What makes you get up every morning to tackle the challenges of your business? Why are you so dedicated to working over eight hours every day? What keeps you focused on your ultimate business goals?
You have found a way to stay motivated even through all the challenges. Whether you enjoy the independence and freedom or like signing your own checks, you have found a way to go through the emotional roller coasters of owning and growing a business.
Your motivation and determination are tied directly to your performance and productivity. When you are engaged and satisfied with your business you press on, despite the problems you face. This fact is no different for your Virtual Assistant from Latin America. While they may not be a business owner, they want to feel motivated and engaged in the same way.
So, let’s visit the numbers. What is at stake for not making engagement and motivation a priority?
- According to Gallup, 85 percent of global workers are disengaged at their jobs.
- Disengaged employees cost companies a total of $300 billion in lost productivity each year.
- There is a $72,000 difference between income generated from engaged and non-engaged employees ($238,000 engaged, and $166,000 disengaged)
Employee motivation is one of the most critical aspects of business management, and it is even more important when you take into consideration that you do not physically see your remote worker every day.
So, how do you keep them engaged? Read on for 13 ways to motivate your Virtual Assistant.
1. Provide Overtime Pay
How would you feel if you had to work during off-hours or the holidays and weren’t fairly compensated? You may feel frustrated, and that you were taken advantage of. This is not a lingering feeling that you would want to leave with your Virtual Assistant. Fairly compensating an employee for going above and beyond shows that you care about their well-being. Working nights, weekends, or over the holidays can be outside of the scope of employment. By nature, working during these times is inconvenient and is taking this individual away from other things. So, be sure that you are understanding this and are paying them for this extra work.
2. Offer PTO
Things happen in life that we cannot control, and we need to know that one of the things we don’t have to worry about is monetary compensation. Whether an Virtual Assistant gets sick, has to take care of a loved one, has other personal issues to deal with, or needs some time for a vacation, paid time off is a helpful gesture any good manager can offer. Paying an Virtual Assistant while they cannot work, lets them know that you care and gives them an incentive to go above and beyond for you.
3. Offer Extra Benefits
You want your Virtual Assistant to enjoy working with you. Providing valuable benefits makes it more likely that you will have a long-term working relationship with them. So, see if you can offer them affordable and useful benefits that strengthen their dedication and commitment. An infographic created by Rypple revealed that workers prefer praise and recognition (27 percent) over monetary awards (18 percent), so find a way to acknowledge and recognize exemplary work creatively. This could be achieved by highlighting their contributions in a blog post for example. Also, training and development, business mentorship, and once in a while some time off are other benefits you can offer to keep them engaged.
4. Let Them Know They are Part of a Team
Let your Virtual Assistant know that they are a part of a broader mission and endeavor. Many times, employees perform better when they understand how their work impacts the company’s overall goals. Give them meaning by explaining how their results affect the organization and their team as a whole. For example, if you hired a remote worker who is a web designer, let them know how their web design is impacting your business for the better. Another great way to incorporate a team atmosphere is to create moments where you and any other remote workers can socialize with one another. Create a Slack channel or Zoom conference meeting for the sole purpose of talking about things outside of work.
5. Facilitate Team Collaboration
Productivity and performance will rise if your team members spend more time collaborating. Each member of your team has different strengths and talents, and encouraging your team members to work with one another will allow you (and everyone else) to benefit from this. According to data compiled by Clear Company, 39 percent of employees feel their organization does not collaborate enough. Also, 75 percent of employees rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important.” So, not only should this be important to you, but it is something your employees want. Collaboration is likely to increase commitment from your remote workers and encourage greater engagement.
6. Praise Them When They Do a Great Job
Employee recognition is key to maintaining engagement and motivation. Again, according to data compiled by Rypple, 27 percent of employees surveyed listed employee recognition as a top motivational technique. Everyone likes to know that they have completed a job well done, and your remote worker is no exception. If you hired a writer who increased your SEO ranking, let them know and praise them. If you had an Virtual Assistant who has significantly eased your workload, show it by appreciating them. A simple “thank you” can do a lot to motivate employees to continue to do excellent work for you.
7. Set Clear and Realistic Expectations
Set your expectations from day 1. If you are working with a social media manager, for example, you should let them know that after three months you would like engagement and follower count to rise ten percent. Even if they do not meet this benchmark, they at least have something to strive for. You also have a tangible measurement to begin to start tracking and comparing their progress. Setting expectations gives them something to push themselves toward while also meeting your needs.
8. Give Them Training and Opportunities to Grow
A great way to strengthen engagement is by showing your employees that you care about them. Providing training is one way to do so. Not only will they appreciate you for taking the time to teach them new things, methods, and procedures. But this will also expand their skills allowing them to handle and complete the tasks you assign them properly. It will also make them more experienced professionals overall.
9. Provide them with Leadership Opportunities
The next step in setting expectations and benchmarks while also understanding the career path of a Virtual Assistant is now letting them show you what they can do. One of the most motivating things for any worker is giving them the opportunity to show how they can lead. For example, you may typically take the lead on planning the marketing aspects of an event you manage each year. Instead of just trudging along with what you usually do, why not allow your marketing manager or Virtual Assistant to take over these duties? It shows you trust them while also allowing them to add more experience to their resume.
10. The 13th Month
The 13 month bonus is actually an employee benefit that is given at the end of the year, for which workers are entitled to an extra month’s salary.
This was done to achieve a few things:
- Give workers more money during the Christmas holidays
- Stimulate the holiday economy
- Reduce absenteeism
- Reduce worker sluggishness during the holidays.
This has been the practice in Latin America for many years. To adapt to this, most employers automatically add in the 13th month bonus as part of labor costs.
Also, this benefit isn’t automatically given. Most business owners require employees to work at least 3 to 6 months to be eligible for it.
It’s a benefit we strongly encourage because it’s really a good motivator for employees. Getting their 13th month on time and in full can sometimes make the difference between having a great Christmas or just getting by.
It is hard to see a rise in productivity and performance when your team is lacking motivation. The lack of motivation can cause a significant decrease in the engagement which will ultimately impact your business. Think about it, if you felt as if you didn’t have the motivation to get up every day, success would be tough to achieve. Therefore, ensure that you are providing your Virtual Assistant from Latin America with clear expectations, the recognition they deserve, opportunities for leadership, and chances for collaboration. All of these show that you respect them and that you are dedicated to their overall development as individuals.