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ONBOARDING A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT: WHAT ARE THE RIGHT STEPS?

Employees who participate in a structured onboarding program are 69% more likely to stay with an organization for 3 years.

The success of virtual assistants depends on the manner of introducing them to the business orienting as well as explaining their key duties and responsibilities. An effective employee onboarding will result in a smooth operation, as virtual assistants will have a clear idea of the important duties that need to be carried out. 

Businesses who are planning to hire full-time virtual assistants would immensely benefit from implementing an onboarding program as it improves employee retention by 25% and employee performance by 11%. This implies that newly hired staff members are more satisfied all throughout their employment; thus, businesses are able to save time and money.

In order to make virtual assistants feel welcomed and to boost the efficiency of your business over time, here are five vital steps to consider:

1. Provide an overview of the company and the virtual assistants’ responsibilities.

During the orientation, the first set of information that new virtual staff members should be familiar with are:

  • Company vision and mission
  • Company policies
  • Business short-term and long-term goals
  • Virtual assistant key responsibilities and goals
  • Performance evaluation metrics
  • Regularization process
  • Salary method of payment

Virtual staff members should have knowledge of these 7 important pieces of information in order to have a clear picture of how your business runs on a daily basis. By doing so, they will have an idea of the tasks that they have to prioritize and the new concepts they should create in order for your business to achieve optimal results. 

Given that these new staff members work remotely, you can conduct the briefing and the quick tour of your company through Skype and other virtual tool software. It is also important to give them access to online resources that give them better insights about the company and their work.

2. Provide proper training of the tools which they will be using

Virtual assistants use online tools to complete their work efficiently. Considering the distance and time difference between your business and the virtual assistant, they need comprehensive training to avoid being confused and lost when they start using the tools.

Some of the tools include:

  • Cloud software
  • Time-tracking software
  • Task-organizing
  • File-sharing
  • Email marketing
  • Password sharing

Prior to the training, determine other tools or software programs that your business uses which new virtual assistants need to be aware of to perform a certain task. After this, it is recommended to create a company email for them which will make sharing work-related documents easier. Apart from this, a company email is one way to protect your business. Your business has access to all employee’s emails; therefore, when an employee decides to leave your company, it is simpler to remove their access from your important files.

3. Promote effective communication

Even if your business hired the best virtual assistants if communication is lacking, virtual staffing arrangements may crumble. For communication to be smooth sailing between your business and your virtual assistants, it is crucial to inform them of the ways they can ask questions. Train them on how to use their communication tools to prevent any poor internal communication. 

Aside from teaching them the right usage of those communication tools, it is necessary to set the right expectations on:

  • Project updates: Do they need to send you regular updates on the project they are working on? Or are you comfortable with them sending you a finished project without any updates?
  • Deadlines: When should they submit the project they have finished? 
  • Work hours and days: Should they work on a graveyard shift so that they can easily communicate with you on crucial tasks or can they follow their regular work schedule in their country?
  • Regular meetings: Do you require regular virtual meetings to discuss important matters or are you satisfied with exchanging messages through Skype?

Key Takeaway

Virtual assistants work remotely, but they play a crucial role in your business; thus, the effective onboarding process has to be prepared, making them feel that they are part of your company. When employees feel valuable and respected, it increases their work ethic and loyalty to their company. 

The onboarding checklist aforementioned in this article provides surefire ways to help you communicate clearly everything that is needed for work efficiency. This builds a solid relationship between your business and the virtual assistants making it easier to communicate and collaborate to produce the desired outcome that your business desires. 

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