Support Staff - PA / Executive Assistant

Opinion / Human Resources

Support Staff - PA / Executive Assistant
Toy Radebe, Member, Coach, South Africa

Business is reluctant to invest in upgrading PAs / Executive Assistants

For a long time most businesses around the world have relied on secretaries and personal assistant s for support. Globalisation and challenges that comes with it has added more pressure to this particular profession.
When a senior manager is appointed to a new position, business will support him in gathering the resources that are needed in the said portfolio and the support will continue beyond the transition period. Business will pay for coaching, mentoring, advisors and executive education - a duty I fully support.
Many a times little or no attention is payed to the PA (engine room) of the firm. This resource is the link between the manager and the firm, stakeholders, customers, family and the regulator of that particular industry. HR is far removed to GET what is needed to keep the engine room functioning 24/7/365. This is not a glamorous position as many of us perceive it to be.
The Chief of Staff / Executive in the CEO's office is the approproate being in supporting the PA to obtain the support she / he needs to deliver a seamless bespoke service in the face of diversity, transformation, risk management and governace.
I invite senior managers and CEOs to engage their secretaries / PAs to understand if they need resources that will allow for the kind of support that will grow their team(s) in a manner that produces world class execution. If you are going to place your career, plans and the reputaion of the company in your PA's hands, I believe is important that you investigate whether the soil is fertile and ready - if not I invite you to explore way of getting it ready.
May you please have your thoughts?

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