In an Aberdeen Group study, 86% of senior executives and HR professionals agreed that the first six months are crucial for employee retention. Of those who left within this timeframe, 23% mentioned unclear guidelines, 21% desired better training, and 17% wished for supportive colleagues.
With this in mind, it’s clear that a proper onboarding process is crucial for retaining new hires. To help ensure the success of onboarding your new VA, we’ve put together six tips for you to follow:
Document your processes
Prepare a document outlining the processes for your VA to take over. Having a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will provide your VA with a reference for guidance or clarification on their job.
To make sure your VA has all the information they need, include the following details in your SOP:
- A clear and descriptive title for each procedure
- Explanation of the project and its objective
- Step-by-step instructions for each task
- Turnaround timelines for completing each task
Regular check-ins can help build a relationship and provide an opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions. The frequency and format of these check-ins should be agreed upon in advance and should be convenient for you and your VA.
Here are some examples of what you should do during the meeting:
- Check-in on their progress.
- Show appreciation for their work and acknowledge their contribution.
- End with positive and motivational words.
It’s important to introduce your new virtual assistant (VA) to the team just like you would in an office-based setup. Getting to know each other can create a positive environment and prevent your VA from feeling lonely. Plus, allowing your VA to greet and communicate with coworkers is a great way to improve collaboration.
Setting clear expectations
To ensure your virtual assistant (VA) performs well, set clear expectations and delivery standards. Implement a performance tracking system and provide regular feedback to stay on track, identify strengths, and address areas needing support or guidance.
Some examples of performance management systems include:
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs),
- Personal Development Plans (PDPs), and
- Reward and Recognition Programs.
Start quickly but start small
It’s important to start with tasks that are easy to handle. This will give them the chance to get comfortable with their role and build their confidence in their abilities. Be gentle when you’re delegating tasks to your VA. Once they have a good understanding of how you work and are ready to take on more, you can gradually give them more responsibilities.
Establishing a mentor or a buddy
Consider pairing them with a seasoned team member as a mentor buddy. This is a great way to offer extra support and advice to ensure a smooth transition for your VA, while also helping them adjust to their role.
Having a mentor buddy shows your commitment as a leader to assist your VA in their new position. Remember that transitions can be challenging, but having someone to share challenges with and who understands struggles can make the process much easier.