An Executive assistant (EA) is a more evolved role of a personal secretary. A personal secretary earlier used to arrange appointments and juggle a boss’s agenda in general meetings related to business. However, an EA’s role is more of analytical in nature and works as a right hand to the MD/CEO of a company. Also, an EA not only supports MDs/CEOs, but also helps out the other senior management officials.
With the advancement of technologies, no doubt the managers have become self sufficient to manage their schedules but at the same time effective assistants can make enormous contributions to productivity at all levels of the organisation. Managers can make best use of their EA and make the best use of their time. Here are a few pointers that can show effective use of an EA:
Make EA a part of strategic meetings
An EA definitely needs to understand your personal as well as professional goals. In lots of places EAs are the closest partners to the top management level. They handle all top official reports, including financial and project plans. It is always advisable to treat them well and explain them the project plans, so that it helps them by giving clarity in prioritisation of tasks as per the situations. Moreover, if EA is a part of the meetings, he/she can take notes at the end of the meeting and can compile the minutes to be circulated to all, which is really helpful.
Use EA as the face of the company
In certain places where it may not be possible for the CEO/MD to attend, the EA can make his/her presence. For this, it is essential to keep the EA informed about all important business issues, be it small or major. They can represent the company in the absence of the CEO/MD and be the face of the company.
Allow EA to be analytical
In earlier days, CEOs/MDs used to ask their secretaries to take notes as per their dictations, however, there is a shift in today’s EA. They are much more than just taking notes. It is always advisable to make use of the resource and make use of their research and analytical skills. Being the closest person to you an EA understands your business and your need towards business and hence, can give in his/her valuable inputs, which might have missed your eye.
Hire an assistant for your EA
As by now we all understand the job description of an EA is no longer the same as that of a personal secretary, it is advisable to hire a secretary for your EA to carry out the traditional secretarial tasks. This is very well stated by Sheila W Wellington, a clinical professor of management and organisation at New York University, “Anything that can be delegated so that the executive assistant can focus on the CEO’s needs saves the CEO time.”