Salary increases for Virtual Assistants and RTMs; When and How
Have you been struggling when thinking about bonuses, rewards or salary increases for virtual assistants?
If so, you have come to the right place. We’re here to give you the clarity you need and more.
We all can agree that pay increases and bonuses are great ways to keep our team motivated and encouraged to keep growing and achieving more.
However, it’s hard to define the right time and way to do it. Even worst, the idea can seem a bit more difficult to establish when we talk about remote team members (commonly known as virtual assistants).
In every organization, the increase and bonus structure is a system that works as a guideline to keep performance and productivity on track. Many business owners have a hard time trying to define that system, specifically when working with remote members.
But think for a second, why it would be so different for a regular or local team member to define that structure?
Today, we are sharing the answers from our very own experience with you.
During a conversation with our CEO Matthew Tringali, we were able to discuss some of the common doubts that property managers have related to pay increases and bonuses for RTMs.
Here is how it went:
- Hey Matthew, from your experience, how do you know that your RTM should get a pay increase?
The first thing is that we are going to focus on RTMs but in reality, all the questions and answers we’re going to have today are the same regardless your staff members happen to be working remotely or not.
My first recommendation is personalized meetings, 40 to 45 minutes 1:1, every week or at least every other week with your RTMs. The whole point of doing this is to simply ask them how they’re doing and give each other feedback.
These meetings are a really important step in the process because you’ll get the chance to keep track of the overall performance of your RTMs and then in your quarterly review you know what to expect or how your staff is feeling and what are their expectations.
In the US people have a general expectation of annual raises but for RTMs, the quarterly performance reviews are the ones that will help you decide when the time is right.
- Great idea! Now, What do you evaluate when giving raises and what metrics or KPIs do you look for?
It just depends on the position, but for example, when it comes to maintenance coordination, you may have general KPIs like tenant satisfaction or just getting all work orders closed out on time. Then, with Leasing, you may have KPIs around having weekly reviews with clients or response time tracking.
*We have a resource for the 100 KPIs on our website, click here to download it for free, and get new ideas on what you need to keep an eye on.
As you’re doing those quarterly reviews you want to add KPIs to them so you have the objective criteria and your staff wants that, they want to know if you’re doing a great job.
But, actually, after setting the right KPIs and goals, you may want to take into consideration their overall performance, like extra duties, responsibilities, challenges, and how they overcome those situations.
- What recommendations do you have on how to give the raise?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s going to depend on your company culture. But, my opinion on that is bonuses are meant to be for optional behaviors, they are not meant to be as the requirements that are part of your job.
It’s better if you try to manage it through KPIs instead of trying to manage it through bonuses. But they can be very effective if they’re done the right way with KPIs that makes sense for the service you are providing and the duties of your RTM.
Just try to be careful with bonuses and think if that’s the way you want to reward your team’s efforts.
It’s helpful to be aware of your RTMs particular country’s economic situation. Feel free to reach out to your team about that, you want to understand their context and this will also help you to make them feel heard and comfortable.
So for example, maybe a reasonable 5% raise in the US will need to be a 10% raise in another part of the world due to government regulations about taxes and general living expenses.
- You want to really understand what Global Impact means for your RTM and your business.
Be open to negotiation:
There are certain countries around the world where is either required by law or highly customary to get a yearly or Christmas bonus. It’s extremely common in the countries where our RTMs work (Latin America and the Philippines), so it’s going to be normal for them to ask for the 13th-month bonus within their benefits.
And sometimes I asked some of my team members if they would prefer to have a raise instead of that yearly bonus. What I found out is that some of them don’t want that (especially in the Philipines), they want their 13-month bonus even if getting a raise means getting more through the year.
So, that’s something to be aware of and you want to discuss that with your team. Be open to using this during your negotiation talk with your team.
- What problems do you think could arrive if you give a raise at the wrong time or to the wrong person?
You run a risk when you give a raise. If you give somebody a raise but is less than what they are expecting that can have a worst impact on the relationship than if you didn’t give them a raise at all. So, it’s something to be really thoughtful about.
When you think it’s the right time to give a raise, you want to be thoughtful about the right amount as well to meet the expectations.
I have found it helpful to just have an open conversation with your RTMs about the bonuses, raises, and money overall. I ask about their expectations, career paths, and future opportunities. I ask them how much they deserve and earn from the situation.
If you start talking about that in your 1:1 sessions, you’ll notice their honesty and trust sensation with each other.
Also, make sure that you are clear about the cadence and frequency of the bonuses or raises. I like to give a raise right after the first 90 days letting them know that it was like a “get to know each other” phase because I want to keep them motivated and heard. Then, I tend to leave it annually.
In conclusion, just be clear. If you don’t communicate, you’ll create assumptions or confusion which can lead to disappointment, and you don’t want that.
Now, that we have learned a bit more from a business owner that works with RTMs and helps other businesses to work with RTMs, you may have a clear understanding of the topic and why it is important to have a structure for it.
If you want to expand the conversation and learn more about pay increases for your RTMs, click here to connect with us for your first FREE consultation.
You can also get support and engage with like-minded property managers on our dedicated FB group.