Adequate training helps to make your daily operations run smoothly with distant assistants (DA). It gives DAs a boost in their work and ensures that they understand what is expected of them. This distant assistant training guide hopes to empower business owners like you.
Make no mistake, we want your business to grow and turn a profit. Distant assistants help you reach those goals through the Internet. They go through a rigorous vetting process that checks their job eligibility.
Still, the actual work requires more than their qualifications. We have seen business owners struggle because of the lack of direction on how to make it work with their DAs. We also experienced the same challenges in the beginning.
Growth has never been a comfortable phase of action. Nothing is final and, for the ambitious leader, it is a continuous pursuit of learning.
Here are 5 areas to train your distant assistants:
1. Train for the Job Role
Distant assistants have different areas of specialization. The rule of thumb is to hire one DA per job role. This allows them to focus on their “zone of genius” and to shine at what they do best.
Walk them through your business after onboarding. The first few weeks are good opportunities for you to introduce them to what you do and expect to accomplish. Give them a clear directive either through workflows or assignment instructions.
- What are the job role specifics?
- What are the responsibilities and the tasks involved?
- How are the tasks usually performed or completed?
Providing clarity of expectations is very crucial. You can tell DAs that you expect them to complete project ABC but you can end up receiving a different output if you don’t tell them how it should be done.
DAs are also human beings that are susceptible to mistakes and stress. Avoid becoming the biggest roadblock. Show them the ropes and train them for what their job in your business requires.
2. Train for Communication
Communication boosts productivity in the workplace. Researches have been conducted to attest to its value. Still, nothing is more important than establishing protocols and deciding the best way to communicate with one another.
- What is the best way to communicate with your DA?
- What communication tools or software should you use?
- How often should you meet through conference calls?
distant assistants depend on clients for leadership. They look up to you for guidance on the expected output. The ideal form of communication is consistent and helps to keep both parties updated.
Email and instant messaging are two ways. Nowadays, there are also project management tools, such as Basecamp, that provide direct messaging services. A popular alternative is the use of social communication software, such as Skype.
Talk with your distant assistants to decide on the best means and how often you should communicate.
3. Train for Culture
Company culture is more than words on paper. It informs every decision, action and reaction in the workplace — as we emphasize in our podcast. How you develop and foster it can also be the reason why people quit.
- What is your business’ mission, vision and values?
- What kind of workplace environment do you wish to create?
- How can you get your DA to buy into your business?
Virtual workplaces operate with high levels of trust. You trust distant assistants to work for you, and they trust that you also treat them professionally in return. It works like any other workplace.
Your company culture makes a ton of difference. It leaves an impact on DAs and the work that they do. At the end of the day, according to leadership expert Dan Rockwell, people want to fulfill jobs with people that they like.
Consider your core values and determine how to relay them to your DAs. Mistakes could be inevitable in the process. It takes time and patience to establish a winning culture, but it is worth the effort for the long run.
4. Train for Growth
Every business has its own success DNA. The things that work for others do not necessarily work for you. According to strategist Mark Monchek, you co-create it with your team.
Together, you develop a culture that is founded on your core values. This culture also empowers everybody in your team to contribute toward success.
- What does your company culture look like?
- What areas in your business do you need to improve?
- In what ways can your distant assistants contribute?
“Great strategy evolves from culture,” said Mark. Growth is possible when you align your work with what matters to you as a team. You will become more aware of your performance and be able to identify where you are falling behind.
Assess your culture and how your business is growing with your distant assistants. Your company’s strength is only as strong as the people behind it.
5. Train for Security
The Internet is an abundant resource for communicating and collaborating with your distant assistants. There are project management software, passwords managers, cloud storage, websites, among others that you can use.
- What security protocols are you implementing?
- What security software and tools are you using?
- Do your distant assistants know what to do IFTTT?
“Data security, protecting information and respecting people’s data has to be set from the top,” said Marc Groman, former White House Senior Advisor for Privacy. You establish the system even before you start your business.
When your distant assistants come onboard, inform them about your security settings. Instruct them also of which software they can use and what protocols to apply.
It will be helpful to let them know what they can do if something unexpected comes up. Guide them with “if this, then that” (IFTTT) scenarios in advance.
Growing your business with distant assistants does not stop at hiring the right person. You need to train and guide them into following your established systems and protocols. Otherwise, they get stuck at work like any other employee.
Walk them through your business during the first few months. Train them in the key areas they need to know and give them time to adjust with the demands of the job.
Slowly, they will be able to adapt to your business environment and grow with you in the process. Together, you achieve the kind of life balance that the two of you desire.
Looking to hire a distant assistant? Get started with a free consultation at Bottleneck distant Assistants.