It's important to define what your expectations are from your employees, what their roles are and what succeeding with your team means to you. This is the well-defined job description and a good way to start a working relationship. This description however is your expectation from the employee when you hired him/her. You know what you want and what you know when your hired the employee is what you want the employee to do. It doesn't have to stop there because there could be more. There is always so much more!

Reaching the potential of everything to its maximum is an important key to success. If you're running a business, ask yourself these:

1. "Are you reaching your employee's highest level of performance?

2. Or is there room for more?".

More often than not, the answer to the first question is "no" or "I doubt it", and the answer to the second question is always a "YES".

There are ways to work through reaching the highest level of performance. You could have them join trainings, webinars or have team buildings. All these may be time consuming but these are ways to find out what your employee can do well outside the job description he/she signed up for. OR you can train them yourself. Show them how you want your business ran and how you want everything else done. The question is, do you have time to train them? Unfortunately, not all business owners or employees who are doing these tasks have time to train others to do their job.

The easiest solution is to encourage them to be more proactive. But without your help, is encouraging them enough? It is NOT. If training them yourself is not an option and neither is having them attend trainings or team buildings, what can you provide?

Below are some of the key necessities a company should have in place to help their employees succeed without having to make time to train.

1. COMPANY PROCESS FLOW shows what the company does from end to end of the process. In the Real Estate world, how they start out managing buyer and seller leads to closing a transaction, buyer side only, seller side only or intermediary. The flow shows all the steps a certain transaction goes through until it closes. It may be called a summary of everything that needs to be done, not missing a step to complete a transaction. This is the company's expectations on "WHAT" needs to be done from start to end.

2. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP) show step by step process to completing one particular task. Everything that you do and complete has a standard way of completion. These procedures when prepared should be open to tweaks and changes. You should be able to update and revise when needed. An example of changes would be the "logins" typed in or the person in charge if named in the process, email addresses, the tools/software used per task if changed to another and just some twists and turns that need to be dealt with to completion of the task. The SOP is the answer to "HOW" things are done. Procedures should be in writing but having "how to" videos to support your SOPs will also do wonders in showing people how you want things done.

3. OPERATIONS MANUAL is a detailed and complete instruction guide to completion of anything and everything that goes on in a company. This is where the "HOW" things are done is shown under "WHAT" needs to be done. When you look at an operations manual, you'll see all the "Standard Operation Procedures" of each and every task completed while following the Company flow. This is in a sense a summary that incorporates the company flow and the standard operating procedures.

Summit VA Solutions prepare your Virtual Assistants to be proactive. They are taught the end to end of Real Estate so aside from the initial job description or expectations you give us, there are a number of other things your VA can do for you and your team. We have a support team to guide, train and help them understand new tasks.

In the world of a Summit VA:

  • Knowing what your company expectations are, the boundaries and how everything on the flow is expected to be done will help you maximize the Virtual Assistant's potential and level of performance.
  • Knowing where their tasks are in the process flow, where it came from and where it goes next will give them the confidence to go one or two steps ahead to give you what you need before you can even ask for it or give you what you need even before realizing what you need.

For an incoming VA, learning systems and processes that are already in place is one of the priorities during transition. A smart and goal driven employee like a Summit VA would want to know how you do business. Your VA would like to learn how all the pieces work together so he knows how to better serve you and the people you work with. His/her first question will be, "Do they have a company flow or operations manual?". These are keys for the VA to find more to do, be confident to step in when help is needed, find ways to improve processes, get to know your team and create better ways to be of assistance.

Running a successful business is all about being organized in your systems and procedures. Your Summit Virtual Assistant is ready to succeed and grow with you but are you? NO? Then help us help you!

Task your Virtual Assistant to create the flow, the SOPs and the Operations Manual. You will be more organized, you will not just avoid wasting time but save time in the process, you will maximize employee performance and reach highest level of service provided. It will help you, your team and your VA succeed!

About the author:
Bernadette Canero holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering. She is one of the founders and owners of Summit VA Solutions. Ms Canero is Summit's VP of Operations and Virtual Assistant trainer.