How to Give Feedback to a Virtual Assistant
Feedback is one of the most important steps to take when delegating your work to someone. It is crucial to building a good working relationship with your virtual assistant and ensuring great communication.
Criticism wrapped in praise can be very tricky and we, as people, tend to focus only on the negative. This can in turn affect your overall communication with your virtual assistant.
The best way to impact your VA’s work is by organized, well-timed and well-worded feedback that will motivate them to do even better work in the future.
Give Feedback Whilst Working
• Tell them every single thing that is wrong at once at the end of the project. It will make them feel like they are back in school and had just failed a test. The relationship you have with them shouldn’t feel like this, after all, you are teammates working together towards the same goal of a successful business
• Practice ongoing feedback. A good VA won’t need much handholding but giving them praise for what they have done well and clear instruction on what you would like changing works well. A word of encouragement when you see them going the extra mile or a quick fix when there might be some miscommunication will deal with the minor inconveniences before they turn into a big waste of time.
• While ongoing feedback is a good thing, try to refrain from checking everything they do. Try not to send an email every day wondering where they are at with work.
• Try not to make them write numerous reports as it takes away the time they could be using to do the work that needs to be done.
• Do remind yourself that you hired a VA to take the workload off and that they are responsible and good at time management.
Perfect the way you write
• Use a tone which is very formal and stiff, it can make your VA feel very insecure. Avoid false cheeriness, they can sense the insincerity behind it and lose their self-confidence. They will analyze every punctuation and word and it can send them into a frenzy.
• Try and mimic face-to-face communication and how you would sound in real life. Of course communicating without seeing someone is very difficult and there are no non-verbal cues to rely on, but try and be as authentic to your regular communication as possible.
Put a face to a name
• Imagine that because your virtual assistant is not sitting next to you that he or she is actually “virtual”.
• Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you are saving time by not communicating. As in any working relationship communication is the key to success.
• Communicate on a regular basis via video or voice call. There is no mistaking the tone of a spoken conversation and it is an infinitely more efficient way of dealing with nay issues. It also truly helps build confidence and a good working relationship.
Gather your thoughts before giving feedback
• Send your feedback over ten separate emails. This will make it hard for your VA to understand what they need to work on.
• Avoid giving them constant last minute task to work on. Once in a while is perfectly fine, but constant interruptions will make them dread you.
• If there are any negative feelings or frustrations don’t let them fester, come out and say it so you can work on your relationship.
• Gather notes as you review your VA’s work. This will help you streamline your thoughts and provide quality feedback which you can send over one email or deliver in a conference call. Be sure to send over a summary of your notes if you give them a call. This way they can get a clear picture of what you want them to work on.
• Set up a cutoff date for feedback if you are working on a long project. By doing this they are not anxiously awaiting your feedback which can get very prolonged.