A personal assistant is often an invaluable part of the team who helps leaders better navigate the working day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a part-time PA you are looking for or maybe a virtual PA – it’s important to think about how to manage them most effectively to ensure they’re productive and satisfied in their role. In this article, we will cover the best strategies to manage a PA working for you on a part-time basis.
1. Optimise Working Hours
Optimising working hours will allow you to have a regular schedule to follow while your personal assistant will have their own schedule that corresponds to yours. This is particularly important for a part-time PA or a Virtual PA who might want to have a more or less flexible schedule. Talk with your personal assistant and establish the schedule (don’t just rely on what you want) to ensure a scenario that works best for you both. It may be a case that your PA needs to leave at a certain time every day to pick up their child from school but that they can log back online later in the day to pick up any urgent tasks that occurred. What’s important is that this is agreed upon at the outset.
2. Keep A To-Do List
Keeping a to-do list is one of the best ways to get everything done without forgetting even the smallest tasks. That’s why it’s important you task your personal assistant with managing your to-do list. Remember, though, that they will actually need to have two lists. One of these will be their own list with the tasks they need to do while the other one will be for the tasks you need to do that they will be informing you of. There are plenty of excellent PA tools available to help stay organised and on top of what needs to be accomplished and when by. This is particularly useful for a part-time PA who is not able to be at every meeting and appointment.
3. Categorise Tasks
Speaking of keeping a to-do list, one of the most crucial things about communicating what needs to be done is task categorisation. As Glen Somersby from the writing service reviews site Best Writers Online puts it, “Categorizing tasks can help you and your part-time PA become more productive both in the long run and in the short term. Teach them how to sort the tasks into different priority and difficulty groups and then give them to you in the right order.” This is particularly important for keeping track of tasks on days when a PA is not in the office.
4. Filter The Inbox
Something that most personal assistants are usually responsible for is managing emails. But just like with keeping a to-do list, email management should also include inbox filtering for more efficiency. Virtual PA or part-time PA needs to know which emails can be immediately deleted, which ones need to be immediately answered, and so on. Like with task categorization, it’s important to teach your assistant about what exactly you want. Having this system in place will mean when your PA comes back to the office, they will be adept at handling a large number of emails quickly and efficiently.
5. Ensure Transparency
Transparency is one of the most fundamental elements of any successful business relationship which is why you need to ensure as much transparency as possible, especially if your PA is not working for you full-time. PAs, in particular, are your main support at work, so keeping them in the loop about developments, dynamics and any issues - especially if they’re not working full-time hours - will help make sure they’re fully informed to do their job well. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t organise private meetings without the participation of your personal assistant. But you still need to strive to keep your relationship with them as transparent and communicative as possible.
6. Use Diary Management
To put it simply, diary management is a technique used to set up reminders, schedule meetings, keep all the tasks in check and order, and so on. Using diary management is perfect for making your personal assistant a more effective employee. Spend time making sure your PA is fully trained on how to manage yours and their diary successfully. Task them with putting systems in place that help you to stay organised on the days or hours they are not at work.
7. Allow Regular Breaks
For anyone to be productive it’s important to have regular breaks. And despite juggling lots of different tasks, this is no different for PAs. It can be especially difficult for a part-time PA if they come into the office and lots of tasks that need their attention have piled up while they have been away. So, it can be tempting for some PAs not to take a break. However, as Gregory Smith from the custom writing reviews site, Online Writers Rating, says, “A day with numerous things to do and a thousand places to be can be quite overwhelming. But having regular breaks for yourself and your assistant will keep you both energised throughout the day.”
8. Let Them Get to Know You
For your personal assistant to actually become a “personal” assistant, they need to get to know you better and find the best approaches to you. But if you don’t let them get to know you, they simply won’t be able to adapt to your lifestyle, working schedule, personality, and so on. It’s as simple as that, but it’s the key to making them an effective personal assistant. For a part-time personal assistant, it can take even longer to get to know you, so be aware of this and make attempts to grow this working relationship.
To sum up, the PA role is an integral one for the success of you as a leader and for the success of your team. That’s why the PA position needs to be filled with a very responsible person from the very start. Once they are in the role, making sure they have all of the information and tools they need to do their job well, especially if they are not working full time, will be instrumental in ensuring that they work most effectively for you.
Hire Your Ideal Part-Time, Full-Time or Temporary PA with Oriel Partners
If you’re looking for a PA, Oriel Partners can help you. Whether you’re looking for a PA on a part-time, full-time or temporary basis, they have many excellent candidates on their books. With over thirty years of experience recruiting the best personal assistants for companies of all kinds, they have the connections and know-how to find the perfect PA candidate for you. Get in touch with the team today to discuss your requirements.