It doesn’t matter whether you’re an in-house or virtual employee, you want to feel appreciated, you want to feel necessary.  

It’s a bit easier to accomplish with an in-house employee. 

 Casual comments like “You know I really appreciate the effort you put into that report,” or “I couldn’t have closed that deal without your help,” will pretty much get the job done. 

 It’s a little tougher with remote employees, but don’t worry – HireSmart is here with some excellent advice you can use for your business.  

 If your virtual employees don’t feel necessary or valued, they’re probably feeling isolated and disconnected. 

 That eventually leads to decreased productivity and job satisfaction. 

 So, as a manager or team leader, it’s important to make your virtual employees feel necessary and valued. Here are some tips from HireSmart to help you achieve that. 

 Connect your virtual employees to your mission, vision, and values 

 One of the most important things is clearly communicating why your virtual employees are important to your business.  

 They need to know that without them involved and playing their part, the team will struggle.  

 As business expert and author Simon Sinek puts it, "When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute." 

 Part of this is to make sure your virtual employees understand how their work fits into the bigger picture. 

Regular check-ins and feedback sessions are tools you can use to help virtual staff stay on track and feel more connected to the team. 


Recognize their contributions 

 This can be as simple as sending a quick email or message thanking them for their work, or highlighting their achievements during team meetings.  


Acknowledging your virtual employees' efforts and accomplishments helps them create a positive connection to their individual work and also to the business in general.  

While an email’s a little more formal than stopping by an employee’s desk for a quick chat, or while grabbing a cup of coffee, it can still be casual and somewhat frequent. 

This is such a fundamental and powerful management tool – you’d be surprised how many managers and owners fail to take advantage of it. 


Encourage cross-pollination through collaboration 

 Collaboration is essential for any team and it’s particularly important for virtual employees who may feel disconnected from the rest of the team at times.  

 Encouraging collaboration and teamwork makes your virtual employees feel like they are part of something bigger. 

 Regular team calls or brainstorming sessions are good opportunities for this, or using communication tools like Trello or Slack to keep everyone in the loop.  

 Let your employees learn from each other and develop authentic working relationships.  


"Remote workers often feel disconnected from the team and struggle to build relationships. It's important to create opportunities for social interaction and team building." - John Rampton, "How to Keep Remote Employees Engaged and Productive" 


Provide opportunities for growth 

 Make your virtual employees feel like they’re advancing in their careers and contributing in meaningful ways. 

 You can offer training sessions, mentorship programs, and anything that creates new challenges and responsibilities.  

 This shows your virtual staff that you’re investing in them and in their future.  

 Occasionally a HireSmart client will ask “Do I really need to put in this extra effort?” 


And our answer is always a resounding “Yes!” 

We don’t consider it extra effort – it’s just good management. 

 When it comes to hiring excellent virtual employees who will stick around long-term, we’ve got you covered.  

Let us help your business succeed with our valuable tried and true management strategies. 


Click here for a free consultation. 

As the summer season approaches, homeowners associations (HOAs) and community associations need to start thinking about preparing their amenities for use by residents. From maintaining pools and tennis courts to organizing community events and budgeting for emergency repairs, many tasks must be completed before the HOA summer season begins.

Review Your Vendor Contracts & Budgets

Your community budget should be completed by now, but budgets are educated guesses, not guaranteed costs. The HOA summer season is a great time to review the health of your financial situation and see how your anticipated expenses have stacked up with actual spending. Check your budget to ensure that you are on track for summer expenses such as:

Additionally, ensure that any long-term or major repair preparation is budgeted correctly. The summer season kicks off some major natural disasters for many (we’re looking at you and hurricane season, Florida), so it can also mean some major repairs or updates like:

And don’t forget for community events such as block parties or pool opening celebrations!

Once those decisions are made, you'll want to ensure your vendors are ready for their responsibilities and deadlines. Start by reviewing existing vendor contracts to ensure all needs are met. Summer months typically mean droughts and less grass growth, for example, meaning a shift in landscaping responsibilities should be taking place – whether that’s fewer mows per month, or some growth enhancement to keep lawns lush, your contract should accommodate for those needs or should be modified to do so.

Review all your current contracts, and begin sourcing new vendors for additional, short-term needs.

Review Your Emergency Preparedness Plans

The HOA summer months are a time for fun but can also be a time of increased risk. Your community should already have an emergency preparedness or business continuity plan. Taking time before the HOA summer activities begin to review and update that plan will save you time and energy.

