We talk to hundreds of entrepreneurs every month, and all of them say the same thing:
Finding great team members – and effectively onboarding them – is a serious challenge.
This is especially true for roles that are infrequently filled, like an Executive Assistant.
Here are some “Day One” strategies to get started with a new personal assistant.
Start with a Daily Sync
Having one-on-one meetings with a new assistant may seem time-consuming at first, but before long, these meetings pay immense dividends.
With a structured daily sync meeting, your assistant will gain valuable insights into how you think, how the business works, and how they can be an effective source of leverage for you.
The more you invest in a new personal assistant upfront, the faster they become a 10x multiplier.
Clearly Set Expectations
One of the challenges in a new assistant relationship is setting expectations for delegation.
While your assistant is still onboarding — especially in the first 90 days of the relationship — over-communicating and explaining the “why” behind each task helps your assistant understand the big picture.
Here are three types of expectations you can set with your new personal assistant:
- Time — Creating clear deadlines sets your assistant up for success. Not only will your assistant appreciate the consistency, but you’ll also appreciate your projects coming in on time.
- Detail — By explaining the kinds of tasks that you struggle with and giving examples of finished projects, your assistant can begin to understand your work style.Once they understand your strengths, weaknesses, and expectations, they can identify what tasks they should take off your plate and how to complete them.
- Priority — What is the most important project on your daily/weekly/monthly to-do list? Your assistant should know the prioritization of your projects from Day One. This lessens the risk of missing projects, and you will have more peace of mind that your most important projects will be done correctly.
Eventually, your assistant will take the lead in defining timelines, delivering the appropriate level of detail, and prioritizing their own tasks. But early on, defining these three categories accelerates the learning processes and builds effective communication with your assistant.
Coaching is necessary for any new hire to succeed. Even the best assistants can’t read minds, so be intentional – let them know what they can improve. Don’t hesitate to correct mistakes and encourage further growth.
When making a critique or explaining a process, explain the “why” and not just the “how,” so your assistant can learn to replicate the way you think and execute tasks as you would. It takes a little extra time at first but returns dividends in the long run.
Check-In Early and Often
Over-communication is better than under-communication. Making your workday as visible as possible helps your assistant quickly understand you at a deep level.
Ensure your assistant also provides that visibility into their day.
Kathryn, one of our Superpowers Assistants, always creates a daily task list that her client has access to. She also sends in her Daily Bullet, an end-of-day summary email. It provides her client updates on projects and frees them up to work on projects in their Unique Ability.
Interested in additional strategies for boosting team productivity? Learn more by visiting our guide, How to stay engaged while working from home.
What habits do you think are important when you get started with a new assistant? Feel free to share in the comments!