EAs with Staff: Supercharging Your Team’s Development

November 1, 2022


Executive assistants who oversee staff assume a vital role. They coordinate projects, ensuring that deadlines are met and that their team’s work is impeccable. But their most important task is to supercharge team development. They do so by helping staff grow in their current roles—and rise beyond those roles. Here’s how the most successful EAs develop their team’s personal and career growth.   

Build trust  
EAs with staff foster an open-door policy and a welcoming environment. This ensures that staff members feel comfortable bringing up concerns: reporting setbacks (and successes), admitting when they’re overwhelmed, offering suggestions, and much more. EAs also nurture what motivates each of their reports: working alone or with others … raises / promotions … feedback and praise.   

EAs with staff help team members better understand their roles. They encourage questions, no matter how elementary. They never withhold vital information about projects because this leads to distrust. Most importantly, EAs communicate to team members that they’re sincerely invested in their success. 

Identify training needs  
EAs with staff monitor each admin’s developmental needs. They observe what tasks staff members are good at and where they could use help. Then they offer opportunities to take online or in-person training or to work with a mentor to shore up skills. 

EAs with staff know that effective delegation strengthens team members’ abilities. They offer stretch assignments to help their reports expand their areas of expertise. As staff gain experience and skills through the tasks they’ve been delegated, EAs oversee the process and support and guide each person as needed.   

Conduct performance appraisals  
EAs with staff hold regular appraisals, both casual and formal. They review job descriptions and revise them as needed. They discuss successes and areas where team members could benefit from help. At an appraisal, they help staff feel positive about growing their skills and careers.   

Accept that mistakes happen 
EAs with staff understand that no one is perfect. Team members make mistakes—and so do they. Both they and their team can and should learn from mistakes in order to go forward with greater confidence and success.  

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