by | Jul 14, 2022 | Blog, Executive Assistant

Many executives experience burnout or come close to it at some point in their careers. The stress of a heavy workload and personal obligations can build up and lead to a breaking point. But just because it’s common doesn’t make it right. 

Extreme stress and burnout hinder an executive’s ability to do their job effectively and make strategic business decisions to grow the company. That’s why it’s critical to support your leadership team and lighten the load for your executives. A great way to do this is by hiring assistants.

Executive Burnout is Real

Burnout in the workplace is becoming more prevalent than ever before. About 75% of people report experiencing burnout at work since the pandemic began. As organizations grow more complex and the world moves faster, executives are under increasing pressure to keep their companies ahead of the game. This pressure leads to over-packed schedules and long work hours. There’s far too much to do and not enough time to do it.

With a heavy workload and increased stress, a healthy work/life balance also becomes a thing of the past. More than 65% of Americans say they don’t have work/life balance, and most blame their bosses for it. When executives end each day feeling drained and fed up, they no longer have the time or energy to spend with family or do the things they love — let alone handle any personal obligations or chores. 

Burnout manifests itself uniquely in different people. Some can mask their emotions better than others. But there are some common characteristics to look out for in your executives.

Signs of burnout:

  • Chronic fatigue and exhaustion
  • Taking frustrations out on others
  • Irritability and quick temper
  • Cynicism and negativity
  • Self-doubt and self-criticism
  • Resentment toward those assigning tasks
  • Detachment or isolation
  • Lack of motivation and focus
  • Skipping work or coming up with excuses not to come in

Overworking Executives Discourages Top Talent

Stress and burnout can cause executives to leave your organization, searching for a position that offers more balance. If your company gets a reputation for overworking employees, it may also discourage new talent from joining, especially women. More than 65% of women want better work/life balance.

Women bring many key leadership traits to the workplace and significantly impact a company’s success. Studies show that greater gender diversity on the senior executive team increases a company’s bottom line.

Benefits of more women in leadership include:

  • Greater emotional intelligence
  • A fresh perspective
  • Increased creativity and innovation
  • Better business-wide communication
  • Enhanced teamwork and stronger team dynamics
  • More adaptability
  • More diverse and inclusive teams
  • Closure of the gender pay gap

Women are also more likely to feel the strain of juggling work and home life obligations. Even with record numbers of women in the workplace, they still handle many core housekeeping and childcare tasks. These home and family responsibilities can be a barrier to women taking on stressful senior leadership positions. 

Women are also more likely than men to experience burnout in the workplace. A 2021 Women in the Workplace study found that 42% of women feel regularly burned out, compared to 35% of men. But women are also more likely to do something about it, such as taking time off or turning down extra responsibilities.

By lightening the load for your executives in the workplace and at home, you make top roles more accessible to all top talent.

An Executive Assitant being interview by three executives

Lighten the Load for Your Executives

One of the easiest ways to help your executives beat burnout and have a better work/life balance is by hiring assistants. Executive and personal assistants can help executives with work and personal tasks.

With an assistant, your executives can:

  • Delegate low-level tasks and administrative duties
  • Have someone keep track of their schedule, calendar, and deadlines
  • Maintain stronger relationships with clients or suppliers
  • Have an extra pair of hands to help with errands and home obligations
  • Focus on higher-level responsibilities and strategic business planning
  • Feel less stressed and more motivated

Offering executives an assistant is a great office perk that will help your company stand out from the crowd. You’ll attract top talent by showing that you support your leadership team. Add assistants to your budget and reap the rewards with more motivated and efficient executives. 

Qualities to Look for in an Assistant

So what should you look for when hiring an assistant for your executives? There are many traits and qualifications that make a great assistant

Excellent Communication

Assistants communicate with employees at every level of the company and with clients and suppliers. Much of their role involves answering calls and emails on behalf of an executive. Therefore verbal and written communication skills are vital. They should be able to communicate professionally and concisely and have a good eye for spelling and grammatical errors.

Takes Initiative

A great assistant doesn’t need to wait for someone to tell them what to do. To lighten the load for stressed-out executives, they should take the initiative and work independently. With time, they’ll be able to anticipate an executive’s needs and become a valuable asset to them.

Outstanding Problem-Solving Ability

Strong problem-solving ability and resourcefulness are qualities of an invaluable assistant. An assistant who can make fast strategic decisions and deal with problems under pressure will make an executive’s life significantly easier.

Possess Strong Adaptability

Assistants need to be flexible and adaptable to change. The job is extremely varied, and their workload can change drastically daily. They may also have to drop everything at a moment’s notice to help an executive with an important task. 

Effective Organization

Assistants often have to juggle multiple tasks and projects at once. They also manage the schedule of busy executives and look after important office documents and files. Organization is vital. A disorganized assistant will lead to increased stress and can negatively affect the entire company.

Trustworthiness 

Assistants are privy to a lot of private and confidential information about the company and executives’ lives. Discretion and trustworthiness are critical qualities. An assistant should protect executives’ privacy, behave tactfully, and avoid office gossip.

Contact Lifesquire to Hire Assistants for Your Executives

Supporting your leadership team is key to preventing executive burnout. Support also makes leadership roles an option for more people, including women, who bring vital skills and insights to the team. Reduce your team’s stress and help them achieve a better work/life balance by providing them with assistants.

When you become a corporate client with LifeSquire, we can help find the perfect assistants to meet your executive’s needs. We specialize in hiring, training, and placing exceptional assistants. Contact us today to find out more.

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