Your In-House Assistant is Leaving – Now What?

By Melissa Miller | Updated: 25 Nov, 2014

As with any job, occasional assistant turnover is inevitable and while we’d like to think our in-house assistants are loyal to us and us alone, that’s rarely the reality. These transitions can be rough on you and your team; here are four tips to help you through the process.

1. Document all processes

While there are things you know your assistant does for you such as get your coffee, schedule your board meetings and reserve conference rooms, there are likely many other things your assistant does behind the scenes that make your day more productive (e.g. checking for double bookings on your calendar, confirming all calls and meetings, updating contact information from signatures, etc.). In order to fill this gap, be sure to document these processes with your assistant before they take their potted plants and best practices out the door.

Check out our post on how to document your VAs processes for more information.

2. Consider your options moving forward

Is a traditional in-house assistant still the best option for you and your company? Is it the most cost-effective solution? Could you share an assistant across multiple executives (warning: beware of vanity assistants)? Should you consider outside options, such as a virtual assistant?

Instead of rushing into the same situation, consider whether it’s the best decision for the current state of your business. What worked for you a few years ago may not be the best thing for you today. Perhaps you no longer need a full-time assistant or maybe you now need an entire team of assistants at your disposal. Now’s the time to make any necessary adjustments.

3. Use your assistant to help you find a new hire

Once you’ve made a decision on the type of assistant needed – utilize your current assistant to help in finding your new assistant. Let’s be honest, your assistant probably knows your needs better than you do. Use that expertise to your advantage by leveraging your assistant in the hiring process. Your assistant will likely have valuable insight into the candidates with the best personality fit and skill level for your needs.

4. Say your goodbyes

Assistants can quickly become a valued member of your ‘work family’, be sure to show your appreciation for their services by giving them a proper send off.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. We’ve all quit. We all move on. Resist the urge to take your assistant’s departure personally, as it likely has nothing to do with you. With that said, if you’re experiencing frequent turnover, you should review the top reasons why people quit to see if any apply to your company.

Keep a positive outlook and never burn bridges. Remember that your reputation as a company and as a manager gets around quickly and could affect your chances of finding a good assistant in the future.

By strategically utilizing your current assistant, you’re able to find a new assistant that’s a good fit to pick up where your former assistant left off. Your new assistant can then hit the ground running with the help of the processes you’ve documented, while your former assistant can move on to the next destination with a positive opinion of you and your organization.

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