Managing a virtual team for the first time can be very confusing, especially when you are not communicating as much. Hiring staff online requires effort from both parties, you and your employee, in making collaborative efforts work. Having a Virtual Assistant Handbook, for example, can keep errors to a minimum and can help smoothen your collaboration.
Why Have a Virtual Assistant Handbook
When it comes to handling remote staff, it is crucial that you lay down all your expectations to come up with an agreement that is best for everyone. With standard guidelines, your internal process will be kept to its optimal performance and it will be easier to determine points for improvement. Here are some necessary items you need to put on your handbook.
Introduce Your Brand
When you hire someone who does not know a thing about your brand, it’s hard to keep things together. Sometimes, the output may be far from what you expected. Worst case scenario is, you’d have to revise everything yourself and end up doubling the work altogether!
Giving your virtual assistant an idea about what your company is all about can them a better grasp on the type of output you are expecting. This bridges the gap between you and your staff even if you are miles apart. You can include your mission, vision, and company culture. Tell your company story and give them an idea about what your company aims to do. Doing this will enable your virtual staff to provide an output that is in line with your branding and company objectives.
Scope of Work
After you have introduced the company and giving them an idea of what you do, it is time to establish what role they are going to play in your company. Virtual assistant services may range from administrative tasks to specialized assignments in Marketing, Finance, or HR. In hiring general virtual assistants, it is vital that you clear out which tasks will be assigned to a certain employee. A short job description on your virtual assistant handbook can help your online staff in making initiatives and overall improve your operations’ productivity.
Just like working with in-house staff, hiring virtual assistant companies for your administrative tasks can be disorganized without proper guidelines and standard protocols. If you haven’t yet, you need to lay down the process that you want to disseminate to your employees. For starters, since you are all collaborating online and not seeing each other in person, you may want to have all files saved on the cloud. This way, you can track the progress of your employees, and it will be easier to keep a record of your data wherever, whenever.
You also need to establish some ground rules for when they are not able to meet a specific deadline. For example, your virtual assistant needs to be on vacation leave. You need to specify the notice period before the actual date of their vacation leave. You need to lay this all out in the virtual assistant handbook so you can both manage expectations. Here are other things you may want to put under the Standard Protocols chapter.
- Leave of Absence
- Standard Communication Tool
- Work Hours and Deadlines
Before you start asking for output, you need to discuss the subject of compensation. When your virtual PA services (or basically just any jobs), your employees need to be made aware of how the compensation system works. Some employers sign up on a third party service for money transactions. Apps like Payoneer and Paypal help a lot for companies that practice remote working culture.
Working with remote staff, in general, can be very hard, especially during the primary stages. No matter how far you are from your employee, you need to make sure that you are both on the same page. Knowing expectations is an excellent starting point to make your business relationship work. Are you thinking of hiring your first remote employee? Reach out to us and we’ll assist you!