If you don’t have a plan at all, make one. It should include information including (but in no way limited to):

When reviewing your plan, be sure to make essential updates such as:

Communicate With Your Community

Making your residents aware of the activities and changes planned for the HOA summer months is a great way to generate greater community and homeowner engagement. There are a few ways to go about this, such as:

HOA Summer Is Fast Approaching!

There are many things to consider when preparing your HOA for summer–and remember, there is plenty more you can do on top of everything here. If your community faces an uphill battle tackling these summer preparation tasks, consider bringing in a little help.

HireSmart Virtual Employees are fully equipped to tackle every item on this list. Whether you need assistance managing your maintenance and repairs calendar, reviewing and making changes to your community budget, or juggling all of the above tasks and then some, HSVE has a community association management VE for you. Find the virtual assistant that’s right for you with a free 30-min consultation

Virtual employees add diversity of experience and perspective to your team.

Many business owners hire consultants, coaches, advisors to help them see things in a different way, to get a different perspective from a trusted source.

It’s especially common in real estate and commission sales-type businesses where outreach and messaging are critical to success.

There is value in bringing in not only an extra pair of eyes but an objective outsider point of view that isn’t bogged down by too many details.

The outsider holds a valuable perspective simply by being an outsider.

When you’re so caught up in your business, knowing all the problems, all the details – you might be missing the forest for the trees.

Consultants and coaches and advisors are usually pretty expensive – especially the ones with good reputations.

So, you might not be ready to pay for that kind of outside analysis and support.

There’s another way to get a fresh take on your business from people who are already on your payroll and care about your success.

Yes, I’m talking about your employees and in this case specifically HireSmart Virtual Employees.

Virtual employees have an outsider perspective that can be valuable if they’re encouraged to express their ideas and insights.

They’re an excellent way to diversify your team.

Diversity is a term that gets thrown around a lot.

Where I’m coming from, it’s not about showing that you have a diverse staff, so people think you have enlightened business ethics.

Diversity is valuable in business because fresh ideas, new ways of understanding, and creative approaches are born from being able to see things in different ways.

When your staff is diverse, you can benefit from a diversity of experience, cultural values, styles of education – even different ways of thinking.

HireSmart Virtual Employees are known for their high quality and low labor cost value.

They also have value because they bring their own unique cultural approach to business, work and life.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of highly skilled, dependable and motivated virtual employees who can also see your business from a fresh perspective, click here for a free consultation.

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.

If you’re looking for a staffing company that knows how to maximize productivity from virtual employees, click here for a free consultation.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Will Rogers

If you’re a new virtual employee starting a new job, you should absolutely be concerned about making a great first impression.

Guess what? That’s also true for the employer.

You want your new hire to respect and admire your team, your business culture and all the products and services that make up your business.

A well planned and comprehensive onboarding process is the key to start building a positive relationship with your new hire.

The onboarding process is an important factor in how long new employees ultimately stay with your business.

According to an Indeed survey –

In jobs where people left within the first six months, almost 4 out of 10 said a more effective onboarding process could have helped them stay longer.

That’s why getting your onboarding process right is so important.

Being willing “to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” is really a quote about empathy.

But it’s also a great way to visualize what your new virtual employee will need to get from your onboarding process.

At Hiresmart Virtual Employees, we recommend you put yourself in the position of your new hire when planning your remote onboarding process.

Now think about all the things that would make you feel comfortable and successful working with yourself, your team and your business.

You’d probably be a little nervous your first day and first week. So, it’s important to make new hires feel comfortable and welcome.


One of the significant changes due to the pandemic is we’re all much more comfortable meeting new people virtually and working remotely.

Online classes are basically taking over higher education, and zoom meetings are now totally normal.

That might be why you’re considering hiring a virtual employee. You may have already seen how easy it is to work with remote staff.

At Hiresmart Virtual Employees, we were in the remote work game long before the pandemic. And we’ve helped hundreds of clients successfully onboard virtual employees.

We’ll be happy to help you, too, whether you’re looking to hire your first virtual employee or you’re coming back for more. Schedule here for a free consultation

As a fellow business owner, I’m sure you’ll appreciate this one.

I was feeling indulgent the other day and couldn’t help popping into my favorite ice cream store as I was driving by.

