This is a guest post by one of our EMBadass clients: Kenzie Biggins, Worxbee
Have you had your administrative roadmap prepared?
No? Wondering what we’re talking about?
An administrative roadmap offers a strategic starting point for taking care of your administrative needs. It’s a valuable tool because it takes a holistic view of your business and seeks to recommend the administrative solutions that will help you to achieve your goals.
For those who are wondering, in this post we’re sharing the value of getting your admin roadmap and why we think all businesses should have one. Let’s get started:
An administrative roadmap is the result of a deep dive consultation to identify an executive’s or an organization’s specific administrative needs. It arrives in presentation form following your consultation and includes a detailed profile, along with recommendations for the administrative support that you will need.
We might be a virtual executive assistant company, but the administrative answer isn’t always to get an executive assistant! Your roadmap helps to identify the specific administrative support that will be the best fit for what you need done.
Why should you go ahead and get your admin roadmap? There are several advantages for you:
Year-end planning is an important way of “looking back to look ahead.” An admin roadmap can help you assess what worked well, what could be improved, and what should be changed.
For example, if an executive spent many hours per week handling scheduling and travel arrangements, that’s time that could have been spent on other business goals. This falls firmly under the “change altogether” category.
On the “looking ahead” side, we’d help to uncover what the executive needs in terms of administrative help to get those tasks off their plate. In this example, tasks like scheduling and travel arrangements generally fall to an executive assistant, but of course, we’d also look at how else an EA can help their situation. There are almost always many ways they can help!
An administrative roadmap always looks at need in terms of how you’re going to reach your quarterly goals, or whatever period you generally set goals for. A question to ask is, what are your “big rocks?” These are the goals that are most important for you to achieve.
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to sit down and define those big rocks, having your administrative roadmap consultation is a good prompt to do so. How could having the right form of administrative support help you to achieve those goals?
Sometimes getting administrative support isn’t directly for achieving the big rocks. It’s there to free up bandwidth so that the executive or executives have the capacity to do the work toward the goals.
Administrative support comes in many shapes and forms, but not all roles do all things. We specialize in virtual executive assistants, but can tell you right away that not all companies or executives are suited to that mode of support. It’s important for us to be open about that because ultimately, our aim is that executives should get the right support for their needs.
For example, if you’re someone who would prefer to have a person who works from a task list and largely takes their cue from you, that does not describe an executive assistant. You’re probably looking for an administrative assistant.
If you’re uncomfortable with virtual work or strongly feel that your needs lie within the office environment, then anyone in a virtual role is probably not for you.
On the other hand, executive assistants, whether virtual or in-person, hold a high level of autonomy. They’re exceptionally proactive about anticipating needs, creating processes, and doing what needs to be done. When they know an executive well, it’s common to find that they’ve gone ahead and done something before the executive thought of it.
Executive assistants might have a regular rotation of tasks, but they don’t typically work to a rigid list. EAs are comfortable in boardroom situations and interacting with other C-suite executives. They’ll often be able to respond on behalf of an executive because they know exactly what they’d say.
This is a big advantage. For example, if you were to hire an administrative assistant instead of an EA, you might find you’re spending a lot of time on managing the assistant. EAs don’t typically require a lot of “management.”
An administrative roadmap helps to define the exact sort of support you need.
Most executives will have priority needs. An administrative roadmap outlines a plan of action that examines short- and long-term needs. What do you need to take care of immediately? What else do you need later on? This helps to put a clear scope around who you will hire and what your plan for them will be.
Every executive has different needs, priorities, and preferences. It’s important that you find administrative support that will be a good match for those, as well as your values and personality. When you work with someone daily, those are important!
This also means there’s no one “right” set of questions to ask in an interview. What you really need is customized questions that are designed to fit your priorities and determine a great match for them.
An administrative roadmap helps to define those questions so that you can hone in on what will find you the best person. This is important because sometimes people get sidetracked by things that ultimately don’t really matter in terms of the jobs that they need done and who they need to work with. Knowing your key interview questions helps to maintain focus.
One of the secrets to a successful new EA hire is having an effective onboarding process. This means having clear guidance on what they need to know and a timeline for going through everything.
An administrative roadmap also lays out a recommended onboarding process. For example, the executives who are happiest with their new EA tend to schedule regular check-ins so that they can ensure the EA has what they need to be successful.
A documented onboarding process is a sort of roadmap in itself. Effective onboarding results in EAs who clearly understand what is required of them. It also helps in terms of engagement - no one particularly enjoys it when their onboarding period is characterized by a lack of clear direction.
Having your administrative roadmap prepared helps to set you up for success with bringing on administrative support. It defines what you need in order to achieve your goals and how best to get the right support.
At Worxbee, we enjoy providing this service, even if it means that you don’t opt for one of our virtual executive assistants. However, if you do sign up with us, we will waive the administration fee for the admin roadmap.
We offer access to amazing, experienced EA talent, which is often hard to come by under current labor shortages. On top of that, we vet all of our talent. EAs who work with us are the best - come and see what they can do for you! Take a look at our roadmap service here.