Onboarding Your Virtual Assistant: Why Is It a Big Deal?
Your virtual assistant will be dealing with some of the frontline processes of your organization, such as scheduling appointments, managing business emails, making phone calls, and handling files. It’s crucial to integrate them properly into your company to ensure a functional working relationship. They need to know the identity of your company – the culture, the people, and the work they’ll be doing.
The onboarding process serves as a guide for your virtual assistant. It introduces them to the vital things to know about your business, as well as the key aspects of their role. This process is crucial because it gives your VA a clearer picture of what their job entails.
If your virtual assistant does not go through onboarding, they’ll be left fumbling in the dark and attempting to do things they don’t fully understand. This can drastically hinder their performance and make errors inevitable. A lack of a structured onboarding process will not only limit your VAs performance but also be detrimental to your business.
Structuring Your Onboarding Process
Much like any other employee, you’ll have to properly welcome your virtual assistant and make them feel valued. This warm and enthusiastic welcome will help ease them into the job and promote a healthy working environment for them, ultimately boosting their productivity. As with many functions of your business, however, onboarding also needs some structure to be effective.
Providing a certain structure to the process helps you ensure that you cover all the vital aspects of the business and the VA’s role. Moreover, it makes the whole undertaking quicker and more efficient in case you’ll have to do it again. If you want to provide structure to your onboarding process, it’s helpful to make a checklist. Here are some vital points to consider for your onboarding:
- Give Them an Overview of the Company
- Provide Them with Access to Information
- Introduce Them to the Team
- Orient Them Regarding Their Roles and Responsibilities
- Conduct an Expectation-Setting Meeting
These areas will be further discussed below.
1 – Give Them an Overview of the Company
Although giving your virtual assistant an overview of your company should be a part of the hiring process, doing it again during the onboarding process can help them retain the information that’s vital to their job. When giving them an overview, it’s essential to talk in detail about the company’s background, mission, objectives, and culture. Some other crucial things to cover are the company policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
It’s also a good idea to orient your VA regarding the organizational structure of your institution. This step will give them a better understanding of who to contact, who’s in charge of certain operations, and who they’ll be working within general. By giving them a thorough overview of your organization, they’ll be better able to familiarize themselves with what their job entails. This minimizes any problems they may encounter in the future.
2 – Provide Them with Access to Information
Because virtual assistants operate remotely, it’s essential that you provide them with access to business information. This involves setting up a work email address, communications software, project management software, attendance tracking, and other tools your VA needs. This will help speed up communication and streamline any processes related to their role. Also, it’s best to give them a quick overview of how to use specific tools and software to ensure that everything is clear.
3 – Introduce Them to the Team
Introducing your virtual assistant to your existing employees can massively improve the experience of the whole onboarding process. It’s a thoughtful way to welcome them, and it gives them an opportunity to get to know other members of the team. Introducing them to the people in the company helps improve their interactions with others, which is vital for every VA. This is a crucial process even if your team works entirely remotely because it helps improve their engagement and enthusiasm.
4 – Orient Them Regarding Their Roles and Responsibilities
In addition to providing them with company policies such as attendance, ethics, disciplinary actions, and other general rules, you’ll also have to give your new virtual assistant some guidelines regarding their particular duties. Although your VA will likely have enough knowledge and experience in the field, every company has its own set of responsibilities assigned to the role. What they did in the previous companies does not always line up with what they need to do in yours. It’s therefore essential to provide them with a list of duties they have to accomplish while working with you.
Giving specific instructions to your VA will help them get used to the processes more efficiently, minimizing errors. For example, if you just ask them to “make a contact list,” they likely don’t have enough information to do it properly. If you provide them with a more detailed description of the task, however, they’ll be able to carry on with their duties.
It’s also helpful to document the processes related to the VA’s role. A compilation of specific instructions, tasks, and other aspects of the job will help them learn what they need to do their job efficiently. If they have any questions, they can also just refer back to the document instead of asking you every time.
5 – Conduct an Expectation-Setting Meeting
In conjunction with orienting your VA to their roles and responsibilities, it’s also important to set expectations. You may opt to set a meeting to talk about these expectations, such as their key performance indicators (KPIs), compensation and benefits, deadlines, expected output, and other aspects of the job that need to be discussed.
As with all your employees, it’s essential for you to welcome and orient your virtual assistant. By having a well-structured onboarding process, you’ll be providing your VA with the knowledge they need to do their job efficiently. In doing so, you’ll make full use of their skills and get the most out of their services.
If you’re looking for an administrative virtual assistant to assist your business, allow CrewBloom to help. Our top-tier professionals are equipped to provide the assistance your organization needs – all at an affordable price. Allow us to help your business grow, and contact us today!