Start how you mean to go on! Such a great saying and so apt for when the time comes to introduce your VA to your business and get them started.
Investing time and effort into the onboarding process will pay dividends in the long run. Here’s five rules to follow when onboarding your VA.
Create an onboarding plan
Think of this as an orientation process. An onboarding plan is a road map for both you and the VA outlining how the VA will be introduced to the processes, systems and culture of the business.
This is a fantastic opportunity to turn your VA into a raving fan for your business. Share your knowledge, the history of the company, where it all started and why it all started.
Make them feel valued and part of the team by sharing your vision for the future and company goals. As VA’s are not physically in the office with you, sometimes they can feel a little detached. A thorough onboarding plan that excites them and gives them plenty of information will help build trust and loyalty from the very beginning.
Day 1 getting started checklist
Remember your VA has not worked with you before. Your goal is to provide them with the knowledge, information and tools they need to do their job properly.
A checklist that goes back to basics on their first day on the job will help with that. Include practical tasks such as giving your VA access to their email, giving them usernames and passwords to log in to company platforms, stepping through their job description, chatting through any KPI’s if applicable, confirming working hours and decide when and how often you will be in communication.
This provides clarity from the very start. By covering off on important elements that gives your VA the tools to do their job, they (and you!) can move forward with confidence from day one.
The wonderful technology we have at our fingertips now means we have no excuse to not train our VA effectively. Recording training sessions provide the VA with a fantastic How-To tool he or she can return to at any time in the future without calling on your time. It also means if you add more VA’s to your business, the training is already there! Smart use of time and resources.
Also consider investing in your VA’s professional development. Giving them space and time to learn new skills or build on current ones will help you and your business too.
Communicate and provide real feedback
When communicating negative feedback, frame it as an opportunity to learn for both you and your VA. Give them guidance on how not to repeat the mistake and be open to new ways of doing things. Constructive feedback from a VA may improve the way you do things too.
Giving positive feedback is just as important too. It’s a great way for your VA to feel valued and connected to you and your company. Everyone likes a pat on the back!
Lower your expectations
We touched on this before in our article How to Prepare Yourself for a VA. As business owners we tend to hold ourselves to a very (almost unachievable) high standard, would you agree? Sometimes that high level of expectation can impact the people we work with, which isn’t a bad thing but remember your VA isn’t you.
They haven’t started this business of yours. They don’t know all the in’s and out’s (yet!) but they will if you have prepared yourself and your business effectively for a VA. It takes time to settle into a new way of working so give them time to settle in. Define what their role is and remember they are task-focused and here to support you. They’re not here to wave a magic wand and fix everything.
Getting the onboarding process right is vital to the success of your business and the relationship between you and your VA. It’s the difference between having them hit the ground running or running out the door!