Getting started with your VA – Part 2

Successful delegation is at the very heart of building an effective and rewarding relationship with your virtual assistant.  It is critical to smarter business and it can take practice and commitment to get it right.

Part 1 of this guide outlined some exercises to identify what tasks to delegate and here in Part 2 we’ll cover how to delegate them effectively.  The aim here is to help you get off to a really great start with your VA and make the whole process easier.

Here are my five top tips for effective delegation:

1. Choose the right VA

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it is vital that your VA is competent in the tasks you want them to perform and that you trust them to perform them well.  If you have no faith in your VA’s capabilities then you will never feel comfortable handing over important tasks.  Most business grade VAs offer free discovery calls before signing up so take advantage and use that time to find out about their skills and expertise. Use the time to find out whether you will feel comfortable trusting them with your task list.   You can book a free call with Aurora VEA here!

2. Define your tasks clearly and set deadlines

Clear communication is key to effective delegation.  If you completed Part 1 of this guide you should have a clearly defined list of tasks to delegate. Now it’s time to refine that list a little.  Define your parameters and outline your expectations and goals.  If your VA doesn’t have a clear brief to work from then it will be impossible for them to fill your shoes.  Over time your VA will come to know the way you work and will be able to predict your goals and expectations – but at the beginning the onus is on you to be clear about what you want doing and how you want it done.  Invest a little time with your VA to document your style and standards.  

For tasks which are time-sensitive you need to be clear about your deadlines.  If you want regular updates and progress reports then let your VA know.  It’s also worth pointing out here that you should set reasonable deadlines.  Not every task needs to be done ASAP. By providing reasonable deadlines for less urgent work your VA will be able to prioritise truly urgent work far better.

3. Communicate clearly and regularly

The more you communicate with your VA, the better the benefits you will reap from your VA investment.  After the initial period of training and setting your expectations, be sure to keep the lines of communication open.  The more your VA gets to know you and your business, the more they will be able to anticipate your needs and provide a truly exceptional level of service.

If there are changes to a project schedule or scope then remember keep your VA updated. You need to keep them in the loop to maximise their effectiveness and also to avoid potentially wasted time.  If your priorities are shifting, then so must theirs.

Feedback is vital – your VA needs to know if they’re not meeting the mark and equally, they need to know if they are.  Constructive feedback will allow your VA to make any necessary adjustments to their work and make improvements.

Lastly, communication is two way.  Your VA has their own unique skills and they will undoubtedly have some ideas on how to improve your business processes and enhance productivity.  Don’t hesitate to ask for their tips and advice!

4. Avoid micromanagement

If delegation is new to you then it’s easy to fall into the trap of “half-delegation”.  That is, where you assign a task and then micromanage it every step of the way.  That isn’t delegation and it defeats the purpose completely.  Not only will it eat up time that could be spent more productively, but it will also stress out your VA unnecessarily.  To avoid micromanagement, make the time investment at the outset to ensure you train your VA properly. You could even shadow them while they perform a task for the first time. Once you are satisfied that they are capable and competent, take a step back and leave them to it.   Agree on a method and schedule of updates so you can stay in the loop, and then redirect your focus elsewhere. Let your VA do the job that you have hired them to do and reap the rewards!

5. Choose the right digital toolbox

Your VA should know all the tricks of the trade to make a virtual workplace run smoothly.  Choosing the right digital toolbox is something they can help you with if you aren’t already set up to work this way.  Choosing the right task management and digital collaboration tools is essential for running a virtual team.

For more information on Aurora VEA’s recommended digital toolset, subscribe to our newsletter here and watch this space as we have a series of blogs and reviews coming soon as well as a free guide with all our preferred software tools.

If you keep the tips above in mind, the only thing left for you to do is RELAX. Have faith in your VA and enjoy your new found freedom.   At Aurora VEA we are uniquely skilled in executive level support, administration and business operations management.  By partnering with us, you can make sure more of your focus is directed towards the tasks that you are uniquely skilled at.

Ready to get started? Book a call or contact us today!