expect tasks to be completed to your expectations without showing or giving precise instructions.  You also have to explain very clearly why this task is important to the process or business.  In training, do the task at least three times to reinforce the information.
  2. Identify repetitive tasks Some tasks have to be done on an ongoing basis.  This could be daily, weekly, or monthly; but these are repetitive tasks that always need to be done by your VA. By taking the time to identify these tasks and creating a simple process for your VA to follow, you can simply point your VA to the process map in the future.
  3. Document the process – You can do this in written or video format.  Training videos leave little room for confusion.  You can train on your own time and not worry about synching schedules with your VA.  By creating a training video, you are building a vault of training material for future Vas to learn from and reference.  A combination of written and video is excellent especially if your VA has questions or needs verification on how a task is done later on.
  4. Build up to your major task – Assign basic tasks at first and provide feedback promptly.  You should gradually increase the tasks, providing feedback at each step.  This builds the confidence of your VA while preparing them for the project they’ll be assigned.  It also lowers the risk of errors and creates an open line of communication between you and the VA.
  5. Create an IFTTT sheet – Simply put, IFTTT means if this happens, then this needs to happen.  VAs will encounter situations they don’t know how to handle or may try to handle themselves, leading to disastrous outcomes.  The IFTTT sheet is a written set of protocols for handling specific situations.  It is similar to identifying repetitive tasks- but in this case, you are identifying repetitive situations.

Hiring a VA is more than finding someone to email tasks to. It’s establishing clarity in your business, understanding your needs, and developing a unique way of doing things that you can use to train.  Rid yourself of the work that you shouldn’t be doing by hiring your very own VA from My Virtual Assistant. Remember, your time and attention are needed elsewhere.  You can have more time to work on your business instead of in your business!