This guide is designed to help you develop a positive working relationship with a virtual assistant. Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced user, we will provide you with useful information and tips to ensure your success. If you prefer, you can download this entire post as a PDF to read later. Without delay, let’s dive into the guide.
Key Qualities to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Your Mental Health Practice
When looking for a mental health virtual assistant to help with your mental health practice, you ideally want someone who is highly skilled and easy to work with.
A mental health virtual assistant is not only capable of completing tasks you assign, but can also anticipate your needs and help your business to grow. They are committed to your success and become a vital member of your team.
Here are the qualities you should consider when looking for a mental health virtual assistant:
- Personable and friendly: Someone who is pleasant and easy to talk to can help build rapport with clients and colleagues.
- Clear communicator: The ability to convey information effectively in written and verbal communication is crucial.
- Technologically savvy: A virtual assistant should be very comfortable using various technology tools to aid in your work.
- Matched skillset: You want a virtual assistant who has skills that match the tasks you need help with.
- Good time manager: The assistant should be able to manage their time well and handle multiple tasks or projects.
- Coachable and willing to learn: A great virtual assistant should be open to feedback and be willing to improve and learn new skills.
- Able to handle confidential information: Your virtual assistant should be able to keep confidential information secure.
- Confident problem solver: A good virtual assistant should be able to identify and solve problems on their own.
- Motivated self-starter: You want someone who is motivated to take on tasks and complete them independently.
- VIP treatment for clients: Your virtual assistant should be willing to treat your clients with the utmost care and attention.
- Humble, hungry, and smart: Emotional intelligence is key, and the ability to work effectively with others while being humble, driven, and smart is important.
Other considerations include ensuring your mental health virtual assistant has access to a quiet and professional workspace, high-speed internet, a capable computer, and a smartphone. Bonus points can be earned by hiring someone located in your time zone, someone who is bilingual (if needed), has knowledge of psychology and counseling, or prior work experience in the mental health field. Specialized skills such as graphic design, marketing automation, or knowledge of QuickBooks can also be advantageous.
Three Options for Hiring a Mental Health Virtual Assistant and Quick Tips for Successful Hiring
If you’re looking for a virtual assistant to help with mental health-related tasks, there are three ways to go about it. The first option is to use a virtual assistant company, which can provide a team of VAs to manage and support your working relationship. This can be helpful in case the assigned VA is unavailable for any reason.
The second option is to use a matching company like Great Assistant to help you find the right person quickly, which can save you time. Lastly, you can do the recruiting and hiring yourself by putting out a job posting on job sites like Indeed.com or directories like the International Virtual Assistants Association.
While there are many benefits to using a VA company, a matching company or hiring a VA on your own, it’s important to carefully vet the person you hire. You should ensure that they have the necessary skills and experience to meet your needs. By taking the time to find the right virtual assistant, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your mental health practice.
Dedicated vs. Shared Virtual Assistant: Which One Is Right for Your Mental Health Practice?
Many virtual assistants work for multiple businesses, which is called a shared virtual assistant. However, if you require more support and have the budget, you can hire a dedicated virtual assistant solely for your business. It’s important to consider whether it would be more advantageous to hire someone who can work in your office locally. While hiring a local assistant comes with benefits, such as face-to-face communication and easier collaboration, it also has drawbacks, such as higher costs and a smaller talent pool.It is crucial to consider the advantages and disadvantages and choose the most suitable option for your business requirements.
Factors to Consider When Determining Virtual Assistant Rates
When it comes to hiring virtual assistants, the price you pay can differ greatly depending on where the assistant is based. For instance, you can find assistants from the Philippines for a low cost, while assistants based in the US may cost between $20 to $60 per hour, depending on their specialized skills.
It’s important to note that you often get what you pay for. While some assistants charging $18 per hour can be reasonably competent, others charging $55 per hour may be worth every penny due to their exceptional skills and experience.
