With Great Power: The Virtual Assistant Story

As the late great legend, Stan Lee, once penned back in 1962, “With great power, there must also come – great responsibility.” This is true of all great heroes & heroines, but here, in reality, it is also true. As an employer, you have a great responsibility to your vision, goals, and especially your employees. Without you, they would not have a job or be able to feed their families. You now have a great responsibility to get them trained, familiar & comfortable with their new workflow, up to speed, and set them up for success. This goes for local employees working in your office as well as your virtual staff members.

We’ve noticed a slight trend this year among entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses. They’re excited to hire a virtual assistant, happily start the resume/interview process, find someone perfect to hire, and then after only a week or two let them go for poor work quality, miscommunications, or not learning fast enough. With the help of some superheroes, we’ll tell the tale of the newly hired virtual assistant and their Employer, let’s call her Captain Courageous.

Spider-Man Training
New virtual assistants are a bit like young Spider-Man. They’re entering a world they’re not familiar with and need training. Training is a part of any new position. Even if you’re a genius, there are things to get accustomed to and learn because every company, manager, and boss are different. Training takes time with any new employee, sometimes months. When working with a new virtual assistant it’s important to be patient while training. Positive encouragement is important. Becoming impatient and ununderstanding only pushes away their work ethic and interest in working with you. It’s best to grow a role focusing on their strengths and skills.

Hulk Communication
The Hulk does not communicate beyond a word or two but his alter ego, Dr. Banner is a genius and very articulate. Communication is key with virtual assistants. Not only might there be a language barrier but there might also be a cultural barrier. Become familiar with your virtual staff member, get to know them as a human and understand their culture. Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. are all free and available anytime for quick catchups, calls, meetings, and screen shares. Make certain to be very clear, specific, and professional in all communications.

Thor Workflow
Thor is the ultimate. He’s a God, but he didn’t start that way, he’s over 1000 years old. Remember that when you begin working with your virtual assistant. Begin with one task at a time and manage each task so your assistant begins to understand how your company runs and what type of workflow is expected. Another excellent way to aide your virtual staff’s learning process is to include them on team meetings. These are essential to creating a team and rapport with one another. Motivation, praise, and advice from fellow team members will do wonders for any employee. Delegate tasks accordingly as to not overwhelm your virtual assistant. They might say they understand but ask in several different ways to make sure. That can save both of you lots of time. Before you know it, your virtual assistant will be lightning fast, leading the way, and exceeding your expectations.

Whichever role you hired your virtual assistant to help you with, make sure you give them a chance to learn and process everything. New jobs can be nerve-racking, especially if your employer is in another country. Be patient, use clear & constant communication, and take advantage of the free global platforms that allow the sharing of ideas, documents, and programs. Use your “great power” for great managerial responsibility. Excelsior!

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