Getting smart with the way you set up the pay structure for your virtual personal assistants can go a long way to driving performance and productivity and can get your remote workforce into the right habits from the outset.

It is crucial that you sell the idea of a probationary period to your virtual assistant in a positive way. Explain to her that she is going to have a lot of training from you during that time, which is why you are starting her out at a slightly lower rate. Once she has successfully completed this probationary period, her hourly rate will increase.

Tell her that being on probation can have benefits in terms of virtual assistant rates for both you, the employer and for her, the employee. It is a chance for each of you to become accustomed to the way the other works. If for any reason she is not enjoying her work, she can walk away with her head high. Similarly, if she does not fulfill the expectations you have of her, you can cut your ties with her and still remain friends. Explain this upfront and early so that clear expectations are set.

If there is initially some dispute about the hourly rate, it is worth it to be generous. If she is asking for $9 per hour and you believe the job is only worth $8, give her what she wants. It will allow you to have the upper hand if any further dispute arises. You can say, I gave you what you wanted, and I expected you to stay back that extra hour last week to complete the job.  It just gives you that little bit more leverage when negotiating particular tasks.

Another way to go about the payment during the probationary period is to say, I will pay you a little less than your ultimate rate during the probationary period. If everything goes well, when the probationary period is up, I will pay you the difference as a bonus at the end. This will encourage these virtual personal assistants to work as hard as she possibly can to earn that bonus at the end of the three months’ trial. This will set a precedent for the way she will continue to work for you after the three months has expired.

Because of geo arbitrage, you are going to be paying your remote workers at a lower rate than you would need to pay workers in your own country. This is still a fair wage for them and they can enjoy a high standard of living with what you pay them. For this reason, you can afford to be generous to them. It is not going to make a great deal of difference to you whether you pay them a dollar extra per hour, but it could substantially improve their lives. Paying a virtual worker more than they could expect in their own country will reap dividends for you, because they will work willingly and beyond what you ask of them.

You will get more from your remote team if you negotiate the pay question in a way that is fair to both of you. Explain early and clearly the purpose of the probationary period and you will have happy and fulfilled virtual personal assistants who will be prepared to go that extra mile for you when it is needed.

The method described here is just one way to inspire your virtual personal assistants to work well for you. Here at Melbourne SEO Services, we find ways on how to get the most from our remote team while giving them a rate based on their skills. Click here if you want to know how we do it.

Do you give your staff a reward for doing a great job?