In order to find the best virtual assistant for your needs, it’s recommended that you find one within your budget and start with a small task to gauge their effectiveness.
Establishing Expectations and a 90-Day Probationary Period for Working with a Virtual Assistant.
When working with a virtual assistant, it’s important to understand that the dynamic is different from having an assistant in your office. You won’t be able to just drop by and check on their progress, so it’s crucial to establish clear expectations and communicate effectively, especially in the beginning.
To ensure success when working with a VA, it’s important to be clear about the tasks you want them to complete, any information they need to complete those tasks, and when you expect the tasks to be finished. It’s also helpful to have written procedures and processes whenever possible, which can save time in the long run.
Keep in mind that working with a VA may take some time to adjust to, and it may require a temporary dip in productivity during the training process. However, putting in the effort to establish a good working relationship with your VA can be a game changer for your business.
It’s a good idea to establish a 90-day probationary period to ensure that both you and your VA are on the same page. During the first 30 days, the focus should be on establishing trust and basic communication. During the next 30 days, the focus should be on business processes and procedures, and finding ways to be more efficient using your virtual assistant. Finally, during the last 30 days, the goal is to fine-tune communication and procedures and find a new rhythm that works for both of you.
Choosing the Right Communication Channels for Working with a Virtual Assistant.
To work effectively with a virtual assistant, you need a way to communicate tasks and confirm their completion. This can be done through simple methods like email or text messages. Alternatively, you can use software specifically designed for task tracking and project management. While it is possible to work with a virtual assistant using only email, software like Zoom, which allows video chat and screen sharing, can greatly improve communication.
There are many other software options available, including To Doist for task tracking and Quip for document sharing and collaboration through online chat. Your mental health virtual assistant should be able to work with your current systems and may even be able to suggest ways to improve your collaboration and productivity. Some other popular project and task management software options include Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and AirTable.
Crafting Clear and Concise Tasks for Working with a Virtual Assistant.
When working with a virtual assistant, it’s crucial to clearly communicate the task you want them to complete and when you expect it to be finished. Here are some key ingredients to writing a well-crafted task:
- Start with a single-step verb.
- Include important details in the task.
- Use simple language.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Specify a due date and the amount of time allowed to complete the task.
For example, instead of saying “Improve referral tracking spreadsheet,” you could say “Add phone number and referral source columns to referral tracking spreadsheet by Wednesday.” This provides more clarity and direction for the virtual assistant.
For more information on writing clear tasks, you can check out the website Clever Checklist. Remember, the more clearly a task is written, the clearer the vision and intention behind it.
Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Virtual Collaboration with Your Virtual Assistant
To enhance your teamwork and productivity, it’s essential to utilize technology to its fullest potential. The specific technology tools you need to utilize will depend on the type of tasks you will be working on together. Here are some examples of how to optimize your virtual collaboration:
- Share access to your passwords through a password management tool like LastPass.
- Add your VA as a scheduler and/or biller in your electronic health record (EHR) system.
- Grant your VA an extension on your virtual phone system.
- Assign them a unique email address for communication purposes.
- Add them as a user on your G-Suite account.
- Create a shared task list to keep everyone on the same page.
- Grant your VA access to your Google calendar.
Typically, these tasks are accomplished during the initial 30-day setup period. By dedicating time to establish clear procedures with the appropriate technology, your collaboration will run more smoothly.
Establishing and Maintaining a Productive Working Rhythm with Your Virtual Assistant.
Once you have put in the effort to hire, train, and integrate a VA, you can enjoy the benefits of working in a smooth and efficient rhythm.
This means that you and your VA work together seamlessly, creating a productive and enjoyable relationship that helps your business grow. With time, this rhythm can even improve as you get to know each other better.
Here are five tips to help you establish and maintain a productive work routine:
- Schedule regular check-in meetings, such as on Monday mornings, to stay up to date with each other’s progress and goals.
- Share Friday status reports to ensure that all tasks have been completed and nothing is left unfinished.