Okay, maybe I wasn’t driving by, but I was in the neighborhood.

There were no other customers, just four employees and here’s the thing – they were all standing around chatting. In other words, not working.

My business antennae started freaking out. I mean, I almost lost my appetite (not quite).

I don’t really blame the employees – this was clearly a management issue.

I guess there was no manager on duty, or maybe I just walked in when they were taking a short break. Who knows?

They were all sweet and polite and I got my ice cream treat and went on my way.

But it got me thinking about one of the questions new clients ask most often – how do I make sure my virtual employees are using their time productively?

It’s a legitimate question and deserves a thoughtful answer. Fortunately, over the years, we’ve given this quite a bit of thought at Hiresmart Virtual Employees.

There are a couple parts to this question, the way I see it. First and most basic, there’s the minimum effort principle and it’s pretty simple.

There’s a minimum amount of effort that all employees have to give in order to keep their jobs. They have to show up, meet deadlines, and perform given tasks adequately.

No one will keep an employee around who doesn’t meet these basic requirements.

The trickier part of the question is how to create a system where employees are challenged so they’re working at a high level, not only accomplishing their tasks, but learning, growing and becoming more efficient.

With a system like this in place, employees become more valuable and more productive. They put themselves in position to advance and your business in a position to succeed.

Now I can’t teach you a management system in the space of an email. Hundreds of entire books have been written on the subject.

But, at Hiresmart Virtual Employees , we do spend lots of time coaching our clients on how to build this type of management system.

So, I’ll give you a few pointers:

Making sure our clients get the best work from their virtual employees is something we take very seriously at HireSmart Virtual Employees. It’s an essential part of our repeat business.

Maybe that’s been the sticking point keeping you from hiring a virtual employee? If that’s the case you should click here and set up a free consultation.

We’ll be happy to address your concerns and match you up with one of our hard working, experienced virtual employees.

Many millions of people are now singing the praises of remote work since the pandemic disrupted our work patterns.

I’ve been working and managing staff remotely for over eight years now, which makes me something of a veteran.

At this point, there aren’t many people criticizing remote work for being unproductive, or difficult to manage like there used to be.

You can see it’s the next wave of workplace evolution, the freedom to work from anywhere there’s a strong internet connection and mobile phone service.

So, you’re familiar with remote work and those of you with a few more years under your belts know how to do it well.

That’s why I want to pass on some tips and tricks of the trade, especially for those of you who are new to managing employees remotely. At the end of the day, like most things in life, it comes down to clear and effective communication.

There are four aspects of communication that will help you connect to and manage your staff remotely.

Be Clear:

Be Curious:

Be Consistent:

Be Transparent:

By the way, communicating like this is helpful with every relationship, not just for managing staff.

Especially with virtual employees, good clear communication skills are vital. That’s why we train our virtual employees for 40 hours, much of that time focused on listening and communication skills – so they can meet you halfway.

Are you looking to build a team of remote employees, or to add in a remote assistant?

Do you want to work with a staffing company with expertise and proven success in managing remote employees?

If so, you are invited to book a free consultation here.

Reward based compensation is just a fancy name for a bonus. Bonuses are good, we all love bonuses. That is, we all love getting a bonus.

As entrepreneurs and managers working with tight budgets and increasing payroll costs, adding to those expenses with employee bonuses may seem like not a great idea. In that case, don’t think of it as an expense – consider it an investment.

We’ve talked a lot about the cost of replacing good workers and the benefits to keeping them for a long time. I’m telling you, as a staffing expert, it’s never been harder to attract quality staff for reasonable salaries.

That’s why the idea of employee retention is top of mind for all the business experts and consultants. They’ll charge you big bucks for what I’m going to tell you right here in this email.

Giving bonuses as a reward for excellent work will keep your employees coming back for more. This is so important for workers who can’t move up in your organization, who may feel like they have no room for growth.

As usual, I learned this one the hard way. Many years ago, before I knew about the power of reward based compensation, I lost a great employee.

She’d been with me for five years, everything seemed fine, the business was humming along and then one day she came in and gave me her two week notice.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but this was also before I knew about the value of the weekly check-in.

What got to me, though, was that she left for basically the same job with a similar salary at a different company. There was only one difference. . .

You guessed it – bonuses.

She knew, as an office manager, there were no advancement opportunities in either business, but my competitor gave her a performance based bonus incentive plan and that sealed the deal.

