Dear Executive, Congrats on the new admin hire…now what?
“Congratulations, you’ve successfully hired an Exceptional Admin…now what?”
You’ve completed the vetting process and a well-rounded match is being welcomed to the organization, and into your world. Consider the following list as inspiration to help you successfully navigate the onboarding of your new strategic business partner, a.k.a administrative professional.
Your commitment to the first 30-days is just as important as your new team member. Applying a proven process provides for long-term success and retention. Now, you may be thinking, “I’m very busy, how do I carve out the time?” I have faith you will find the time because if you apply yourself on the front end you save yourself time on the back end. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later when the synergy is magical and the EA/executive team are crushing it.
I understand first-hand it’s hard to know exactly where to start when a new hire joins the organization, especially in the admin role. Is jumping into mounds of email and paperwork the right step or does it make more sense to ease in slowly? Overall, onboarding is surely circumstantial and no two styles are alike. Certain roles require a simple approach, while others require a higher touch. In the case of onboarding a new administrative professional, style and handling are critical for an effective first-step and yes, high-touch is key.
Below are some rules for consideration, let’s break it down into two categories - Work and Relationship.
Rule 1) Via email, draft a list of key elements to learn/know, and have it available on their first day: (Time required: 5-minutes)
- Coffee style - black or w/cream
- A style preference for answering your phone
- Important people and their affiliation
- If you’re running behind, provide a suggestion for effective ‘nudging’ (i.e. pointing to a watch, wrap-it-up hand gesture, etc.)
- Examples of when it’s acceptable to interrupt you during a meeting
Rule 2) In the first 30-days, refrain from BCCing your assistant unless the action required is obvious. It’s likely, 80% of the time, they will need guidance and direction, so send in your usual fashion, then FWD the correspondence along with guidance. This sets the relationship up for clear communication and learning. (Time required: varies)
Rule 3) Find a moment to give kudos in front of other team members, even if it’s something as simple as, “[insert name] is rocking my calendar.” (Time required: 1 minute)
Rule 1) When arranging a lunch meeting, ask for favorite restaurant, establishment, and club suggestions. Doing so allows you to learn their preferences and possibly try new things for yourself. (Time required: < 1-minute)
Rule 2) If you ask your admin to make a coffee or a lunch run, offer to treat them. In doing so, you gesture kindness and thoughtfulness. (Time required: <1-minute)
Rule 3) At the end of the first 30-days, consider a handwritten note thanking your new admin for a great first 30-days on the job. Considering how busy you are doing this expresses that giving accolades is important and you appreciate hard work. A handwritten note goes a long way, so I encourage this to become something you do at minimum twice a year. (Time required: 3-minutes)
Applying the above offers a higher return than you might imagine, and I’m speaking as an admin who knows a lot of admins. The role of an administrative professional is instrumental in streamlining tasks and keeping things moving. Hiring effectively and treating the hire as a long-term commitment minimizes turnover and creates higher satisfaction for both parties.