Every profession comes with its rules of conduct – yours might not be officially outlined as a strict set of rules, but you don’t need to be a lawyer in private practice or an accountant in a big consultancy firm to have your own ethical and moral code.
Mine is actually more a list of dos and don’ts, but I’d like to think that I conduct my business with honesty and integrity. If you’re thinking about hiring the services of a virtual assistant but are slightly nervous, or wondering whether they are a good fit for your business, make sure you review and monitor their ethics and professional conduct from the beginning until you feel confident that your VA is reliable and can be trusted with your business (and personal) affairs. Here are what I view as the top principles an assistant should always adhere to:
- always treat your personal data and confidential information with care and have proper procedures and/or systems to keep them safe
- be professional at all times and treat you, your employees and partners with respect
- keep a strict record of the time they spend on your project
- always respond to your queries. Even if your task cannot be done within a specific timeframe, they should set your expectations from the outset
- have the interests of your business at heart, for every engagement of yours that they take on
- take on any engagement that breaches or risks breaching the law, standards of professional conduct or that might damage the reputation of the client or VA’s business
- accept any assignment which requires skills or experience that they do not have. In other words, they need to be upfront with what they can do and cannot do
Many businesses pay lip service to their professionalism and ethical approach, but these are particularly important for a personal assistant because, at least sometimes, they get to handle particularly sensitive client information and are often in a position of representing the client to third parties. Honest, straightforward conduct should be a prerequisite for a VA, not just a bonus.
If this sounds like the approach you’re looking for from a personal assistant, then just drop us a line. I’m sure we can help.