Despite a four hundred percent business growth Team Double-Click (SM) has achieved within the past year as a first-class international virtual staffing agency, corporate officials were baffled by a larger than normal turnover rate; particularly among newer virtual assistants who were stay-at-home moms. Highly qualified virtual assistants, who seemingly enjoyed the benefits of working from home would simply quit working; unexpectedly, and did so revealing few clues, if any, as to the reasons why.
Branded for its rigorous 16-step interview process, skills assessment tests and evaluations, Team Double-Click (SM) only accepts three out of ten applicants into the company’s 19,000+ virtual assistant pool. Applicants who were once employed in a traditional work place setting as sales executives, administrators, computer programmers, et al, are matched by skillful virtual personnel staff with small business owners and entrepreneurs who require assistance to cultivate their businesses.
With so much attention paid to virtual assistant selection, why then, would such a carefully crafted opportunity for a new virtual assistant able to meet her at-home familial needs suddenly relinquish an ideal work-at-home business arrangement?
Janice Clark, Virtual Services Manager for Team Double-Click (SM) and her core staff analyzed the disparity and sought an ingenious solution to a problem that began to chip away at staff morale and company profits. Clark said, “When a virtual assistant quits unexpectedly, the effect is far-reaching. Team Double-Click (SM) loses all of the time and money invested in that assistant and cannot recoup the initial marketing costs devoted to nurturing a client and the associate. The virtual assistant loses because she feels as if she has failed and the client suffers because they feel betrayed having lost a good assistant. When a virtual assistant quits, everyone has to reinvest in the training, time and money for a new assignment so the whole process becomes quite costly all around.”
Through interviews with current virtual assistants, Clark reported that the number one reason for the low retention numbers among newer virtual assistants; particularly those caring for small children at home were the eroding effects related to job isolation.
To combat the antisocial costs affecting new virtual assistants, Janice Clark and her staff reshaped the common conference call into a revolutionary social program for new virtual assistants. Entitled, ‘Team Double-Click’s Virtual Assistant Coffee Chats’, assistants call into a conference line once a week and join their peers in an ‘anything goes’ chat room.
Clark explained that veteran virtual assistants mentor the chats but they do not make any topic suggestions for the discussions. The random chat subjects are completely participant-driven. Chat topics range from ‘what is on the menu for dinner that evening’; to the latest news story to an exchange of ideas about how to better time manage their own busy workdays.
The positive results of the weekly chats have been immediate. Morale has improved immensely, stress-levels reduced and the attrition rate has dropped. Clark says, “Often virtual assistants, who participate in the coffee chats are shocked to find that other people share the same problems they have. Contributors lean on each other, learn from each other and enjoy the camaraderie normally associated with the friendships that occur in a traditional work environment.”
About Team Double-Click (SM)
Launched in 2000, Team Double-Click (TeamDoubleClick.com) is the country’s foremost virtual staffing agency. Maximizing the experience of founder Gayle Buske, a staffing expert and with over 20 years of business experience, the company offers small businesses an economical, but productive alternative to on-site staffing.