In this article, we will explore the common reason my VA just quit and discuss strategies for addressing such unexpected disruptions
One of my virtual assistants abruptly resigned, providing no notice or explanation for her departure. I am currently responsible for managing two businesses that involve a team of over 40 virtual assistants. Over the course of 6 years, I've been overseeing these ventures, including a dedicated team for my Amazon business. Thanks to the support of virtual assistants, I've been able to run my Amazon business, investing only about 4 to 5 hours per week. The importance of having a reliable team is a relief. Ordinarily, a virtual assistant leaving the team might be a minor setback. However, I found a sense of comfort in her departure.
Having a good team is super important and having VAs quit on me is a big problem, but this time I was okay with this VA quitting. I've been asking them to give me daily updates so not only on their results but also as well what they've learned so they can improve tomorrow. The results of this VA have not been up to the standard that we wanted and I've been putting pressure on them to she said get better.
Despite the expectations for improvement under pressure, her performance failed to meet our standards. I sought regular daily updates, not focused on outcomes, but also embracing the lessons garnered for the sake of enhancement. Unfortunately, the provided updates were consistently either too irregular or lacking the depth required.
What I did in my Amazon business
Time tracking my VAs
Through a thorough examination involving time tracking and a detailed review of the sheet, we delved deeply into her tasks. What we uncovered was alarming. The sheet contained misleading information, pushing us to raise further doubts. The time tracking data revealed a clear 100% activity rate, but upon closer inspection, the screenshots depicted her toggling between two screens for extended periods, devoid of genuine work. When confronted about this, she attributed her behavior to illness, abruptly leaving a meeting, and eventually resigning not long after.
While she had been a dedicated team member who produced commendable work, it was regrettable to observe a decline in her quality, standards, and overall results as circumstances evolved. My virtual assistant might lack the skills or expertise to carry effectively out the tasks and responsibilities assigned to them.
Poor communication skills could lead to misunderstandings, missed instructions, and ultimately subpar performance. If the expectations and goals are not clear, the virtual assistant might struggle to understand what is required of them. Inadequate training and onboarding could hinder the VA's ability to perform tasks up to the desired standards. The VA's priorities and focus might not align with the overall goals and objectives of the project or team.
VA lacks motivation or enthusiasm for the tasks, their performance could suffer. Personal circumstances or external issues might be affecting the VA's performance. A lack of regular feedback and performance evaluations could prevent the VA from making necessary improvements. Insufficient tools, resources, or access to information could hinder the VA's ability to excel. If the VA is overwhelmed with tasks or struggles with time management, their work quality might decline.
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Is Hiring a VA Important?
The importance of a virtual assistant (VA) varies based on individual needs, circumstances, and goals. For many individuals and businesses, a skilled VA can offer significant benefits:
VAs can handle various tasks, freeing up your time to focus on your personal matter or other business you have.
Giving tasks to a VA can streamline operations, enhance productivity, and help you stay organized.
VAs provide flexibility, allowing you to scale your support as your workload or business grows.
Hiring a VA can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee, as you only pay for the hours worked or specific tasks completed.
VAs often possess skills that can complement your own, such as marketing and social media management.
VAs can provide expertise in various areas, helping you with tasks without needing to hire multiple specialists.
Focus on Core Activities
By delegating time-consuming tasks, you can concentrate on strategic initiatives that drive growth.
Overwhelming workloads can lead to burnout. VAs help to reduce stress and maintain a healthier work-life balance
Things to Consider When Hiring a VA
Skills and Expertise
Identify the specific skills and expertise required for the tasks. Choose a VA whose skill aligns with the tasks you want them to do. Consider the level of experience you prefer in a VA. Depending on the complexity of the tasks, you might look for someone with prior experience in your field. Strong communication skills are vital for a VA to understand your instructions, ask questions, and provide updates effectively. Look for a VA who can communicate clearly.
Determine the VA's availability and working hours. Ensure that their schedule matches the times when you need their support the most. Assess the VA's familiarity with the tools and software you use for collaboration and communication. A tech-savvy VA can adapt quickly to your workflow. Check for references or reviews from previous clients to gain insights into the VA's reliability, work quality, and professionalism.
Start with a training period
Start with a training period to evaluate the VA's performance before committing to a long-term arrangement. This allows you to assess whether they meet your expectations. If the tasks involve sensitive information, ensure that the VA follows proper data security practices and will sign an NDA.
Compare pricing models
Compare pricing models and rates to find a VA whose services fit within your budget. Remember that higher rates might correlate with higher skill levels and experience. Clearly outline the terms of the working relationship in a contract, including payment terms, tasks, expectations, and termination clauses. Consider whether the VA can adapt to your changing needs as your business grows or as tasks evolve. Determine how you will manage and provide feedback to the VA to ensure continuous improvement and alignment with your goals.
Taking these factors into account will help you make an informed decision when hiring a virtual assistant to support your business or personal tasks.
What I Learned
The learning from this, I share with you all is the fact that you need to have clear targets and hold people accountable to them also as well have tracking and the ability to investigate when there are problems if it wasn't for screen sharing or screenshots we'd never have known what was really happening and maybe we would have given the benefit of the doubt for far too long.
Now, don't let this bad experience cause you any harm or concern this is simply a situation whereby the personal situation of this year didn't work out just like it happens to all of us within our jobs and sometimes we move on and go to greener pastures.
Improve management process
Reflect on what led to the VA's departure. Use this as an opportunity to improve your management processes, communication, and working relationships. Learn from it. As challenging as it may be, adapt to the change and continue with your projects. Learn from the experience to build stronger working relationships in the future. Find a Replacement, depending on the workload, consider hiring a new VA or outsourcing the tasks to another professional.
Reflect and adapt
Reflect, learn to adapt, and then move forward. Remember that personnel changes are a natural part of any professional setting. How you handle the situation can impact the transition process and set the tone for future interactions with virtual assistants or team members.