Everything is going great with your business. Productivity is up. You’ve got new customers every day. Your team is amazing. It’s time to celebrate!
But what do you do when some or your team is virtual?
What happens when you have an office where a local team works, but you also have other team members dotted around the country (or world)? In today’s digital age, this is extremely commonplace. How can you, as a business owner, include your virtual assistants, virtual web developers, virtual content writers and more in your in-house celebrations?
One of the hardest things that virtual workers have to deal with is the isolation that sometimes happens when they’re working for people who have in-house teams. While it’s great to be able to work from home, virtual workers are always left out of company celebrations because they’re not there physically.
They see and hear the aftermath of festivities. Photos of an after-hours event with smiles and games. Chatter at the next meeting with inside jokes about what happened at a party.
These things hurt the morale of your virtual workers.
And when morale is low, productivity drops. Mistakes rise.
There are a couple things you can do to ensure the whole team in included in events, meetings and celebrations.
BUY LUNCH FOR EVERYONE
Let’s say you have a quarterly in-office meeting. You gather in the conference room, turn on the Polycom and video connection. You buy lunch for everyone in the office. And what do your virtual workers see? They see an employer who bought lunch for the people there, but didn’t think about the whole team. And it’s very difficult to watch a group of people gathered together, enjoying a thoughtful token of appreciation, while they sit there not feeling appreciated.
It seems like such a small thing. A boxed lunch. But it’s tells your virtual worker that he wasn’t important enough to do the same for. But you can do the same!
Prior to the meeting, why not send a gift card to each virtual worker to a sub shop so that they can pick up lunch and eat together with the team. Or have something ordered and delivered to their home office. Something that makes them feel included, even if they can’t be in-office.
HAVE AN ONLINE CELEBRATION
Maybe once or twice a year you and the in-house crew go out for drinks, or mini golf, or bowling or any other after office hours event. It’s team building, right? But why aren’t you including the rest of your team? If they contribute to the business, they need to be included in the celebration.
How do you include virtual workers in an office party?
It’s simple. Have an online party. You can play video games together online. You can even create a digital scavenger hunt, grouping some virtual and some in-house people together. Cell phones and FaceTime make it easy to connect anywhere, and they can be physically and electronically hunting down locations, images, objects, etc.
When we hire virtual workers, we really need to think outside of the (office) box and remember that they are integral parts of the team that deserve the same thanks and recognition that in-house workers get. Take the time to remember and reward your whole team, not just those who can walk into a physical office.
Are you looking for out-of-the-box ideas for company events that will include your whole team? Contact me and let me put together a party your team will never forget.
We are all consumers. And as consumers, we are all looking for the best that we can have. (At least, the best that we can have with the income that we currently have!) We want to make sure we’re eating the best food, getting the best medical care, having our children go to the best schools. And we, as business owners, want to hire the best workers for our business.
But are we really getting the best?
Decades ago, when I was just a youthful college student, I got a job working at a now-defunct warehouse club. And during my training, they talked to us about the products they were selling. They had plenty of name-brand labels, but they also had the store brand alternatives.
For most people, the best of those products was the name-brand label. Because that’s what advertising has told us is the best. Most people wouldn’t even think of buying of store brand. But the fact is, the food that was in the warehouse club’s packing was the same food that was in the name-brand that they were selling. Back at the name-brand factory, they just switch out the containers from Name Brand to Warehouse Club, and continue the filling process.
So, we don’t always know what the best is going to be. But we are definitely led to believe what the best is. And the same thing happens when you look at hiring a virtual assistant. (Pretty cool how I switched from food to virtual assistants, huh?)
If you do a search online for hiring a virtual assistant, or, let’s say we want to be more local and search hire a US virtual assistant, you are going to get a pages upon pages of companies, solo workers, and articles which all talk about the best.
We are the best for you because….
We are better than anyone else because….
We’re so great, we’re featured in….
Pick any site. You’ll see all the claims. But, let’s face it. Everyone can’t be the best. It reminds me of a quote by Syndrome from the movie The Incredibles:
“When everyone’s super, no one will be.”
So, what are you supposed to do?
My research will always start with the website. A website can tell A LOT about someone, long before you speak with them. Are there spelling errors? Are there coding/design errors? Does the website look professional to you? If you’re hiring a web designer and their website is a free Wix site - that tells you A LOT.
Another part of a website I review deeply is the “As Seen In” section. So many people say, look at us, we were in USA Today, or CBS.com. Okay - prove it. There should be a link that connects you to the article on this other site. Otherwise, we could all say, we’re so great, we were featured on the front page of the NY Times. Prove it!
I also like to check out the review or testimonial section, if available. Are there reviews? And if so, are the reviews from credible, named sources? Do they all tout this virtual assistant as the absolute best?
You deserve the best team member for your company. Not just someone that tells you they’re the best. Take the time to do your research and find the virtual assistant that works out the best for you.
If you’re wondering if Your Gal Friday is the best virtual assistant for you, please contact us here at Your Gal Friday and we’ll talk about it!
While there are probably hundreds of different tasks you’d like to offload to someone, and thousands of virtual assistants worldwide ready to help, you may want to focus your attention on just some key items at first to help you gain back some of your time. Listed below are three jobs you should definitely be contracting out to an assistant.
You are the owner of a business. You should not be answering phones, taking orders, sending invoices, troubleshooting for customers, etc. Take a look a just how much time you spend doing these tasks and ask yourself where your time could be better spent. Maybe you spend 20 hours per week on customer service issues. Think about what you could be doing to grow your business if you had those 20 hours in a week.
VAs are great at being customer service reps for your business. Once properly trained, we’re happy to keep your customers happy, answer emails, reply to questions, send out invoices, etc.
Social Media Monitoring/Posting
If you’re going to have Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts, you’re going to need to be active on them. What’s the point of having them otherwise? With over 2 billion active users on Facebook alone, having an active social media presence for your business is important. But it’s not easy to keep those accounts up.
You want to make sure you’re posting interesting things that people will share. You have to be responsive to visitor’s comments and questions. You don’t want a negative comment/question/problem to sit out there for days without a response. You want definitely need to share your products and services. And all of this can be time consuming.
A social media VA will set up a posting schedule, create and keep fresh content out there, and respond to your customers (and potential customers).
Depending on the type of business you are involved in, you might be having a lot of meetings or interviews that are recorded. (If you have a podcast, you definitely need to have transcripts available!) You absolutely must get a VA to do this transcription. An experienced one, too!
Transcripts are incredibly important for many business owners, but to do them on your own is completely unwise. Transcribing audio takes a very long time to do. On average, for one hour of audio, it can take about three hours of time to transcribe. And if you do not have the proper equipment and experience, it can take several more hours.
Hand off your transcription to someone who will turn it around quickly and accurately.
Remember, your time is valuable in growing your business. Don’t waste it doing those things that should be handed off to a virtual assistant. Free up your time to develop your products, network with others and grow your business!
If you’re ready to hire a virtual assistant, please contact us here at Your Gal Friday and we’ll talk about the best solutions for your business.
25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.