The Ultimate ROI: The Executive Assistant

Invest in Your Company. Hire an Executive Assistant.

The Importance of an Executive Assistant


Don’t let the job title fool you; an executive “assistant” is so much more than someone who makes the morning coffee run and then neatly prepares the conference room with notepads and donuts for an early morning meeting. While these duties might be a very, very small part of the infinite amount of tasks executive assistants (EAs) accomplish over the course of a day, they certainly are not the lengths to which a skilled executive assistant is capable.

Time is Money. Executive Assistants Get You More of Both.

Before outlining the extreme importance of an EA and the countless duties they manage, we need to talk about the depth of value an EA offers in terms of their return on investment. If your status in the company allows for an EA or if you’ve had the absolute privilege to have worked with an EA before, you should be familiar with their worth. If you’re on the fence about adding this essential person to your team, listen up: time is money. And it always will be.

The numbers speak volumes. Let’s say you, the principal in question, works 60 hours per week. Without an EA (and on the low end), roughly 1/8th of your week (7.5 hours) will be spent executing and ovseeying daily operational tasks that are essential to business flow, but not the best use of your time.

Over the course of a year, minus the 2 weeks vacation that you should (but probably don’t) take, you’re allocating 9 weeks of your time to some very tedious tasks. 9 weeks. For a C-Suite executive or other seniority level manager, that is potentially 9 weeks of lost productivity and missed business opportunities. In simpler terms, it’s 9 weeks of wasted money. Even worse, it’s 9 weeks of possible lost profit. Bummer.

However, with an EA on your team, those 9 weeks are paid back, with interest. EAs truly do pay for themselves in terms of the amount of time and focus they are able to create for their principal. Those lost 9 weeks are now safely guarded by an EA, ensuring that those working hours are spent enhancing productivity and driving company growth.

But What Does an Executive Assistant Actually Do?

Executive Assistants are almost always the backbone of any well run company. Their primary job is to make your job (team lead, CFO, CEO, etc.) as seamlessly coordinated and productive as possible. While the average day of an executive assistant will vary depending on industry, it will likely include a hybrid of the following:

  • Email and communication management. Gone are the days of having 100+ unread email messages piling up in your inbox. If you’re a busy executive or the CEO of a startup who has not yet handed off this task to a trusted EA, you are losing hours over the course of a week. The common thread among EAs is their extraordinary organizational skills, inclusive of prioritizing your must-read emails, sorting and organizing emails into clearly labeled folders for easy access or future reference, and responding to emails and other correspondence on your behalf.
  • Calendaring and scheduling. The more successful your company becomes, the busier you will inevitably be. As a key figure of your company, trying to singlehandedly manage your time, who you interface with, and which meetings and conferences you attend can be a lot to juggle, especially when those responsibilities are placed on top of the critical decision making that keep your company moving forward with momentum. EAs handle calendars and scheduling with ease, ensuring that your priorities and attention are always well maintained. From in office meetings to international travel, EAs will design your schedule to optimize your time, allowing you to focus more on the big picture and less on the details.
  • Project management. It may not be your company’s planned trajectory for a newly hired EA, but when appropriate, there is often a seamless transition for EAs to oversee project timelines, budgets, and deadlines. The skillset needed for project management is already embedded in the DNA of an EA; they strategize and problem solve, they manage time effectively and analyze risk proactively.
  • Everything and anything in between. Really. If there is a loose end that needs tying, an EA will likely have it tied up, packaged, and delivered before anyone else even notices. Effective EAs anticipate any and all needs. They offer constructive solutions to even the smallest challenges. They manage and balance expense reports, they competently and graciously interact with individuals at all levels of the company, and maintain composure when the unforeseen situation arises.

The Executive Assistant Trust Factor

An Executive Assistant is an extension of the person or team they assist and a very visible representation of the brand/company as a whole. Needless to say, the role of an executive assistant carries a lot of weight and a high level of trust and security must be built between the executive assistant and their principal(s) for a successful partnership. As the gatekeeper to a prinicpal’s time and resources, establishing solid rapport is essential. While it’s important to have a great working relationship from day one, it’s equally as important to continuously build the partnership. Although EAs often manage their plates with ease and without complaint, working tirelessly to protect your personal and professional reputation is something that should never be taken for granted.

Invest in Your Company; Hire an Executive Assistant

If you’re still undecided about whether or not you or your company would benefit from bringing and executive assistant on board, think about a company you aspire to be similar to. Or a company that has been an influential powerhouse in your specific industry. Chances are high that those companies have executive assistants on the team. All reputable companies have at least one. Greatness and growth become much more possible when you have an executive assistant championing and strategizing on your behalf. The bottom line is that your company’s bottom line can’t afford to NOT have an executive assistant on the team.

Continental Management Consultants has a trusted roster of vetted Executive Assistants available for contractual work or full time work across the country. If you’d like to make your life easier, get in touch with us today to help source your Executive Assistant today.