So, you’re embracing the idea of delegating. You know what you need to get off your plate, and who’s going to take the load for you. The hardest work is done, but you’re not there yet. There are still pivotal actions you need to take to reap the true benefits of delegating to a virtual assistant. The next two steps are: Training Them Well and Checking In for Maximum Reward. Do not drop the ball here, no matter how much you want to be free of the tasks you’ve decided to delegate!
Train Them Well
Believe it or not, this is how you scale for growth. It’s all in the training. Success will come when your virtual assistant knows what’s expected and how to deliver from the beginning. Your part in this?
Clearly articulate what’s expected. Be clear on constraints and authority. Should your virtual assistant wait to be told what to do? Or should they make recommendations and then start? Should they ask before they begin a certain task or project? Do you want them to report results immediately or periodically? Articulating these important will lead to better communication and less frustration as this new working relationship gets off the ground.
Know that it will take them longer–at first… We’ve all been a beginner at some point. Even when a virtual assistant is well qualified for a job, it will still take them longer than someone who has been doing it a while (like, say, you). So have some patience on the front end. How long it takes at first is not how long it will take in one week, one month, one year. So give your virtual assistant a little time to get their feet wet before you get too concerned about the amount of time it’s taking. They will likely get up to speed–and maybe even faster, very soon.
…But don’t accept work that’s not up to your standard. You’re not doing anyone any favors by accepting work that’s subpar. If they’re not delivering what you want, make sure they understand the expectation. Show them examples, and explain what’s not acceptable about what they did. This is all part of training, by the way–and it must be done so you don’t end up re-doing tasks yourself. Just don’t be surprised if you end up having to spend a little time reviewing once the first round of a task is complete. Nip problems in the bud and you’ll save yourself time in the long run.
Care about the end result, not how they get there. Simply put, don’t micromanage. That wastes everyone’s time–the exact opposite of the goal of delegating. Here’s some hard truth that everyone who delegates has to face up to: your way is not the only way to do a task. It may not even be the best way. But when you allow someone the freedom to move within their role, you’ll see their buy-in and loyalty grow–and you may be surprised at just how good they can make you look.
Checking In and Praise
Check In. While the training part of hiring a virtual assistant is the most labor-intensive, you’ll still need to check in from time to time. Find out how projects or tasks are going, and offer suggestions or help with make sure your virtual assistant has the resources they need to do what you’ve asked. A few minutes to check in allows for your new employee to ask questions and clarify issues that will allow them to deliver the level of work you’ve requested.
Praise. Beyond check-ins, it’s important to offer positive feedback when it is merited. Most people want to please the person they are working for. And praise that’s deserved tends to result in more good work. In fact, when you regularly praise employees they become more productive, engaged, and likely to stay with the company. https://www.trainingjournal.com/articles/feature/power-praise-and-recognition So, when you can, reinforce a job well done.
Look, I’ll be honest with you: Delegating is a challenging task, particularly for small business owners. But it offers incredible rewards for your business, your productivity, and your personal life. It’s hard to relinquish control, but hiring a virtual assistant is a great way to get started. And doing it right, from the start, will help you see the benefits so much more quickly.
P.P.S. If you’re ready to take on the challenge of delegating, give me a call at 916-756-5439 or shoot me an email. We’ll help you figure out the scope of what you need and match you with a virtual assistant who can take off your plate the tasks that are slowing you and your business down. Can’t wait to talk to you!