5 Signs Your Managers Need An Executive AssistantSamantha Cordero
Yesterday I had to make a phone call to my internet company. The particular issue I faced couldn’t be handled by the first person on the phone, and I had to be directed to the manager of the department. While your office may look different than that telecommunications setting, the delineation of staff versus management should still be clear. Often, though, a manager will end up taking on the role of both manager and staff, and that can actually be detrimental.
According to Asana’s U.S. Anatomy of Work Report 2022, managers spend 62% of their work days on “work about work”. That means they’re spending more than half their time on things that take away from meaningful work. This could include communicating with others about work, looking for information, and chasing the status of work. Do you know how your managers are spending their time? Do you want them spending so much time on meaningless activities, or would you like them to be able to invest their skills into their relevant work? Let’s dive into 5 signs that your managers need an executive assistant.
How are your managers feeling about their workload? I just talked with a friend of mine that toured a company similar to the one she was working at, and noticed that her job was divided out among four different people in the company she was touring. She said to me, “no wonder I’m so tired at night! I’m doing the job of four people!” Can your managers relate?
Are your managers feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks to complete in a reasonable amount of time, or by too many phone calls or meetings to attend to? If your manager is bogged down by all of the tasks on their plate, they aren’t getting the time they need to focus on bigger projects, like developing a team and advancing the company’s priorities. That’s really where you want your manager to be focusing their time, for the benefit of the whole company.
Lack of Focus
One of the relevant skills of a manager is being able to focus on key projects and direct them to successful completion. However, if a manager is too bogged down with administrative tasks, they may not be able to focus on the bigger picture. You may notice a lack of creativity, and even a drop in productivity. While their calendars are bursting at the seams, they may not actually be accomplishing that much, because of the sheer number of tasks on their plate.
Having great communication skills is often a hallmark of a great manager. Being able to write effectively, speak clearly, and listen attentively are all important. Do you notice a drop in the effectiveness of their communication, either through email, Slack channels, or in person? Are they having to explain themselves more than once or relay messages to multiple people? This can really bog down a process. Problems getting feedback from their teams can also be an indicator that they aren’t connecting well with their staff, which can lead to additional problems.
Low Morale & Burnout
This can happen to all of us at times. I’ve had seasons where I feel like I can’t take on one more thing without breaking. But the key word there is seasons. Whether it’s around a really big project deadline, a huge sales season, or another big undertaking, those intense seasons happen. But if that becomes the norm, like my friend who felt like she was working four jobs at once, then it’s time to consider if it’s just too much.
Frequent meetings, daily phone calls, and constant back and forth discussions can be one source of burnout. If a manager feels like everything falls on him and he has no one to designate things to, that can feel heavy. If these constant meetings and long hours lead to feeling like there is little progress being made, that’s even more frustrating. The manager’s frustration may be felt by other teammates and lead to friction and tension among your staff.
Poor Time Management
Often the best leaders are unable to properly manage their own time without someone else’s help. While they have great vision and big aspirations, they often underestimate how much time is actually needed to accomplish these goals. You may notice multiple urgent tasks being overlooked, deadlines being missed, and projects going unfinished. This can eventually lead to customer dissatisfaction and the loss of sales, so it’s important to notice if these things are frequently happening.
While a manager may struggle with one or all of these things, this doesn’t mean the manager isn’t doing a great job. Rather, it just means their skillset is best used elsewhere and they need someone else to step in and help with these roles. Hiring an executive assistant can be a huge asset to a manager because it frees them up to use their creativity, communication skills, and productivity expertise to advance the company. Having an assistant allows them the freedom to delegate these calendar management, staff communication, and meeting plans to someone else who is adept at all of these roles.