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Tips and Best Practices for Onboarding Your New Virtual Assistant

So you finally found the VA who you think is the right fit for your business. This should take menial tasks off your hands and free up your time. But onboarding your new Virtual Assistant without setting clear expectations is like getting a boat without a rudder. 

Studies have shown that employee performance depends largely on the expectations set for them. When expectations are high, performance and productivity go up. This phenomenon is known as the ‘Pygmalion Effect.’ The opposite, the ‘Golem Effect,’ is also possible. When expectations are low, performance drops. 

Onboarding your new Virtual Assistant for success requires setting clear expectations right from the start. Doing this can improve employee performance and help you keep exceptional talents in your company. In fact, according to a survey, good onboarding programs improve employee retention by 25% and overall performance by 11%. So setting clear expectations right from the beginning is crucial. 

In addition, it is also important to remember that there is still no replacement for good leadership. With clear expectations and excellent leadership skills in your arsenal, your new Virtual Assistant will surely strive to meet or exceed your expectations. 

Have a new Virtual Assistant on your team? Here are some tips and best practices for successfully onboarding your new Virtual Assistant. Use this guide to get your new VA up to speed for an awesome first day!

Company Orientation 

You might have talked about your business during the interview but take some time to formally introduce yourself and your business. Talk about your business’s background, mission, and core values. This is also the time to discuss company policies and standard operating procedures. The orientation does not have to take long. What matters is that you get your new VA mentally and emotionally integrated into your company and its culture. 

Introducing the New Member to Your Team

Your new member’s first day is the perfect time to introduce him to your team. A quick introduction during one of your virtual huddles will make your new VA feel that he is part of the team. A warm welcome can go a long way. It can make your new member feel comfortable and valued. So it’s more than just a feel-good ritual. It’s actually a sound business practice. 

Looking for ideas to spark meaningful connections with your team? Read this article: How Teams Communicate in Virtual Workplaces

Setting Up Permissions

Your new VA is excited to get some work done as much as you do. This is why it’s crucial to give them access to tools and software on their first day. This includes:

  • Company email 
  • Communication channels like Slack and Google Hangouts
  • Project Management Tools e.g. Kissflow and Asana
  • Time tracking software

Prepare all these before onboarding your new Virtual Assistant. It will save you a lot of time and get your new VA familiar with the tools for communication and task management which are key to their success. 

Setting Expectations

Projects become more successful when there are clear expectations. When employees know exactly what you need them to do, mistakes can be avoided. Clear expectations also keep employees engaged in their tasks and increase their productivity. Setting clear expectations and communicating employee responsibilities can have long-lasting benefits to your business. This is why you can’t skip this part. 

When communicating expectations, here are some key points to remember:

  • What are the KPIs? 
  • How do you evaluate employee performance?
  • What tasks or projects should your VA be working on?
  • How do you track progress?
  • What are the required working hours?
  • Are there recurring meetings? 
  • When and how will your VA get paid?

If there are updates on the processes and roles, put them into writing. With this, your VA can independently review and stay on top of their tasks.

Streamlining the Process

While Virtual Assistants know their craft well, you can’t always assume that they can do things the way you want them to. Be sure to communicate the steps and processes for their tasks. When you streamline the process, your VAs will start hitting deadlines and even complete tasks ahead of schedule. 

For a better onboarding experience, prepare a documented process ahead of time. As your business grows, you are more likely to hire more talents. So providing your new VA with well-prepared documentation will help you save time and energy.

Here are some documentations that you need to prepare. 

  • SOPs
  • Internal processes
  • Recorded trainings
  • Priority tasks
  • New projects 

When these processes are prepared beforehand, things will go faster and smoother. There may be times when your VA needs more context on certain tasks so be sure to provide the point of contact too.

Assigning Your VA’s First Project

Now that you’ve done all the prep work, it’s time for your VA’s first project. You don’t need to be constantly looking over their shoulders. Instead, try to check how they are doing on their first project from time to time. Do not shy away from giving feedback to your VA too. Your new VA will really appreciate that. Feedbacks are good for your business and your new VA. 

Looking for a New Virtual Assistant? 

Virtual Biznest has the most trustworthy and reliable Virtual Assistants. Our VAs work in teams so you won’t have to worry about tracking your VA’s progress and performance as we can already do it for you. Listen to what our clients are saying about us! 

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