Communicate Openly and Frequently
If your virtual assistants work at home, or in a different city or even country, it can be difficult to maintain communication. However, open and frequent communication is integral to maintaining a good work relationship and to keeping your virtual assistants satisfied. Try to organize a weekly chat over Skype or the telephone. Speaking one on one will allow your assistant to ask questions and voice concerns, while at the same time feeling appreciated as an employee. Regular email updates and summaries will help your virtual assistants feel that they are being kept in the loop. Additionally, keeping in contact over the phone or Skype can help you avoid confusion or miscommunication when it comes to deadlines. Communicating often and showing that you appreciate your employee along the way will keep them satisfied.
Don't Expect Work Out of Regular Office Hours
Just because you assign a task after midnight doesn't mean you can expect your virtual assistant to also be working on your business out of regular office hours. Keep in mind that your virtual assistants might have different timing and scheduling from you. Expecting work to be returned by the end of the business day is reasonable; expecting work two hours after you sent it on a Friday night is not.
Assigns New Work and New Projects
In order to keep your virtual assistant motivated, make sure you keep at least two days' worth of work in the system. This way if you're away from the Internet for a while, your assistant will still be able to work. Having a surplus of work is also a good idea in case your assistant completes tasks faster than you had anticipated. In addition to supplying your virtual assistant with enough work, try to change the projects. Providing your assistants with new work provides them with new challenges. The same work will become mundane, whereas new work provides new challenges that will keep your assistants motivated and willing to work for your business.
These three tips to keeping your virtual assistants happy and motivated are all extremely low cost and simple to maintain. Frequent and open communication is integral, especially when you're not seeing employees in an office every day. Being reasonable is also a necessity; if you are impeding on your employees' family or free time, they will not remain satisfied for long. Finally, challenge your employees and don't underestimate them. Providing them with new tasks and challenges will keep them on board with your business.