How can an executive assistant add value to your business? Executive assistants are at the heart of an organization. An outstanding executive assistant is invaluable, providing leadership and impact to ensure business operations run smoothly. If you want to scale your success, having an EA on hand can prove crucial. While many people assume that this role is mainly secretarial, administrative professionals at the top of their game handle a wide range of responsibilities.
What is an executive assistant?
An EA role supports a senior figure within an organisation, for example, a director, CEO or senior manager. Their role is to help support their executive’s work by providing key administrative support. Their duties usually include diary management, minute taking and travel planning, but they can extend to tasks such as budget management, event planning and project management. Experienced EAs tend to have great responsibility and influence within an organization.
18 Ways Executive Assistants Can Add Value
From handling complicated projects to aiding company initiatives, here are 18 ways that executive assistants bring value to businesses.
1. Increase Productivity
While digital technology has provided the opportunity to save time and streamline administrative tasks, hiring an executive assistant enhances your productivity by enabling efficiency. With an EA by your side, you have someone to schedule your meetings, handle your calls, make travel arrangements and much more. You get to manage your time more effectively – spending more time doing what you do best while your assistant takes care of smaller tasks.
2. Offer Problem-Solving Solutions
An executive assistant is proactive in searching for ways to find solutions to problems. As they are involved in the day-to-day operations, they understand what client pain points are so they can find opportunities for improvements in solving these. A highly experienced EA who has worked in similar industries will have an understanding of what problem-solving solutions can be implemented across the board. From overcoming hurdles that suddenly arise to handling common challenges, having an EA can keep the business moving forward.
3. Improve Collaboration
For businesses implementing hybrid working practices, employee collaboration is key to optimal productivity and reaching team or individual goals. Collaboration is often one of the most difficult aspects of hybrid or remote working. Thankfully, an executive assistant possesses the right skills to keep teams engaged, including knowing how to streamline projects and coordinate tasks across varying channels.
4. Support Business Growth
If you’re a small team, growing a business is a tough ask. This is when outsourcing tasks makes sense as you have someone to support your projects while working towards the same goals. An executive assistant is a perfect choice for any company as they’re a secret weapon in helping a business to scale. Regardless of whether you work in-house or remotely, an EA helps to bring people and projects together, creating controlled, strategic working.
5. Develop Company Culture
Establishing a healthy company culture can be challenging for many businesses, particularly when it comes to delivering an employee experience that helps to retain top talent. An EA can help to develop a strong company culture by aiding the needs of employees. This can include initiatives that consider the health and well-being of employees, organizing team-building activities or implementing comfortable spaces for collaboration. Having a strong company culture is crucial to the reputation of the business. An organization that’s known for its positive company culture isn’t going to have any problem in reducing staff turnover. Furthermore, it’s also a factor that can influence client relationships.
6. Deliver Customer Service
If you’re looking to go above and beyond in your role, hiring an EA can provide next-level customer service. Instead of having to make time to greet clients or speak to them on phone calls, your assistant can handle these tasks for you. You also get to make a great first impression as you can have your assistant take care of the finer details. Whether that’s having their favorite coffee on hand for a meeting or greeting them as they step out of their car. These small steps can make a significant impact in making your client feel more valued. With an executive assistant, you’re able to do this seamlessly without the stress of feeling like you need to be in more than one place at one time.
7. Provide Confidentiality
A good executive assistant is fiercely loyal to the business, providing confidentiality in all aspects. Assistants know information, often before other members of the organization. Whether you’re planning to acquire a big project or are on the verge of an acquisition, you can be confident that your assistant will keep this knowledge confidential. After all, this is part of the reason why they are compensated well.
8. High Agility
Excellent executive assistants have high agility, being able to adapt to new scenarios quickly. An experienced EA has a wide skill set, making them extremely adaptable. They can react quickly in any situation, especially as they understand your needs and personality.
9. Understand The Workings of The Business
An EA may want to sit in on meetings and learn more about the business. This is because they’re hungry to know more about the overall workings of the business. By understanding the vision, mission and target client of the business, they can help to implement problem-solving ideas or other practices which show initiative.
Executive assistants are highly organised, limiting distractions to get the job done. They are often in control of diaries and calendars, knowing how to prioritize urgent tasks and manage appointments for enhanced productivity. By being organized, you can have a streamlined strategy for the fundamental aspects of your own job role.
11. Liaison With Clients and Vendors
An EA has exceptional communication skills and can develop relationships with important clients and vendors. If you’re unfamiliar with these, an EA can go in and strengthen relationships by communicating with them regularly. By having strengthened relationships with clients and vendors, you’re able to become aware of issues before they become a significant problem. Plus, you’re able to maintain good working relationships for the long term.
12. Take On Additional Projects
Many businesses have projects that don’t fall under the scope of one specific team. This is when an executive assistant can take the reins. For instance, in many companies, an EA will handle the employee loyalty scheme or help with the hiring process. Not only can this help to save the business money in the long term, but it can also help to enhance workplace policies that deal with employee engagement and experience.
13. Keep Information Flowing
Executive assistants have a unique role in liaising with top executives and employers lower down in the organization. The advantage of this is that they can keep the workforce informed of important decisions which may affect their role. Obviously, information should only be shared when the green light has been given to do so. However, an EA can promote the flow of information via employee emails, newsletters or meetings. Similarly, an EA can report feedback from employees to executives.
14. Strategic Thinking
Executive assistants are more than admin assistants. They think strategically in the same way that business managers do. Additionally, their objectives are aligned with those of the business, so they want to aid objectives and meet the same goals. A good EA makes decisions based on the requirements of their executive and the organization. If you’re looking for someone who can work without instruction and meet goals under pressure, hiring an EA can bring invaluable skills to the business.
15. A Willingness to Learn
Another way that executive assistants can add value is through a willingness to learn. Many assistants take extra training via courses and in-house programs to develop their skills. By improving their financial, marketing and business skills, assistants can bring even more to their role.
Alongside developing relationships with team members, clients and vendors, EAs can attend networking events to make connections outside of the business realm. Networking within the industry can establish new business leads or help with recruiting top tier candidates. Good relationships are invaluable within business so this can bring incredible value to their executive and organization.
17. Staying Calm Under Pressure
Maintaining your cool under pressure is often overlooked as a skill. However, being able to keep calm when the going gets tough is a valuable asset for any business. A good executive assistant is able to meet tight deadlines, quickly solve problems and prioritize with a few minutes notice. EAs are extremely resourceful and can remain focused when faced with a dilemma – a fantastic skill to have in a dynamic working environment.
18. Tech Proficiency
Technology is constantly evolving. Along with having proficiency in professional tools, such as Microsoft Office and email, executive assistants also tend to have a working knowledge of an extensive range of online platforms, including Asana, Trello, Evernote, Slack and much more. EAs will continually seek to update their expertise in these areas, as well as learn new tools that enter the market to enhance efficiency.
This article was written by Auria Heanley and originally appeared on Your Coffee Break.