Attention Executives: It’s Time to Take Care of Your Greatest Asset, Your EA

As an executive, the most impactful relationship in your workplace is the one between you and your assistant. Medium estimates productivity increases by at least 30% if a leader delegates and collaborates with a high-level executive assistant. What does this mean? You should be treating your EA as your strategic partner and your greatest asset.  

The demand for quality EAs is on the rise, which means you should be doing all you can to make sure your assistant feels valued and fulfilled in the workplace. To help you create the best possible working relationship with your EA, Base is here to share some advice. 

Provide Training Upfront

The more time you invest in training your executive assistant, the more quickly he or she will add value to your organization. EAs are not glorified secretaries. They are strategically minded individuals who can help you make impactful decisions. If you make it a priority to ensure your EA understands your business, you’ll be rewarded with a supportive partner who can see the big picture across the executive team and increase cross-functional collaboration.

Set Clear Deliverables

As with any role in your organization, you should be setting clear deliverables with your executive assistant. Provide direction as to what you need and when you need it, along with concrete examples of what you’re looking for. Don’t expect your EA to be able to read your mind and then get aggravated when his or her interpretation of a project turns out to be different than your own. 

Be Mindful of Bandwidth

It’s expected that you ask your EA to help minimize your workload, but those responsibilities add up. Make sure you have visibility into what your EA is working on and the speed and intensity of information crossing his or her desk. Let that inform the pace of your interruptions, meetings, and side projects.

Leverage Technology

Equip your EA with the tools needed for the job. There are many platforms out there, Base included, that can help with inbox management, scheduling, travel coordination, event planning, vendor management, and more. By providing the appropriate technology, you can ensure your EA will be focused on activities that make a real impact. 

Provide Feedback and Appreciation

Many executive assistants in today’s world feel undervalued. They do so much for the executives they partner with and their companies as a whole, but many times those contributions go unnoticed. Make it a priority to provide regular feedback and express appreciation. Set up recurring meetings with your EA to not only talk through projects, but to discuss his or her strengths and weaknesses. In return, be open to your EA’s feedback! He or she can often offer a unique perspective. 

Fostering a healthy, productive relationship with your executive assistant can make a huge difference in your day-to-day and in your company as a whole. By treating your assistant like a true partner, great things can happen.

Written by Bryn Smith

Bryn is the Senior Manager of Brand and Product Marketing at Base, where she is on a mission to build a world-class EA community by connecting them with top-notch thought leaders, invaluable resources, and cutting-edge insights.