Do you review your VA's performance?

(Terri Handy) #1

There is plenty of chat around VA’s in our industry and there are a number of agencies who have been using them for several years now.

I am keen to learn if anyone has a process in place to monitor or review the contribution their VA has to the team.

The reason I ask, is I recently went into an office where they had been utilising a VA for a couple of years. They were quite proud that they were “early adopters” and the business owner was certain the team could not live without their VA. However, after a small amount of investigation, it was obvious that the VA was not performing at the level she needed to and in fact, over the past two years, the team had started to remove tasks from her or adjusted how they did things to accommodate her inadequacies. But nobody said anything.

The good news is, once we introduced some accountability and transparency around her tasks, the VA decided to move on - just like a normal employee who doesn’t enjoy accountability. We now have someone in place who is really zinging along, the team is so much happier and they are smashing through their tasks.

An underperforming team member causes so much pressure on everyone, regardless of where they sit.

Has anyone else had this experience?

(Adam Hooley) #2

Interesting @terrihandy I have found in the past that many of these types of team members don’t mind accountability but then get used to not being accountable, as processes are not defined and reviews are not being done. They then get dishearted when people change things, think they are being monitored in preparation for separation and jump ship. Do you think that the office may have been to blame here? If this VA was structured correctly to start with, would this problem of surfaced or do you think that it was definitely the VA that wasn’t suitable?

(Terri Handy) #3

Hi @adam

The office is definitely to blame here. They started off with good structure, however it dwindled away as they accommodated her deficiencies, rather than holding her accountable for her performance. The VA was not suitable and this should have been addressed much earlier on in the relationship. Tolerating a mediocre performance by any team member negatively impacts everyone else, regardless of where they sit.

(Adam Hooley) #4

@terrihandy That’s great! It also sounds like your endorsing the same approach with VA’s as you are with onshore team members. There is a need to documented systems and review processes so each team member can be monitored and exited from the business quickly if they are not suitable, or the reverse, be given the opportunity to take on more responsibility if capable. I think your approach is great. There isn’t a separate process for VA’s, they are just another team member.

(Kelly Amas) #5

From our experience, accountability and clear systems are paramount. Our first VA experience was not great - we share the blame on that one. We changed our supplier and our next experience has been completely the opposite. This time I spent about 6-7 weeks putting the blueprints together with the VA/Company before going live with the team and this made for a very smooth transition. We still continue to tweek our blueprints to minimise the opportunity of going off-plan, however generally speaking these along with regular VA meetings and daily/weekly reporting have resulted in a very positive result for our team.

(Adam Hooley) #6

Thanks for sharing @kelly.amas. That’s a great learning experience. A bi-product of engaging a VA is that each business is made to sit down and define their processes or the wheel will fall off.

(Kelly Amas) #7

Absolutely @adam. This time we integrated our systems into the VA’s procedures, so they are following the same system/process as anyone else here. The first time we didn’t take enough control of making sure that happened - was a rookie error on our behalf.

(Colleen Sutherland) #8

Good point. That makes perfect sense

(Sarah Martin) #9

I think its really easy for VAs to slip into bad habbits, mainly because they obviously arent at the office. Ours use a system called hubstaff that allows us to monitor what they are doing and how long they spend on each task.
We also use Trello and have random spot checks on what they are doing to make sure its all done correctly.
I find the VAs are very welcoming to spot checks and appreicate it unlike prehaps our onshore team members haha!

(Ashley Giles) #10

your VA’s get lunch? Man… your way too nice! Haha…