- Stay consistent with the systems you created and communicate any changes to your VA so everyone is on the same page.
- Give your virtual assistant positive feedback regularly, as this can go a long way in building a strong working relationship.
- Give and receive regular constructive feedback to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working effectively.
Once you have achieved a state of flow with your VA, take a moment to congratulate yourself on a job well done!
Mastering the Art of Delegation
Let’s talk about the benefits of delegation. It’s my favorite topic because it can help you free up time and focus on the things that really matter.
Here’s a rule of thumb: if you can teach someone else how to do a task, you probably shouldn’t be doing it yourself.
Delegation can be tricky, but it’s essential to growing your business. It’s important to figure out what tasks you should absolutely keep doing and what tasks you should delegate to someone else.
Sometimes we enjoy doing tasks, but they don’t necessarily help further our business goals. As you grow, you’ll need to delegate more tasks. This can be challenging, but learning to trust and let go is an important part of the process.
It can be tough to find a great virtual assistant, but it’s even harder to let go of control. If you’re used to handling everything on your own, it can be scary to trust someone else to handle tasks for you.
John Clarke, a therapist and business consultant, has some helpful tips on how to get started with delegation:
- Admit that you can’t do everything on your own.
- Identify your worst fear and come up with a plan to manage it.
- Understand that mistakes are normal and expected.
- Start small by delegating a few tasks.
- Give it some time and be patient.
Automating Your Workflows: Systems That Allow You to Set It and Forget It
Have you ever come across these three tips for productivity that can help you make the most of your time and energy?
The first tip is to eliminate. You may have some tasks or projects on your plate that are not absolutely necessary, and getting rid of them can free up valuable time and resources.
The second tip is to delegate. There are some tasks that you can entrust to others, rather than handling them yourself. This can free up your time to focus on what you do best.
Lastly, you can automate as many tasks as possible. Automating repetitive tasks can save you time and help you work more efficiently. By utilizing technology and tools, you can set up processes that run on their own, freeing up your time to focus on more important work.
How to streamline your work with recurring tasks
A helpful tip for working with a virtual assistant is to set up recurring tasks, both for yourself and your assistant. This means scheduling certain tasks to be done on a regular basis, without having to remember to do them each time. For example, you could have your assistant handle payroll every other Monday, insurance billing every other Friday, and track your business metrics on a weekly basis.
By setting up recurring tasks, they will automatically appear on your assistant’s to-do list, without either of you having to remember or remind the other. This can be done easily using task or project management software. It takes a bit of initial setup, but can save a lot of time and mental energy in the long run.
Tips for Giving Constructive Feedback to Your Virtual Assistant
- Start with Self-Reflection: As a therapist, you know the importance of self-awareness and taking personal responsibility. Before addressing any issues with your virtual assistant, take a moment to consider your role in creating the problem. Have you been clear with your expectations? Have you contributed to the issue in any way?
- Assess Your Systems: Evaluate if the problem is due to a breakdown in your systems or a lack of well-defined procedures. If you haven’t established clear systems for your assistant to follow, you can’t expect them to perform tasks correctly. Recording video walkthroughs of recurring tasks can be helpful.
- Have the Conversation Soon and Own Your Mistakes:Don’t wait to address the issue or hope it will go away on its own. Start the conversation as soon as possible, taking ownership of your role in creating the situation. This can help lower your assistant’s defenses and create a cooperative atmosphere.
- Communicate Clearly and Respectfully: When giving feedback, be specific and stick to the facts. Let your assistant know where they fell short of your expectations. Express your emotions honestly but avoid shaming, blaming, or condescending comments.
- Know When It’s Time to Move On: If the communication issues and lack of improvement continue, consider whether it’s worth ongoing time and effort. Be honest with yourself and your assistant about whether the working relationship is salvageable.
While these steps may seem simple, actually implementing them can be challenging. Remember to approach the conversation with respect and empathy, and keep the focus on finding solutions that work for both you and your virtual assistant.