Global Teams

6 ways to show your VAs and other team members you appreciate them

 “Correction does much, but encouragement does more,” said Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, inspiration writer and statesman.  Being a business owner is not just about assigning tasks or designating directives, it also means having the emotional capacity to show your staff that you appreciate and value them. 

Here are the various ways you can make your VAs and other colleagues feel like a valuable member of your team: 

  1. Say thank you and be specific

e.g Thanks for getting that done so quickly.

e.g Thanks for checking all my LinkedIn messages. Really took a load off me.

e.g Thanks for the piece of work. The client really liked the diversity of solutions.

It may sound elementary but some people just don’t do it, not realizing how powerful this seemingly-small act is.

  1. Acknowledge good ideas – even if just the root of a good idea.

Two of my clients were recently quite angry about not being acknowledged for their good ideas. Others built on them slightly and got all the credit. Remember to acknowledge even if you think the contribution wasn’t huge. It’s all about perception. This is where what is not said is just as important as what is.

  1. Give more responsibility and ownership

By letting go of total control, and letting people have ownership of a task, project, or role in business, you are showing you trust and appreciate them.

  1. Don’t pigeon-hole people in terms of what you think you know they are capable of

Give people a chance and support them and believe in them. If they prove you wrong then reassess. However, most of us can change, learn, and improve in a supportive environment.

  1. Show you respect them by being honest and not putting issues in the too-hard-basket.

Address issues as they come up in constructive ways. This doesn’t mean go “blah” every time someone does something that displeases you. Do it in a controlled and constructive way when you have thought it through. But don’t leave it too long. This gives everyone concerned a chance to clarify, state their case and step up if required.

  1. Give them your time by touching base often

Relationship building takes time, so find the time and start building in a way that works for you – even if it’s a stretch at first.

e.g. One of my first ever clients years ago turned her team around in a matter of weeks by stopping to say hello to individuals in the morning. She is very task orientated and efficient and didn’t really see the need to spend idle time chatting. As a result, the team didn’t really see the need to perform for a manager who didn’t appreciate them enough to even stop and say hello. As soon as she took the time, she was more aware of what was going on for people, they felt appreciated and output improved dramatically.

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