by | Nov 5, 2021 | Blog, Executive Assistant

A great executive assistant is a company’s secret weapon. A top-notch EA can increase high-level executives’ efficiency and contribute to the organization’s overall success. But just because their job is to help others doesn’t mean an EA shouldn’t have goals to work toward.

Setting executive assistant performance goals is vital for forming an effective and efficient working relationship with your EA. Clear goals can help an EA prioritize their workload, develop new skills, and advance their career. And as their boss, it’s up to you to help set these goals. 

Not sure where to start? We’ll explain everything you need to know about setting performance goals for your executive assistant in this post.

Why Setting Performance Goals is Important

Setting executive assistant performance goals can have a range of benefits for you and your EA. Goals help with everything from making your working relationship more efficient to helping your EA develop new professional skills. We’ll run through some of them below.

Makes Evaluations Easy

Setting executive assistant performance goals make evaluations much more straightforward. Having clearly defined goals for your EA gives you something to measure and discuss during each performance review. Productive evaluations help your EA grow and improve in their role and continue to do the best job possible.

Helps EAs Stay Organized

Executive assistants seemingly have 101 things to do at all times. They manage the schedule and communication for busy high-level executives, after all. Organization and prioritization are key. And setting goals can help with these things. 

Executive assistant goals that align with your own and the company’s long-term goals can help add greater structure to an EA’s to-do list. Goals also make it easier for EAs to know which tasks to prioritize.

Helps EAs Develop New Skills

Other than organization and prioritization, there are other skills a great EA needs. These skills include keeping up with technology and knowing the right tools to increase efficiency and streamline workflow. They also include staying calm and helping problem-solve during high-pressure situations. 

Implementing goals can help your EA step out of their comfort zone and expand their skill set. No matter how experienced and skilled your EA is, there are always new things to learn.

Empowers Your EA to Take Control of Their Career

Setting goals for your EA allows you to find out what they want from their career. By including your EA in the initial goal-setting process, you can discover any skills they want to develop. It’s important to let your EA take control of their career development.

A white woman stands at a desk with a monitor on it and papers in her hands

Tips For Setting Executive Assistant Performance Goals

Setting executive assistant goals is not something to take lightly. EA goals need to be meaningful and strategic for you and your assistant to get the most out of your relationship. The goals should stretch their abilities without being impossible or consuming all of their time.

Below are the most important things to consider when setting executive assistant performance goals.

Establish Expectations From the Beginning

You set some of the most important goals at the beginning of your working relationship. The start is when you establish the expectations and processes that keep everything running smoothly. The quicker you can get these basics fine-tuned, the better your relationship will be moving forward.

Schedule follow-ups and evaluations quickly. Having reviews on the calendar gives your EA something to work toward. It also gives you a chance to see how they’re performing early on.

If you share your EA with another executive or the entire C-Suite, you should establish a chain of command. Who should your EA report to for what, and who is in charge of setting goals and hosting evaluations? These assignments will help avoid confusion.

Build a Relationship

An important goal you should set for your executive assistant and yourself is to build your relationship. Getting to know each other will help you trust each other and work together more effectively.

Take time at the beginning of your relationship to learn about each other personally and professionally. The more your EA knows about you and your workload, the easier it is for them to anticipate your needs and represent you well.

Pick the Most Important Things to Focus On

Setting too many goals for your EA can become overwhelming and have the opposite of the desired effect. When setting executive assistant goals, focus on the most important things first. Aim for quality over quantity.

The most important goals will vary significantly between people and organizations. After all, executive assistant goals should align with the broader company goals. Aligning goals will have the most significant impact on overall business success. Look at the company KPIs and see where your EA’s goals fit.

For example, if your company is embracing remote work, an EA goal could be to increase remote team member engagement.

Communicate Consistently

Consistent communication is vital when setting goals. Let your EA know the “why” behind each goal, not just the necessary details. Understanding the reasoning behind goals will help your EA be more proactive. Treat your EA as a strategic partner and keep them in the loop. This knowledge will allow them to prioritize their workload better.

As well as communicating what you want from your EA, it’s equally important to provide consistent feedback. Schedule regular catch-ups and performance reviews. Discuss how they are progressing with their goals and adapt as needed. 

You also should encourage your EA to talk to you if they are having any problems. Openness and feeling able to discuss issues is vital for fostering an effective working relationship.

Give Them the Right Resources to be Successful

An EA can only succeed in meeting their goals if they have the right resources. Provide them with the tools they need to get their job done. Making your EA’s life easier will help make your life easier in the long run.

Examples of resources to provide your EA include:

Keep Your EA’s Goals in Mind

Other than goals that align with yours and the company’s broader goals, it’s essential to keep your EA’s objectives in mind. Find out what they want to accomplish in their career and make sure to incorporate it into their performance goals.

Set SMART Goals

Finally, when setting executive assistant performance goals, be sure to make them SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that helps you to set realistic and attainable goals. By making any goals these five things, you’re setting your EA up for success rather than failure.

SMART goals are:

  • Specific. Is your goal clear and detailed enough that they know where to get started?
  • Measurable. Can you track their progress and measure outcomes?
  • Achievable. Is it reasonable for them to achieve this goal in the given timeframe?
  • Relevant. Does the goal align with your and your company’s broader values and long-term objectives?
  • Time-bound. When do you want them to achieve this goal?

How LifeSquire Can Help

Setting EA goals is much easier when you’re working with a fantastic executive assistant. At LifeSquire, we take the stress out of the executive assistant hiring process by helping find, interview, and train the perfect assistant for you. Contact us for more information.

Looking for even more advice on setting effective goals for your executive assistant?

Download our free e-book on Maximizing Your Relationship with Your Executive Assistant.


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