To put it simply: Executive Assistants (EAs) have a lot on their plates. From juggling complex schedules to knowing every detail for entire teams, there’s always something to manage. Usually being executed seamlessly behind the scenes, these efforts often go unnoticed—no one questions how things happen when things go off without a hitch!
At Mystery, we care a lot about team bonding and building a strong company culture from wherever you are, and we’ve noticed that a lot of that internal work falls on EAs. When much of the world’s workforce went remote, EAs stepped up to the plate to keep everyone organized and connected. So, with Administrative Professionals’ Day just around the corner (mark your calendars for April 21st!), we wanted to turn the spotlight to these do-it-all super heroes and the tremendous impact EAs have on the companies they work for.
What does an EA do?
The real question is what don't EAs do? Although they report directly to an individual or small group of executives, EAs often touch every part of their organization and are seen as the "go-to" person on their teams.
Managing schedules, onboarding and off-boarding employees, and building team morale are just a few of the responsibilities given to EAs. They're often dealt tasks that weren't necessarily on the job description and wear many different hats. All that to say, calling EAs the heroes of the workplace is really an understatement.
No matter the firm, business unit, or team, it is the executive assistants and support personnel who are the real heroes, the unsung makers of order. They are the lifeline to anyone and everyone in the organization. Forbes
How has the role of Executive Assistant changed over time?
According to Executive Leadership Support, "The role of executive assistants has dynamically expanded over the last several years, and now more than ever, EAs are taking on a more prominent role with emulating company culture." Putting an emphasis on the executive in executive assistant, more and more EAs are leaning into serving as key decision makers and figures on the team.
Amidst all the disruption and change that COVID-19 has brought us, the role EAs play as the catch-all person has been complicated with many more variables at play. EAs are dealing with many of the COVID workplace issues head on: Building remote corporate culture, team productivity, and scheduling virtually (just to name a few). While we all continue to navigate through uncharted waters, EAs are always working to be a step ahead, forecasting for what's next and keeping everything in line.
How do EAs impact company culture?
If you haven't picked up on it already, EAs carry a lot of responsibility. With a hand in nearly every aspect of the day-to-day team operations, they are the connection to many moving pieces within an organization. That being said, EAs drive much of what the team dynamic looks like. The cadence and frequency of meetings, what those meetings look like, and ultimately team communication, all stem from the EAs duties and efforts. Therefore, they can drive plenty of instrumental change within a team.
"From organizing holiday parties and happy hours to setting up employee appreciation initiatives, they can help make the company a better place to work," The Exec Search Group. These moments and communication patterns can make or break a team. Sounds stressful? OK then we've proved our point here—EAs play an enormous role in making a workplace somewhere you want to work!
If Executive Assistants have the whole team's back, then who has theirs?
That's where third parties come in (👋). At Mystery, we work closely with hundreds of EAs every day to help them boost morale and maintain team culture. It has become all the more apparent to us how vital these individuals are to the general feel and culture of their teams.
Knowing the role of these EAs and the complexity of their responsibilities, we're here to give these superheroes the much-needed sidekick they deserve. Since EAs usually do allll the planning (and we know planning pretty well ourselves), products like ours give that helping hand to organize and prioritize those culture-building events. With easy-to-use and vetted Virtual Events and Gifting, we take a little of their plates so they can better serve their teams, and in turn, make entire companies happier. Ambitious, aren't we?
Consider corporate culture checked off the EAs to-do list from here on out!
How can I recognize the EA(s) on my team?
Now that we've established EAs really make the world go 'round, it's time to give the EAs on your team some well-deserved praise! Understanding the role they play is a great place to start, Give them a shoutout or even a subtle acknowledgement that you know what they're taking on.
And, beyond words of affirmation, empower your EAs to take creative liberty and trust them to find the resources they need to execute on their tasks—it will make a world of difference.
We think these superstars should be celebrated every day, but don't forget to send them some extra love on April 21st for Administrative Professionals' Day!