An executive assistant (EA) can be an invaluable player on your team. EAs can help in several key areas of your business and, if used effectively, can ultimately increase the production of your top leadership team.
Executive assistants are often considered the secret weapon of top CEOs. Due to their ability to manage a heavy workload, and assume more responsibility, most people on the outside do not understand just how much of contribution they make to the team.
But how do you get the best ROI from your executive assistant? Below, we will look at this question and how to make sure you can work with your Executive Assistant most effectively to ensure a high value-add to your team.
What Is An Executive Assistant?
Executive assistants (EA) are different than you may think. They are sometimes shrouded in mystery and are usually reserved for C-level executives. The right EA will work tirelessly behind the scenes at various tasks to ensure they get the job done, and can help you drive large organizational priorities forward effectively.
Some individuals are career EAs, and will often have completed college or university programs that will teach individuals the skills they need to be an EA or they may have spent several years working up in the administrative field to becoming a Senior Level EA for a C-level executive.
Typically, executive assistants have the monumental task of holding a team of top executives together, such as the CEO, CFO, and other top management leaders. They work very closely with these people on items including scheduling, communication, and project management.
Benefits of an Executive Assistant
If you are a startup or a small growing company, the role of an executive assistant can provide many benefits day to day and if used effectively, can increase a founder's productivity significantly. Let’s look at some of the most important reasons to have an EA.
Keeping You and Your Team On Task
One of the most important things that an EA can do is keep your leadership team on task and focused on the right priorities. Because they manage your day-to-day scheduling, meetings, and deadlines, EAs have the keen ability to create an effective project plan designed to get the job done. They are people oriented, and ensure quality output along with efficiency.
Keeping Your Calendar In Order
When you have a hectic work schedule, remembering everything you have to get done in a day could be overwhelming. Effective calendar management is a good time management strategy and EAs can help transform your calendar so that you are getting the most out of your day. Executives are often in many meetings, therefore EAs can help you eliminate the unnecessary ones, giving you back time in your day to focus on other high ROI items.
EA's can ensure meetings are scheduled accurately, have a clear agenda and the right people in the 'room' so your time is not a waste of time
The right EA's will also work with you to understand the challenges you might have with your calendar, how you'd like it to eventually be, and then be the driver to get you there.
EAs are Multi-Skilled
Executive assistants are immensely proficient in a wide array of skills and can often be called being the “jack of all trades.” This is what makes them extremely useful and important for a startup and smaller growing business. EAs can provide skills that you may not otherwise be good at, or have the time to do yourself, such as project management, operations efficiencies, excel spreadsheets, and building powerpoint presentations.
Reduces Your Workload
If you are thinking of hiring an EA or have hired one already, one of the main reasons you may have done that is the simple fact of reducing your workload. There are so many tasks to perform as a C-level executive each day that it’s almost impossible to keep up with them without having some help. Tasks such as, email management, presentation development, driving company goals, and strategic roadmap planning can be handled efficiently by an EA and can greatly reduce your workload.
Related Links: 5 Things To Consider When Hiring An Executive Assistant
How to Get the Best ROI Out of an Executive Assistant
At startups, small businesses, and large corporations alike, the return on investment from a highly talented EA can be tremendous. Understanding how to get the best ROI from your EA is crucial when working with your team so that you can make the most out of your new hire.
A good rule of thumb is that an EA should add at least 10% more productivity to a CEO or startup founder than if they were doing the tasks themselves.
Essentially, the executive assistant is there to save the CEO critical time that he would have spent working on those tasks independently. Beyond this, the EA does much more than that because they can practically run the entire business from front to back.
Any materials and presentations for these meetings will be done ahead of time and any other supporting documentation needed. They keep the CEO on target by eliminating any distractions that may create disruptions throughout the day.
As the old saying goes, time is money!
It is vital that management teams feel comfortable delegating tasks to their EA. On top of this, they need to not only delegate, but need to understand what to delegate and how much.
An experienced executive assistant can handle everything that might possibly arise in your organization.
Chemistry and personal connection may sound strange, but finding someone you and your top management team get along with is vital to a strong ROI. Personal one-to-one connection is a constant in this position, and having a well-liked, and well-respected EA will significantly reduce any unwanted angst between the group.
Hiring an executive assistant could be the best choice for your business to drive goals and OKRs forward for you and your team this year.. If you are trying to increase the production of your startup or growing small business, consider the tremendous value and benefits of an executive assistant.