Career

  • 5 ways an executive can retain the perfect executive assistant

    Every executive understands how painful and time consuming it is to start working with a new executive assistant (EA). Imagine how great it would be to team with the same perfect EA for the majority of your career.

    This ideal EA will build their knowledge around your history, preferences, and key customers while understanding and assisting you in achieving your goals. They know the most valuable asset is your time. They will ensure your time is maximized efficiently and focused around your overall goals. They have a true understanding of your key priorities and will clear roadblocks before you even knew there was an issue. 

    It's easy to keep the "task taker" around for several years. The real question is how do you retain the driven, proactive, highly capable, read-your-mind thought partner? The EA role with the right executive does have a true career path with a lot of growth potential.  

    Here are the top five ways an executive can retain the perfect EA:

    1. Continue to create growth opportunities. A high-qualified candidate will seek to grow in any position. The more you take the time to include them in understanding the big picture, explain the "why" behind decisions, and provide them the opportunities to see client impact, the more satisfied they will be in the role for a longer period of time. They will also be able to build their knowledge to better support your goals. 

    2. Share constructive feedback consistently. A strong performer craves feedback so they can grow from their mistakes and learn how to avoid them in the future. Mistakes are ok. However, if the same mistakes continue to happen, then you should find a new assistant. Attention to detail and common sense are job requirements. However, if mistakes are due to learning the role, you should invest the time and be thankful for a competent assistant. 

    3. Show sincere appreciation. It's amazing how far a "thumbs up" or a “great job” can go to motivate someone. This reassurance allows people to know what they are doing matters, has a purpose, and is making a positive impact. Showing you care about your EA, will motivate them to go above and beyond for you.

    4. Establish trust. As with any relationship, you need to have trust. No one wants to work with someone who doesn't trust them. If something doesn't go as expected, it's ok to find out where the breakdown occurred. It's all in the communication. Remember anything you put in an e-mail will usually come back to your EA. 

    5. Understand the true value your EA brings to the entire organization. A highly efficient, intelligent EA, who operates as a leader within an organization, can have a direct impact on the organizations performance, client relationships, and their executive's success. The executive who recognizes their EA's true value and utilizes them to their full potential typically has the best odds of keeping their EAs for many years to come! 

    Read the whole article on LinkedIn (author: Nicki Cave, Administrative Services Manager and Senior EA at the Boston Consulting Group)