How to Have a Rock Star VE

Anne Lackey

Ever wonder why some people have rock star virtual employees and others dump their employee after a couple of months?

With the advancement of fiber networks and technology has increased the popularity of virtual workers.  A global workforce can allow a small business to become a medium business without a significant upfront investment.  With virtual meetings on Skype, have someone halfway around the world answer your phone with VOIP and ability to exchange large files, the use of offshore virtual employees is growing exponentially.

The key to success for onboarding a virtual employee is similar to bringing on an employee.  If you are a good manager then you will have success. If you are not so good a manager then you will still have challenges, only heightened by the distance.

The key is planning.  Having the tasks defined, the schedule required and the training prepared in advance helps have your virtual employee become productive the fastest.

Make certain you allocate time early in the training process to familiarize your virtual employee with your business, who are your customers, what services or products that you provide, the geography of where you serve, how you make money, what your mission is, and your core values.  By teaching your virtual employee all of this, it will help them see into your business and understand the interrelationships of your business and become better problem solvers.

Especially when using a global workforce, they need to understand about American Culture & your business expectations as well as you need to understand theirs. Explaining how we act and think and providing them with a set of expectations or key performance indicators, allows for better understanding & communication. This is one task that HireSmarterVirtualEmployees.com assists client with to help ensure a greater success.

Plan the work that you expect your virtual employee will be doing. You will want to write up those tasks and explain how they fit onto the bigger picture of your business.  We recommend that you break them into categories based on a “to do” schedule of daily, weekly, monthly, yearly tasks.

Once you have the tasks, break them into urgency/priorities. For example, must do immediately like answer the phone, quickly like answer an email, soon like items that need to be done on the day scheduled and as soon as possible like items that can be pushed to the next day if higher priority items fill the day.  This way they can prioritize without you having to micro manage.

Next put together a calendar with when the repeating tasks need to occur. Answering the phone and responding to emails are no brainers as they are done as they occur.  But a research item or file update may be done at close of each week or close of each month.  Build a task list and then feed into the scheduling calendar for your work as well as for the virtual employee and label as such.

For each task develop a process, procedure, and training. Well run businesses have a written process for everything you need to get the job done. A virtual employee will test the strength of that process as they will follow the instructions provided. The better the detail and more complete the process, the better the result. If your virtual employee isn’t getting the results you want or need, look at the training.

These trainings are the key to delegation.  We recommend a combination of video & written documentation that your virtual employee can repeatedly use and then if there is a change of process – having them keep the procedures up to date.

HireSmarterVirtualEmployees.com uses video training extensively. Easy to produce and update, a library of the training is always available to the virtual employee with a subscription to the on-line web service.

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