For a manager, setting performance goals is the tool of alchemy – turning regular employee productivity into solid gold.
I’ve written a lot about Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in the past and how they’re a powerful tool for setting up virtual employee success.
They allow you, as a manager, to identify the indicators that are most valuable to you and to your business.
When you communicate those indicators to your virtual employee and make sure they’re being met, you secure the value of your labor dollars.
Really, if there’s only one management strategy you use, it should be KPI.
But even when you set and manage KPIs, there’s another step to elevate your virtual employee into higher achievement levels – setting performance goals.
According to the McKinsey organization blog, setting performance goals directly benefits the employee –
“Encouraging employees to set performance goals helps push performance and serves as a motivator for ongoing development.”
And also benefits the business –
“Goal-setting can help improve employee engagement in a way which elevates performance and benefits organizations overall.”
Not every employee will want to set high reaching goals – they may not have the time or energy to invest more of themselves in their jobs.
That’s fine, they can continue to meet their performance indicators and stay in that lane of steady, solid performance.
But, maybe you have a virtual employee (VE) who seems excited by the opportunity to learn new skills, take on additional responsibility and improve her position by helping to grow your business?
This person has the potential for solid gold employee performance using the alchemical power of setting goals.
Harvard Business Review offers four helpful approaches to setting goals that supercharge employee performance:
Now, Harvard is fancy and all that, but we’ve helped our clients improve virtual employee performance through goal setting for years.
As the end of the year draws closer, management companies are faced with less and less time to plan for “the future.” It’s around the corner, creeping up quicker than any of us are prepared for, and it signals a time for a lot of additional tasks – write-offs, annual reports, and annual budgets for each community, not to mention for the management company, are all coming up due. These are all important, but the biggest task might be planning out the calendar for the coming year.
Now we know that community association managers are the unsung heroes of communities. They're behind the scenes, working hard to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently for each community they serve. So, it can be difficult and time-consuming to manage multiple priorities while still paying close attention to detail. Having an accurate calendar of events is crucial and with help from a Virtual Employee (VE), your community managers can focus less on scheduling and tedious meeting management tasks, and more on the rest of the communities’ needs.
A Man(ager) with a Plan
Whether you manage one community or fifty, scheduling conflicts are just a fact of life. As a community association management company, your managers are expected to attend many different types of meetings.
Nearly all associations have regular monthly board or committee meetings. That’s at least the full board, anywhere from 3 - 7 people or more, plus the additional faces on any committee (like architectural committees), which means there are a lot of schedules to consider when finding a time and day of the week that works for everyone required to attend.
Associations also have special annual or semi-annual events such as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where members vote on important issues like electing a new board member and setting the budget for next year.
All those meetings should be scheduled relatively far in advance so you can give the legally required notice to community members. With each community needing their manager’s attendance, the number of potential scheduling conflicts starts to snowball out of control.
By introducing a HireSmart Virtual Employee, management companies can redirect the experienced focus of their community managers onto more specialized tasks without losing any traction on time management needs. A VE can easily work with all parties necessary for each
meeting to determine the best date and time each type of meeting should take place and plan out your managers’ annual schedules in advance.
In Case of Emergency, Call Your Virtual Employee
In addition to regularly scheduled events, there are always emergency situations that require immediate action by your association's governing body. If there is an emergency (like a burst pipe flooding one of your buildings or a broken elevator), it is likely that another meeting will need to be called relatively quickly, and management involvement is much preferred so that everyone can discuss what should be done about this issue. Instead of a manager taking time out of their day to handle that emergency meeting planning a VE can be available to respond to the board and quickly find the best time for their manager to attend.
Let Someone Else Handle the Paperwork
For a community association manager, it might be tough to manage the day-to-day responsibilities and plan for an upcoming AGM or committee meeting. But don’t worry! There are plenty of things that a VE can do to help prepare the board for these important events.
For example, a VE can:
● Plan the agendas.
This can be useful not only for big meetings like the AGM, but plenty of others as well, to help the new board meetings acclimate. This ensures that items are prioritized in a way that makes sense, so they don't waste time or forget important items.
● Help with deliverables.
Important takeaways, such as meeting minutes and financial statements, are important to the success of any board meeting. Having a VE handle that responsibility ensures the documents get done in time and accurately reflect what happened at each meeting.
Having this content readily available for every meeting is just another way these meetings take up less effort for community managers and streamline other tasks in the process.
HireSmart Virtual Employees aims to simplify the way management companies, and community association managers handle their day-to-day. From time management to efficient preparedness, Virtual Employees hired through HSVE can make a massive difference, especially during year-end. If you’re ready to find a Virtual Employee to add to your team, click here to schedule your initial HSVE consultation
Maybe you’re familiar with virtual employees, and maybe you’re not. Whatever your situation, here’s something to consider.
A virtual employee is the right fit for any job that requires a computer with reliable internet and a phone.
I’ve used virtual attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, technical assistants, customer service representatives, and graphic designers, I’ve even had remote consultations with doctors.
I’ll bet you’ve done the same.
When you have a job that needs doing, there are two things that really matter – price and quality.
Unless you like to regularly get coffee with your bookkeeper, do you really care whether they live in the next town over, or across a continent or two?
And that bookkeeper that lives in the next town over, let’s look at her average hourly pay in the US. According to Indeed, for 2022 it’s $21/hour.
Please keep that number in mind while I digress with the following example.
You’re shopping for shoes, and the salesperson puts two pairs down in front of you. They look identical, you try them on, and they feel identical.
The materials are the same, the craftsmanship is the same, the return policy, the box they come in, everything is the same except for one quite important detail – the price.
One of these pairs of shoes costs $100, and the other pair costs $50.
Your first instinct tells you something must not be quite right; something is too good to be true. That’s what I’d be thinking right along with you.
You try them on anyway, each pair, first the expensive ones and then the cheaper ones.
All your five senses tell your brain that they are actually the same even though one costs half as much as the other. But your brain resists the truth because we know that price usually indicates quality.
Except sometimes it doesn’t.
Let’s return to our $21/hour bookkeeper. At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we will find you a bookkeeper for $10, maybe $12/hour. That’s half the cost.
Will that same bookkeeper do data entry for you? Yes. Will she fill in on customer service when necessary? Absolutely. Will she set up meetings with clients for you? Of course.
Will you pay benefits on top of wages? No. Will you pay social security taxes or disability benefits? No. Any payroll taxes? No.
I think you see what I’m getting at. Let your competitors be the ones who pay double for the same quality of service.
If you want to gain the competitive advantage of lower labor costs and smile all the way to your bottom line, click here for a free consultation.