I met with a client today who mentioned a post she saw in a Facebook group she belongs to. The post told the story of how the posters virtual assistant allegedly locked her out of the programs used to run her company, deleted credit card and insurance information and is now selling her clients to her competitors.
The client I was chatting with of course thanked us for the diligence we put into hiring and oversight we provide as to not allow assistants to work in a vacuum....but......I could't shake the story from my mind especially because the alleged assistant described in the story worked for an agency.
It really got me thinking about hiring in general. How well does any business owner really know the people representing their company remote or in person? I mean, Tejano Superstar Selena was shot and killed by her most trusted employee....remember that?
Of course we can weed out a few red flags with background and reference checks but that is really more of a starting point. As a virtual assistant agency ourselves, we also conduct a series of checkins and follow ups with assistants and clients to ensure things are moving forward smoothly.
What we can do to add to the base layer of background and reference checking and in addition to our added level of oversight is to loudly and consistently discourage and advise against the lure of handing over every password, combination and key to an employee and instead encourage business owners to stay engaged in their business. Here's what we suggest:
YOU ARE THE ADMIN! When it comes to others working on your company website, make sure that you are the administrator and others added to make contributions or changes are editors and unable to remove, disassemble or take your website offline. We suggest Wix.
USE PASSWORD PROTECTION PROGRAMS. You don't have to give an employee your banking information or passwords directly in order for them to make a purchase on your behalf or complete a task on a password protected platform. Utilizing a password manager will allow you to upload passwords and allow an assistant to click on the link to use the protected information without ever knowing what it actually is. CLICK HERE for the 7 Best Password Managers for 2022
USE A SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULER. Using a social media scheduler allows you to link social media accounts directly to the scheduler instead of giving out the passwords. A scheduler will also allow you to have access to review all posts and make any necessary or desired changes before scheduled posts go out. CLICK HERE for 29 of the Best Social Media Schedules for 2022.
2 STEP VERIFICATION....USE IT. When you are given the option to utilize 2-step verification, it's 100% for your safety. It can be a nuisance but you will always be alerted when someone is working in the protected account.
MEET AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK/ REQUIRE REPORTS. You have to design a system of checks and balances that allows you to check in with staff to see how things are moving along and give them a chance to ask questions. Weekly reports are also a great way to see how your business is progressing, flesh out positions and ask questions if you have a report that seems contradictory to what your business is experiencing.
MAKE SURE THE EMPLOYEE CONTACT INCLUDES A NON-COMPETE. Having a non-compete clause in your employee contract or a separate signed non-disclosure agreement if you are hiring through an agency will give you peace of mind and a level of recourse in the event you find yourself in conflict with a current or previous staff member.
CREATE A TOP DOWN CHECKLIST FOR SEPARATION /TERMINATION In the event that you or an employee decide to part ways or you need to terminate an employee it's good to have a process in place to refer to, to make sure your business is secure during and after the transition.