At HireSmart Virtual Employees, we want you to have every advantage when it comes to keeping your workers happy and productive for the long term. That’s why we advise you to use bonuses to spice up your compensation package and keep your staff motivated.

Here are some tips when you’re thinking about creating a bonus program.

Increasing payroll one or two percent is a big deal. But the bang for your buck on that investment in your staff will save you big time by keeping employees long term.

At HireSmart Virtual Employees we know that sometimes you have to spend a little to save a lot. In fact, we save our customers an average of $26, 770 per year on labor cost for each employee.

We recommend you put some of that savings into an employee bonus program and the rest in your bank account.

Are you looking for ways to build a strong team that sticks around a long time while saving you a lot on payroll? Then you’ll be happy to know that’s our specialty. You can book a free consultation here for creative staffing solutions.


Churning is great when it comes to making butter or delicious ice cream, but when it comes to staffing, the less churn the better.

Once we’ve set you up with some excellent staff from HireSmart Virtual Employees, you want your churn rate to resemble a peaceful, placid mountain lake, not a choppy whitecapped rushing river.

Your competitive advantage with low and slow churn can be substantial. While your competitors spend time and money finding, training, and replacing staff, you and your staff are moving forward as a team towards your goals.

As a staffing company, we know exactly how much replacing an employee costs in time and money. And just like “nothing succeeds like success”, it’s also true that staff turnover leads to more staff turnover.

Whether you’re selling a product or a service, the bottom line to success runs through your employees.

According to a Gallup workplace analysis, fifty-two percent of existing employees say that their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job.

And only about a third of former employees said they had a conversation with their manager about leaving before they quit.

Employees leave jobs for all kinds of reasons, many of them out of your control. But what if a simple conversation is all it takes to keep people happily working for you?

The power of a weekly check-in is undeniable. Especially with virtual employees, there is no better way for you to address problems and co-create solutions.

Making the time and space for staff to talk about how things are going at work, to identify frustrations, or just vent about personal issues, will keep you in the know about the challenges they face.

Awareness of the issues or problems is churn prevention.

There are many ways to get your churn rate lower and slower and they are all variations on a single theme.  J.W. Marriott says it like this–

“If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself.”

Are you facing the turbulence of churn in your business and want to get a handle on it?

We’ve supported companies through churn – and saved them from being burned. We know how to help you through this process.

If you’re going through heavy staff turnover, or can’t get your team to click, our expertise will help. Book a free consultation here and we’ll guide you out of the churn and into the calm comfort of productive long-term employees.

Two minutes into a consulting call with a client and she shared this scenario with me:

Miranda, one of her hardest-working employees, was showing all the classic symptoms. She was late to work twice that week, which was unusual.

Also, she was making little mistakes like forgetting to add items to our calendar and basic spelling errors.

This is an employee who was known for her impeccable organization and now she seemed hopelessly scattered. My client and she have worked together for years, so she was honest when asked “what was going on?”.

“I’m just trying to get through the day,” she said, “That’s all the energy I have.” It was obvious even from a continent away – Miranda was experiencing burnout.

It wasn’t a cause for panic, but it worried my client, and it should worry you as well. Burnout is one of the major causes of turnover.  Your organization is feeling it and you are too more than likely.

These are the crucial moments in an employer/employee relationship that require a thoughtful and human response.

In these moments, with the appropriate response, you can help your employee weather a burnout blizzard.

Why does burnout happen?

I’ve been around the block a few times, so I know that burnout is pretty common. A recent Gallup study determined that about two-thirds of all employees feel some level of burnout at work.

It’s important to know what causes burnout so you can help your staff deal with it.

Some of the causes of burnout, according to the Mayo Clinic are:

Fortunately, burnout can be addressed successfully and can even lead to a more productive working relationship when handled properly.

At HireSmart Virtual Employees we reduce burnout by focusing on the causes.

Burnout is real and so are the potential consequences for yourself, your business and your employees.

Sometimes your answer is as simple as a new team member, someone to help lighten the load. Because our Virtual Employees cost 50-75% less, you can afford to hire additional people to lighten the load without adding excessive payroll overload.

Are you seeing signs of burnout in your staff? If so, it may be time to look at your staffing needs to keep that burnout at bay.

If you’d like to learn how HireSmart Virtual Employees can help your business with staffing solutions to manage burnout, click here to book a free consultation.

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