An administrative assistant is your most important management tool. You probably already delegate many tasks to them. They also protect you from countless daily interruptions. Your assistant may feel like they sit in the line of fire. Make him or her a part of the management team. Here are six suggestions for working with an assistant.
1. Meet with your assistant early in the day to discuss one another’s schedules and set priorities.
2. Delegate challenging and meaningful tasks and encourage them to suggest ways procedures or tasks could be improved. Provide the necessary time management tools and training.
3. Don’t be a perfectionist when supervising your assistant. While it’s important to focus on quality, remember spending unnecessary time on a task, may short-change other responsibilities.
4. Communicate with your assistant. The more they know, the more they will be able to help you. A knowledgeable assistant can save you hours each week.
5. Before you go out-of-town, spend some time briefing your assistant on matters that are likely to occur during your absence. It will make your life easier when you return to the office.
6. Above all, set a good example and show respect for your assistant’s time. Plan your day. Place realistic deadlines on all tasks. Respect your assistant’s time as well as your own.