Overwhelmed? Have you been wondering if you would benefit from hiring an assistant? Check out these tips before you hire help. For assistants to be successful they need structure and clear guidance.
Are you having a busy moment or a busy year?
Consider if there is actually a high enough workload to keep the other person consistently occupied. If the answer is yes, hiring an assistant could increase your output at work and result in many other benefits. If you do not have a high enough workload it may not be the best investment. Remember this is someone else’s income and livelihood, do not hire if you cannot sustain the position long term.
Lack of Delegation:
Frequently, people hire assistants and then realize they do not know how to delegate tasks. The person hiring the assistant has to be capable and willing to delegate tasks to create the most conducive relationship. Failing to delegate creates a negative working atmosphere and having the assistant becomes more stressful than helpful.
Fear of Delegation:
They are worried the work they delegate will not get done unless they do it themselves. Others are afraid the project will not be completed as well by another person as it would be by themselves. This generally leads to the manager micromanaging and reduces the productivity of both parties. When these fears are too overpowering to work through, having an assistant becomes a burden. The assistant is (ideally) there to help and make the workflow go more smoothly. Typically, in employer – assistant relationships like these, the relationship usually does not work out and the employer goes back to working alone.
Great Tips for Managing Your New Assistant
What is the job? Clarify how information will be transferred, stored and shared. Provide the assistant with detailed explanations on what you want and how the finished product should look. Decide on a system where you can both share and edit documents such as Google Docs, this enables both parties to always have the same versions of files and gives the ability to access or make updates easily.
Time Management: With this, incorporate a schedule or timeline to keep the assistant aware of project deadlines so they can prioritize tasks. This gives the assistant a list of work to accomplish over periods of time without the employer feeling the need to micromanage.
Focus on the Big Picture: Remember all of those projects you wish you had time for? A well-trained assistant will allow you to tackle them. If you are still not working on new projects you need to rethink your game plan. Having the extra person will help with project deadlines and proofreading. This can greatly reduce stress for the employer and result in producing better work. Together, the employer and assistant can accomplish more work at a much faster rate.
Treat Your Assistant With Kindness: Respect their efforts, encourage them when they have completed tasks, and continue to challenge them so that both of you can continue to grow the business.
Are you ready for an assistant? What will be your biggest challenge in hiring one? Share your thoughts and comments below.