Best Practices For Training Your VA

Here are some best practices to training your virtual team members


Be specific.  Before hiring your virtual assistant, have a thorough understanding of what you want them to do.  The more ambiguous you are the less chance of success.  The more specific and detailed your job requirements the easier it will be to train the virtual assistant.


Train Daily  It is important to spend a lot of time with your new virtual assistant when they first start.  How much time and how long truly depends on the depth of the job role required.  For example, if you are hiring a virtual assistant to turn on and off utilities that may take two weeks at 1 hour per day for training.  However, a maintenance coordinator may take two months at 2 hours per day for training.  By spending a lot of time on the front end and training them properly will reduce mistakes, escalations, stress and refunds.


Record the training.  Train using zoom or some other video-conferencing application that allows you to record.  Record the training, have the team rewatch the video later that day, prior to the next training session.  Add the training into a video library like YouTube for future reference.  Be sure to title and tag the training appropriately so it can be searched for and found easily.


Keep the training two hours or less.  People have a hard time retaining information after two hours.  Keep the training shorter and more frequently.  If you can, train the new team member daily.


Start from the beginning each time.  It is recommended that prior to training, you build a process flow in Visio or LucidChart.  Use the process flow to train the team.  Start from the beginning each day you train.  It may take two hours on the first day.  On the second day, instead of asking the team what they learned from day one or doing a quick overview, go through day one training from the beginning.  This time it may take 40 minutes before you move on to new material.  The idea behind this method is based on a study that people have to hear something seven times before they retain it.  This allows the team member to hear the training numerous times.  They start to ask better questions after a few days of hearing the training and you will find that your process may have a few blind spots.  While you are training you may realize that you do not have a policy that is necessary, a report that is needed or a field that needs to be created.  Training this way will increase your training time but it will also increase retention and will reduce mistakes and escalations.    This method of training will also make your process more efficient.

Have them build and upkeep the manual.  Most of us do not have training manuals, videos and training systems for our new onboarded team members.  This is nice to have but is not a requirement.  As you go through your training with your virtual assistant, have them build the training systems including manuals, exams and videos.  They will learn more from documenting than they will from just reading a manual.  Because they are building their own manual, they will retain more information and know how to navigate the manual.

What's Next?  Once training is complete have the team member escalate all instances for a short time and have them inform you on what they would do.  Over time, they will escalate less and less.  After about 90 days you will see that about 10 percent of instances will get escalated and 90% will get solved by the team member.  


Meet with the team members weekly and review the weekly agenda with them.