Executive assistants perform various roles in their organisations as outlined by their job descriptions. An effective executive assistant should have all necessary skills to perform his responsibilities at work effectively. He also needs to be aware of all functions that are performed at his place of work to coordinate them effectively.
We will write a custom Essay on Administration for Executive Assistants specifically for you
301 certified writers online
He needs to provide a lot of support to his manager to enable him achieve positive results in the organisation. It is necessary for an executive assistant to have a good working relationship with his manager to enable him manage his time and that of his manager effectively (France 2009, p. 87). This allows him to put in place appropriate systems that enable his manager perform various activities as required.
An executive assistant needs to know all processes his department does to enable him achieve organisational expectations. He needs to understand how to organise various activities to ensure they do not conflict with each other. For this to work, an executive assistant needs to understand his manager’s work programme, to ensure he makes appropriate arrangements.
An executive assistant needs to keep his manager informed about all activities he is required to perform to ensure time is well utilised (France 2009, p. 92). He needs to plan and organise all resources his manager needs to enable him perform various tasks effectively.
A diligent executive assistant should provide all records and other relevant information to his manager, to make him aware of what is going on at all times. He also needs to keep track of all files in the firm to ensure that important information is stored properly for easy retrieval.
An executive assistant needs to have both short term and long term plans of activities his superior needs to perform within a given time period. He needs to be flexible to different types of situations he encounters at work to ensure he satisfies his manager’s expectations. He also needs to be well versed with different technological, business and human resource processes to achieve positive outcomes at work.
Effective office management skills will enable him perform various administrative responsibilities properly (France 2009, p. 103). He needs to understand how to deal with a wide variety of managerial tasks to ensure crucial processes in the firm go on without a hitch.
A good office environment enables a manager to perform his duties in the organisation more effectively. An executive assistant needs to liaise with other members of staff to ensure the office is clean and well aerated at all times to give his manager a good environment to perform his duties. He should also ensure that all support services are easily available to ensure his manager does not waste time searching for them.
In addition, all tasks a manager is required to perform need to be organised based on how important they are to the firm (Allen 2002, p. 57). He has to assess all tasks to determine time limits in which they are supposed to be performed.
He also needs to have background information regarding different tasks his manager needs to do to brief him on expected outcomes. This ensures a manager performs various tasks effectively and gives him more time to review what he needs to do to achieve specific targets.
Executive assistants need to do all they can to make their offices run smoothly. They need to review all incoming reports, memos and mail to understand their significance. A diligent executive assistant needs to take notes after reviewing various documents and correspondence he receives. This gives him more background information about origin and other crucial details about such documents.
Therefore this allows him to advise his manager properly about how he needs to act on them. An executive assistant needs to understand the significance of different types of information he receives in the office (Allen 2002, p. 76).
At times, he may be required to represent his manager in various events and meetings, whenever his manager is not in a position to attend. He also needs to understand different projects that are being performed by his manager and what he is expected to do to ensure they are completed successfully.
It is necessary for an executive assistant to consult his superiors and other employees to design an appropriate office layout and sitting arrangements. This facilitates movement to different sections of the office to ensure all employees perform their responsibilities comfortably. In addition, he must also know responsibilities performed by all employees in the office to ensure work functions run smoothly.
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
An effective office layout makes it easy for a manager to supervise and interact with other employees in the office (Allen 2002, p. 106). It also enables visitors have a good first impression of the firm, which encourages them to build mutually beneficial relationships with various employees in the firm.
An executive assistant needs to keep a diary of all activities his superior is required to perform to ensure time is allocated for them. He also needs to plan how time spent by his manager outside the office is going to be recovered to ensure all tasks are performed without any delays.
An executive assistant needs to have a timetable of all meetings his manager is supposed to attend to ensure they do not conflict with other important functions he is required to perform. He also needs to review how these meetings add value to responsibilities performed by his manager at work to ensure he stays focused at all times.
An executive assistant needs to have background information on people his manager is supposed to meet (Mullins 2010, p. 102). This will enable him brief his manager about organisers’ expectations and agendas to be discussed.
This gives a manager more time to prepare for a meeting to ensure he has all the necessary facts required. An executive assistant needs to work harder to build cordial relationships between his manager and other notable personalities in the industry.
It is also crucial for an executive assistant to liaise with other administrators in the firm to find out if there are any collective duties that need to be performed. This will make him aware of all crucial processes that need to be undertaken to ensure organisational functions run smoothly. This keeps the manager aware about other engagements that may be valuable to his firm.
An executive assistant needs to facilitate interactions between his manager and his peers in the industry the firm operates in. This will enable his manager build valuable networks with other professionals which may be beneficial to the growth of his firm (Mullins 2010, p. 104).
He needs to liaise with organisers of events his manager is invited to; to ensure they make reservations before such events begins. This gives his manager adequate time to plan.
An executive assistant needs to have a record of all projects his manager is supposed to do to ensure time and resources are allocated properly for them. Some managers do not get time to monitor different projects they are supposed to do and as such, they need their executive assistants to help them.
