And I mean really listen to them.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked this question to our team during our weekly meeting.
“What is the one thing that I need to improve on, which would make your life easier?”
My VAs responded with shorter wait time for my feedback on things that need my approval.
If I take too long to respond, this hampers their productivity as although they’ve already moved on to another task, the other task that’s waiting for my feedback, whether it’s needing revisions or good to go still lingers on their mind.
This also makes it harder for them to manage their time and gauge if they can help out their team members. So overall productivity of the team can suffer.
I became more conscious of the tasks I assign to them. I see to it that when something needs my approval that I am on the lookout for their slack messages. I do not just dismiss them and then forget about them.
Of course, it’s not always that I can immediately give them feedback.
What I also did was I started setting their expectations everyday.
When I am on a do not disturb mode - meaning - I am doing my deep work, I tell them that from this time to this time, you’ll hear nothing from me. But after that period, you can start doing follow ups if I have not yet responded.
Same thing whenever I am in the gym or doing errands or just away from my computer.
It has been working great.
My VAs are happier and they seem genuinely appreciative of the effort I am putting in to make things easier for them.
So, listen to your VAs. And if their suggestions or recommendations mean you need to make some changes, do your part. Any relationship is a 2-way thing. You have to make adjustments if you want it to become stronger.