1. Be clear. Explain in writing exactly what you need and why you need it. If your ZA understands the purpose and the end goal of what s/he is doing, results will be much better than if s/he’s left to guess.
Provide instructions, expectations and deadlines. Communicate when you need the work returned complete, and if you’d like updates at certain points along the way.
Ask, don’t demand! Like any relationship, mutual respect will foster far greater outcomes.
2. Provide the proper resources. Make sure your ZA has all the necessary passwords, websites, training, etc. necessary to complete the task. Try to consider this before you send each task—it will save you time!
3. Remain available. Be as available and as prompt in your response to questions as possible. The better you are at following up, the better your ZA will be!
4. Empower your ZA. Provide all of the necessary information to complete the task, but also empower your ZA to do the best job s/he can and to use his or her own resources. Once you’ve done this, step back and focus mainly on the results. Give your ZA the freedom to present ideas that arise, improvements to the process, etc. Believe in your ZA’s capabilities; let this be known and he/she will often exceed your expectations!
5. Give feedback. Take the time to acknowledge received work and review the work thoroughly. Provide appropriate thanks, praise, and critique to ensure constant improvement. Also, it lets your ZA know that what s/he’s done for you is important and useful.
6. Strive to develop a relationship. The best work is done when strong relationships are built between client and ZA. The better your ZA knows you, the better s/he can begin to predict your preferences and get things done the way you like. Give your ZA some insight into your life, let him or her know what you’re up to, tell a joke every once in awhile! Not only will your interactions be more enjoyable, but the product of your work together will benefit enormously.
7. Expect mistakes. Know that things won’t always be perfect, but they can always be worked out. Be understanding of mistakes, and use them as opportunities to improve!