An executive assistant needs to compile relevant information related to different projects to enable him brief his superior accordingly (Graham 2010, p. 89). He also needs to liaise with relevant technical and financial departments to find out any issues that may impact on the successful completion of various projects.
This will make him collaborate with them to achieve positive results. A manager needs to be given all details related to various projects he is supposed to oversee to ensure they attain high quality standards set by the firm.
In some instances, an executive assistant needs to do all he can to solve different types of crisis that may impact negatively on organisational performance. Some small projects in the office may slow down work if they are not finished on time. Therefore, an executive assistant needs to allocate adequate financial resources and manpower to complete such projects on time.
For instance, telephone and internet communications in the office have an impact on the way various tasks in the organisation are performed (Graham 2010, p. 97). If communication appliances in the organisation fail to function properly, an executive assistant needs to do all he can to ensure crucial processes proceed without delays.
In times of crisis, an executive assistant needs to get permission from his manager to perform such tasks. He needs to show a budget of all expenditures the firm is going to incur to ensure the whole process is transparent. He also needs to monitor the way such tasks are performed to ensure they attain high quality standards set by the organisation.
An effective executive assistant has the ability to maintain his composure even when he is facing difficulties at work. He needs to take time to understand the personality of his manager to build a positive working relationship with him. Therefore, an executive assistant needs to have foresight to anticipate problems that may have a negative effect on results attained at work.
He needs to analyse the impact of such problems and propose solutions to his manager and other stakeholders in the firm to prevent them before they occur (Marmot & Eley 2000, p. 104). This approach makes him suitable for various tasks in the firm and gives him more solutions needed to achieve positive results in his work.
This enables an executive assistant to balance priorities related to various projects that need to be completed in time. Therefore, this ensures all projects that have been planned in the firm are finished within their stipulated deadlines.
Time management is a crucial skill that every executive assistant needs to have to ensure he performs his duties diligently. He needs to ensure memos, letters and reports are responded to promptly by his manager, to ensure all important activities are completed within stipulated timelines.
He also needs to put in place effective policies that determine channels to be followed before guests and other junior employees are allowed to speak to the manager (Marmot & Eley 2000, p. 109). Therefore, he needs to implement specific procedures all workers and other visitors have to follow whenever they seek to discuss important issues with his manager.
An executive assistant needs to assess the importance of all meetings he has planned for his manager to ensure they are beneficial to the firm. All meetings attended by his manager need to add value to the firm’s strategic objectives.
He also needs to make the manager aware about the time and venues different meetings are going to be held to ensure all logistics are put in place. An executive assistant needs to prepare his superior mentally for every meeting he is required to attend. He needs to inform the manager about peculiar mannerisms of people he is going to interact with to ensure he communicates with them effectively.
He also needs to ensure that his manager is aware about the agenda of every meeting he is going to attend. The executive assistant needs to gather relevant information about the main theme of a meeting which his manager is supposed to attend (Marmot & Eley 2000, p. 112). If necessary, a speech should be prepared in advance to ensure his manager makes a positive impression on all people that attend the meeting.
Communication skills are vital for any executive assistant to help him execute functions that are related to his job description effectively. He needs to have good oral communication skills to represent his manager effectively on different occasions to project a positive image. At times, he may be required to negotiate with suppliers and other people who want to establish close relationships with his manager.
He needs to understand various business issues in the industry where his organisation operates to serve his manager effectively (Portny 2010, p. 113). This will enable him interact well with clients and other associates who have close relationships with both the firm and his manager.
An executive assistant needs to have good listening skills to understand what his manager, clients and other associates are saying. This will help him follow all instructions given to him properly to ensure he achieves expectations of various stakeholders he interacts with.
A competent executive assistant needs to collaborate with other members of the organisation he works in, to help them achieve collective goals. He needs to project high levels of professionalism by writing accurate and well thought out correspondence on behalf of his manager. This will project a good image of his organisation and will enable his manager make a good impression on other parties he communicates with.
An executive assistant also needs to have the necessary technical skills to enable him use various electronic systems in the office easily (Portny 2010, p. 118). He needs to adapt quickly to new technologies that are introduced at his place of work to help him execute different functions as expected.
He also needs to observe good telephone etiquette to ensure he is courteous and helpful to clients and other external stakeholders that seek information on various issues.
It is also crucial for an executive assistant to refer various problems in the organisation to people with the required expertise to solve them. This will ensure the firm’s clients and associates get appropriate solutions for specific issues they want the firm to solve. An effective executive assistant needs to display unwavering loyalty to his manager to establish a strong relationship built on trust and integrity.
Allen, D 2002, Getting things done: the art of stress free productivity, Piatkus Books, New York.
France, S 2009, The definitive personal assistant and secretarial handbook: a best practice guide for all secretaries, PAs, office managers and executive assistants, Kogan Page, London.
Graham, N 2010, Management and organisational behaviour, Wiley, San Francisco.
Marmot, A & Eley, J 2000, Office space planning: designs for tomorrow’s workplace, McGraw Hill, New York.
Mullins, LJ 2010, Management and organisational behaviour, Prentice Hall, London.
Portny, S 2010, Project management for dummies, Wiley, San Francisco.