How To Manage Your Assistant Effectively

September 28, 2011 by  Filed under: Management 

As your business grow, more and more tasks are piling each day and phones are ringing off the hook, deadlines and meetings, unanswered emails and call backs face you each morning. Considering an assistant at this point may be a good idea, don’t you think?

Now that you have finally decided to hire your assistant, you look forward to less workload and more free time as you start to delegate tasks to your assistant. Having an assistant could be the best decision you’ve made for yourself and for your company. You can be more productive, focus and have more time to attend to other things whether personal wise or business wise. But does it actually work that way?

Managing an assistant may not be as easy as just passing to her your work and take off and find everything done at the end of the day, or when you get back after an extended luncheon meeting with clients.

Managing a newly hired assistant is a process and it takes a little more time. Sometimes, how you started the working relationship dictates how much time it takes for you and your assistant to be comfortable and confident working together. Do not expect your assistant to perform to your level of standards and expectations on the first few weeks. Expecting your assistant to be able to perform the style of work you want and understand every instruction you give instantly does not happen all the time.

The goal of hiring someone is to take some of the work off your hands and allow that new pair of hands to work for you effectively and efficiently, providing you and your company more productive hours.

Consider the following tips to help you manage your assistant effectively.

Set goals and expectations. Orienting your assistant on daily expectations, especially on projects and assigned tasks will create a clear understanding of what you want to get done and how you want things to get done. Having a list with you to go through during the orientation will prevent you from missing anything. The goal of this step is to get to a place where you are confident that your assistant will do the work each day correctly and efficiently and execute work according to your standards and expectations in a short period of time.

Balance the tasks you assign to your assistant. Giving your assistant all the files on your desk at one time may spook her to quit the next day. Even if you need these things needs to get finish right away, giving it all to her and expecting to get it done in a short period of time can result to a sloppy work and a tired and burnt out assistant. We all want quality work, so prioritizing the most important ones will help achieve the kind of work you expect.

Progress Reports. Reports are not only required on the first weeks of work, progress reports will enable you to check constantly that the work you ask your assistant to accomplish is completed correctly. Require you assistant to communicate with you frequently during the day to report about the progress of the tasks or status of the tasks. Although try to reserve this request to important, urgent or critical tasks only. Reporting on every task in progress will interrupt flow of work and may make your assistant feel like a kindergarten who needs to be checked every now and then. Try to get her to check with you, yet show a sense of confidence that you trust her to do things on her own.

Encouragement. Review all completed tasks and provide information about the things that needs to be improved. Feedbacks are always helpful. A positive and constructive feedback can be a good motivating factor. Complimenting on a job well done rather than not saying anything may mean a sign of disapproval. Silence can be very discouraging and de-motivating.

Communicate regularly. Giving time each week or each day, depending on your preference to discuss and review goals, projects and feedbacks allows a clear understanding of the work being done. Keeping an open line of communication between you and your assistant will help nourish a good working relationship as well as allowing her to be reminded on goals and targets. Letting your assistant review the agenda with you at the end of the meeting and checking it against your list will allow you to gauge your assistant’s ability to understand and follow instructions.

Keep your assistant informed. Always inform you assistant when you leave the office, when you will return and how to reach you. For your assistant, there is nothing worse than not being able to address any of the clients’ questions while you are unavailable or out of the office. It will also give her a sense of being a part of the team.

Remember, you are not only supervising for the present but also for the future. You need to make sure that you provide an environment where your assistant can learn from her mistakes, develop new skills and take on new responsibilities. 

Leah Gundran Raymundo raised in one of the most urbanized cities in the Philippines.
She has extensive experience in the health care and business industries, both of which have contributed to her ability to handle stressful situations. She enjoys working in a busy environment and is always eager to assist whenever she can. In addition to directly working with Hour 25 New York, Inc CEO Kenley Cole, she also manages all of the virtual assistants.

Hour 25 New York, Inc is a small business that matches busy New Yorkers with personal, executive and virtual assistants.

Please visit us at and get to know us more.

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