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How to Attract and Keep a Personal Assistant - Articles Surfing
Many managers will often say their personal assistant is invaluable to them yet they often treat them as if they're not.
Day after day, week after week the P.A. is in the office, slogging away making sure the work gets done. In many instances it is the P.A. that holds the business / department together.
Many of them are so conscientious they won't take time out and will stay at their desk until the work is done. Not only are they integral to the running of any business, their income and the way they are treated may not always reflect the importance of their role.
If she requires the occasional afternoon or morning off to deal with personal matters, all she has to do is ask. Her boss praises her regularly for her contribution and rewards her * sometimes monetarily and other times with a dinner out or movie tickets when they achieve their sales targets.
Because of this attitude with her employer, she does her utmost best in her work and never thinks twice about working overtime on the odd occasion. In fact she works twice as hard because she's appreciated and has some flexibility in her working hours.
This is a totally different situation to Jenny's previous employer. Jenny had been working for another organisation where her boss was 'married to the job'. Although he had a wife and family, his behaviour didn't reflect this. He worked all hours of the day and night and couldn't understand why everyone else went home at 5.00 p.m.
Although she did her utmost best to organise him and get the work done on time, he would always ask for tasks to be done just when she was getting ready to leave for the day.
On the many occasions when she worked back or took work home so that her boss would have what he wanted for the next morning, he never thanked her. He just assumed that's what she should do. He never considered her needs. She was a single parent and therefore had major responsibilities. She had a life too. Her boss on the other hand was fortunate to have a wife who didn't work and took care of their personal life.
Prior to Jenny being in this role, there had been three other people who had worked in her position, and each one had lasted less than 3 months.
Jenny had enough, she left after 6 months and found her current position. It wasn't the money that was her main issue. It was the flexibility and appreciation. Although her boss was pleasant enough, he just didn't understand that there is more to working with someone than just paying their wages.
Learn How to Look After Your People
As soon as you have people to manage, the most important skill you need to learn is how to look after them.
Every client I have coached will often say their biggest challenge is the people that work for them.
There are many reasons for this including hiring the wrong people to begin with and the most common being the manager/boss* they haven*t developed the skills on being a masterful manager.
What the Boss Wants:
Someone who can use their initiative, make decisions in their absence and carry out tasks without supervision.
A person they can trust and take many of the basic administrative duties from them so the boss can spend his/her time on more important tasks.
A person who can organise them (and in some cases be a mind-reader).
An assistant who is their right-hand person and can keep everything running smoothly.
What the PA Wants:
A boss who they can communicate with.
A boss who understands that when they are given tasks to do, although they may have taken 2 minutes to discuss, could take the P.A. 2 days to complete with all the interruptions they have from others.
A boss who realises that the P.A. is a person who has to do many tasks as well as answering all the phone calls and often has many interruptions in their day which can cause them to get very behind with their work.
A boss who is appreciative of them and realises that the P.A. does have a life outside of work and needs to have time-out just like they do.
To be recognised on a regular basis that they are important. They also need to be renumerated for their valuable contribution and should have regular performance appraisals and be offered incentives.
The Final Word
When employing a personal assistant make sure they are the right fit. If you're looking for someone who can be extremely flexible in their hours and can come in early and stay late, then make sure that person is in the right personal situation to do that. Using our invaluable tool How to Hire the Right People can save you time, money and stress before you go through the process.
Employing people is a skill in itself. Keeping them happy so that they will be an important part of your business is another story. See Look After Your People And They Will Look After You
Have a great week
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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