A virtual assistant (VA) can greatly improve your productivity and, at the same time, give you more opportunities to focus on business and personal activities you enjoy the most. But how can you tell that a VA is indeed working for you? Unlike regular employees, you cannot exactly tell your VA to "step into your office" so you can have a quick chat with him and check up on what he's doing. Utilise the following tips to better monitor the performance of your virtual coworker.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are put in place to help you measure not just the overall performance of your enterprise, but the performance of your staff, including your VA. Therefore, prior to hiring a VA, you should document what you expect from him or her. Set standards and clearly define what you want the VA to accomplish at the end of every work week.
Keep in mind, however, that your KPIs should be as specific as possible to avoid misunderstandings and confusion. Also, they should be realistic and achievable. Set the KPIs according to the skills and capabilities of your VA in addition to the overall goals of the company.
Establish Specific Work Hours
Clearly define what time you expect the VA to work. At the start of each project, you should consider creating a worksheet detailing your VA's weekly or daily deliverables. Then, have the VA fill out the sheet and indicate how long it would take him to complete each task. This will help you verify if the VA is working reasonable hours for the tasks you assign him.
Require Your VA to Send Daily Reports
Have your VA send a report at the end of his shift. This helps you keep track of the VA's daily performance. At the same time, the daily reports will update you on the status of the project he's working on. It may seem unnecessary and even elementary, however, over-communication is highly important to making any remote relationship work..
Set Weekly Meetings
Organise weekly meetings via Skype or other videoconferencing software so you can personally discuss the agenda for the week and what the VA has accomplished the week before. Weekly meetings also give both of you the opportunity to clarify certain issues and discuss potential roadblocks or challenges that can affect the project. A great way to do this is to have a set meeting every Monday morning.
Use Time Tracking Software
You can also use a program or software that lets you track the performance of your virtual staff in real time. Such software is designed to take a screenshot of your VA's desktop and keep track of their mouse and keyboard activity levels. Although this may seem invasive, it really does help improve accountability.
When you have a virtual staff, it is very important that you spend some time ensuring that they are doing their work. Since it is impossible for you to physically check up on your VA at a moment's notice, using the above mentioned strategies is essential to make sure they are indeed working hard.
Do you have virtual staff? How do you keep track of their performance?