In order for your personal VA to do his or her work efficiently, you have to manage and train them in your way of doing things. As you can appreciate, there are so many different management styles and as a manager and business owner you have your own unique way of handling your team members. The company culture and success of your business will depend on how well you as the leader and your staff can work together to achieve your business objectives.
As a leader you have a clear vision of where you want to take your business. It is your job to share this vision with your employees and get everyone motivated towards working on your common goal. This is where the importance of proper training comes in.
One common assumption of business owners who outsource and hire freelancers, a personal assistant, or a Filipino virtual assistant is that they come with a complete set of skills “out-of-the-box.” This is generally not the case. Sure, your rockstar VA comes equipped with a supercharged skillset that could have them start working immediately and efficiently. However, each business has unique requirements. Your VA would need specialised training in order to carry out the more niche tasks needed in your daily operations.
Here are the three things you need to start virtual assistant training:
- A concrete plan
- Clearly defined roles and objectives – First, start by drafting a job description that clearly defines the role, the scope of work, and the expected output. Have a clear description of the job title.
Not only should you list the responsibilities that the role entails, but you should also list the skills required in order to accomplish these responsibilities effectively. You should also be clear on when you expect these tasks to be completed.
- Skills checklist – Once you have clearly defined the role and created a list of skills needed for the role, you must not assume that your VA already has all the competencies needed to start working right away. Each company is different. Even brick and mortar shops have nuances to their operations, and even more so for virtual companies who rely on software and digital tools.
Create a checklist of skills and competencies and then identify which of those skills your VA is going to need training on. Chances are, your VA is already competent in a lot of them. Most VAs are adept at calendar management, social media management, and customer relations management. A lot of them would have expertise using the same tools you use for these competencies. But it is always good practice to make sure that you equip your VA with the complete skill set required.
Take this example, some business owners need help with a little bookkeeping. Most VAs know how to use Xero, as it is a very popular tool. However, if you use a different system such as FreshBooks or Zoho Books, you will need to train them on the tools you use.
- Tools and access – Make sure that your VA has access to the tools you use on a daily basis.
Once you have planned out your training program, set aside time for you and your VA to work together. Be generous with the amount of time you set aside for training your staff. Not everyone learns at the same pace. Keep in mind that some processes may have a steeper learning curve than others.
Don’t know how much time you need to allot for training? Successful learning and development executives often cite the 30x rule for training, which is to set aside 30 times the amount of time it takes to complete a task to train a person how to do that task.
- Training materials
When you start training your VA, you have to provide them with useful training and resource materials that they can reference as needed. There are three kinds:
- Written instructions – email instructions, manuals, lists, project briefs, notes, project management systems
- Audio recordings – short voice clips, voice recordings, audio calls, audio files
- Video recordings – video tutorials, screen captures, video calls
This process might sound overwhelming but if you’re tempted to skip steps or do away with training your VA altogether, remember this: if you take the time to do it right the first time, you won’t have to do it over.