- Set clear goals from the start: Your team should know exactly what you want to be accomplished, the time frame, and the programs or processes you prefer for completing it. Make sure they have access to everything they’ll need, and clear instructions they can refer back to from the beginning to avoid possible delays.
- Establish clear communication channels: Set up a main point of contact so the virtual team knows who to go to with questions or issues. Also, use the right medium for the situation. Questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” are fine for text or chat. Lengthy information that might need to be referred back to is best sent over email. And, any explanation or answers that might have follow-up questions are best done over phone or video chat. If a process is more detailed and difficult, consider screen sharing over video chat to walk through the process together.
- Set best practices and quality standards from the beginning by providing feedback: Affirming that the work is done correctly will let the virtual team know to repeat the performance. Giving specifics on any changes that need to be made will increase the odds of fixing the problem the first time. Letting the virtual assistant know if you prefer daily updates, or communication in the afternoons only, or the use of a shared task management system will help them understand the way you like to work. The more feedback you give in all areas of the working relationship, the better your chances of success.