Improve the Productivity of Executive Assistants and Directors
This innovative and unique program has been developed to help improve the productivity and overall working relationship between Executive Assistants (EA’s) and their General Managers/Directors.
Most senior executive’s understand that a good EA can save them valuable time. Typically however, there is a lot of wasted time and duplication of work! This leads to poor productivity outcomes and increased frustration when the partnership is not working as well as it should.
Ensuring there are agreed strategies for setting, then maintaining common objectives and expectations are absolutely vital. However, often this just doesn’t happen. People just get busy and tend to assume things are going okay. There is rarely time to reflect honestly on their working relationship and workplace processes to see if improvements can be made.
And that’s exactly what this program aims to do. Create a facilitated forum where nagging productivity issues can be teased out and worked on. Uniquely, we don’t just work with the Executive Assistants, we also ask their bosses to be a part of this program! The results have typically been outstanding.
The program can be run with the entire Executive Leadership team and their EA’s or it can be modified to work with just two people if required.
Joint Productivity Questionnaire
The Executive Assistants and General Managers/Directors firstly undertake a customised but anonymous Productivity Questionnaire before the training is undertaken. The results highlight many opportunities for individual and collective improvement. Both groups go through the results of the survey separately. No names are identifiable.
They then work separately and finally jointly with the facilitator to develop an agreed action plan to improve the way they work together.
Working with the Executive Assistants
We start out with the facilitator and Executive Assistants exploring a range of ideas and strategies that they can use to become even more productive than they may already be. We explore such things as:
- The role of an Executive Assistant
- How to become more organised and productive
- Prioritising and Planning for effectiveness
- Working with multiple bosses
- Setting and maintaining common objectives
- Coping with stress
- Taking initiative
- Managing my boss’s Calendar and Emails
At the end of this session, each Executive Assistant will have a list of items both collectively and individually they would like to explore further with their Manager/Director.
Working with the Directors/General Managers
The facilitator will then work separately with the Directors/General Managers to identify opportunities for improving productivity between themselves and their Executive Assistants. Much of this is drawn out of the Productivity Questionnaire. We also explore such things as:
- Delegating more and letting go
- Setting common objectives and expectations
- Using Technology to save time
- Managing my email with my Executive Assistant
In the final session, the Directors and Executive Assistants will come together to develop collective and individual actions plans for productivity improvement.
- Director/Executive Assistant Productivity Questionnaire
- One Month of Follow Up by Facilitator
- Improved clarity around roles and expectations of the Executive Assistant
- Identified opportunities for productivity improvement
- Smarter use of technology to save time (eg. Using Microsoft Outlook)
- Increased trust between Executive Assistants and Directors/General Managers
- Agreed strategies for setting and maintaining common objectives
- Improved communication and common understanding
- Better joint Planning and Prioritising
- Increased ability for Executive Assistants to better manage up
- Less frustration lower stress levels for the Executive Assistants
- Executive Assistants empowered to take more initiative
We have had great success using this program in our workplace. I wanted to give the CEO, Directors and their Executive Assistants time to reflect honestly on their working partnerships, their workplace systems and processes and their communication styles. We wanted to see if there was anything that could be tweaked and improved. Whilst some participants were a little hesitant, upon review each ‘pair’ (Director and EA) cited that they gained more than they honestly expected to. The workshop helped uncover a range of practical workplace system changes that could be implemented immediately improving their productivity. From a HR perspective the benefits were far greater. The opportunity for each team to have honest, facilitated conversations about the way their work impacts on the other has led to more honest and open communication and improved trust in the working relationship. I would strongly recommend this program to other organisations. Fiona – Manager People & Performance, Local Government