There is an old saying “You can’t blame them if you don’t train them.” Training your Virtual Assistant is essential and some employers have been unfairly frustrated with their Virtual Assistant performance. In most cases, the fault can be attributed to employers who don’t adequately train their VAs.
Everyone needs training when they start a new job, right? So take the time to train your employee as this is important for developing a successful working relationship.
Like any other employee, your new Virtual Assistant will need to be trained. Training is crucial to ensure you get the most out of your VA. Even if you are hiring a professional don’t expect your new employee to be already trained in for your specific needs.
Training your Virtual Assistant is a time commitment, but you have to understand it is a normal step of the hiring process.
So why is training your Virtual Assistant so important?
It’s vital because it not only provides your employees with the right knowledge to complete the tasks you assign them, but it also builds a level of trust between both you and your employee from the very beginning.
You’ll be more confident that they’ll do a great job and they’ll trust you for investing time in them and showing you care about their work.
They’ll look to you as a mentor and expert, someone they can follow and believe in, because you’ve earned their trust.
Imagine being a Virtual Assistant, for example, who doesn’t receive training or help? You would likely struggle and underperform.
Instead be kind, patient and take time to explain things to them. Encourage and help them to grow as a worker. Your relationship will be so much better because of it, and they’ll feel more invested in the success of your business.
Training means building a long-term relationship with your Virtual Assistant. They won’t be tempted to walk away because they feel unwanted and isolated.
Remember, training your Virtual Assistant should be ongoing, not just something you do in the first few days. There are always new things to learn, new procedures or technologies. You want to ensure that your VA is as knowledgeable as they can be.
What’s the best way to train your Virtual Assistant?
Create video or audio tutorials
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a video is even better! When you’re in an office, it’s easy for a member of your team to watch how you do something on your screen. For a Virtual Assistant, the solution is to send them a video tutorial. With software like Loom or Snagit, this is simple and cheap, allowing you to record your screen, create and edit videos.
It’s a great way to conduct a walk-through of the processes and systems your Virtual Assistant might need to use. For a piece of software they’ll need, you can demonstrate not only how it works, but what happens if they do it wrong.
And making videos feels much more personal. They’ll get used to hearing your voice and maybe seeing you, rather than you being a faceless boss over email.
This connection helps build trust, which is so vital for the success of your business relationship.
Videos can be sent to your Virtual Assistant when needed or uploaded into a resource base. While it’s clear they can take time to produce; it’s worth stressing that they can be re-used for your future VA’s as well.
Create step-by-step Email instructions
A more traditional method than video, but useful nonetheless is to send instructions by email. For regular tasks, a written step-by-step guide can be ideal.
While you might be worried about being too detailed, or appearing patronizing, put everything in you can think of. So long as you’re clear, duties will be carried out efficiently with no room for any misunderstandings or confusion.
Use screenshots to emphasize a point or to show something in action and make the email as long as you deem necessary. A good step-by-step guide will reduce the risk of your Virtual Assistant struggling with a task. Instead, expect them to perform it well and be more efficient with their time.
Don’t underestimate the simplicity of sending an email with step-by-step instructions. Be detailed: what might seem obvious to you may not necessarily be to your Virtual Assistant.
Use Project Management/CRMs tools
It’s vital for both of you to be organized, and tools like Basecamp will allow you to track projects, collaborate and manage any issues or deadlines. This is a perfect way to integrate your remote worker in with your virtual team.
Training your Virtual Assistant with the correct project management tools will make your Virtual Assistant feel more involved in your business.
A further benefit for you is that Basecamp syncs with your email, so each time your remote worker completes a task, you’ll be notified automatically, wherever you may be.
Have your Virtual Assistant watch Webinars and Training Videos from other People
These are perfect ways for your Virtual Assistant to learn new things about your business – perhaps a session on a new marketing strategy, or an introduction to a new web project.
On a wider level, encourage them to watch industry-relevant webinars from other business people that might help expand their knowledge.
Pool everything in a resource center
Now that you realize how important training is, and the methods that you’ll use to do it, build a resource center where you can keep all your material.
Every time you create a new training video, step-by-step-guide or any other training tool, upload it and store it there. This creates a robust knowledge base for your Remote Workers and Virtual Assistants – indeed, any member of your team – can access it at any time.
It also means you are not repeating yourself with training and therefore taking up your own time to do the same task over and over again. Setting up a resource base can be as easy as using a WordPress blog. Just install WordPress in a directory, add a free theme and begin to add content to it. It is not viewable to the public, only accessible by you and your employees. It takes about 10 minutes to set up, and it works perfectly as a knowledge base for storing video, audio, images, and text.
Will it work for me?
Training helps your VA to be as efficient as possible. It takes time and effort on your part, but it’s the only way to give you and your new VA the best possible chance of successfully working together.
Even your most experienced employee in your office needs training, so don’t ever skip training.
The more you train them, the better they’ll be and the more involved they’ll feel in your business. They will want to succeed and be with you for the long-term.
And, of course, the more you train them, the more tasks you can hand over.
Good Luck and Happy Hirings…