The role of executives drastically shifted this year unexpectedly with abrupt changes in how business was conducted entirely, and their support was critical. From canceled travel plans and shifting schedules, to fluctuating demand and far more, executives relied on their Executive Assistants for support this year more than ever before.
Below are seven tasks Executives Assistants should focus on completing before year-end to keep those they support organized and ready to tackle the year ahead.
1. Professional and Personal Support
Especially after a year like 2020, many organizations’ goals and plans changed and the person you support likely had to pivot in both their business strategy, as well as their personal life. Consider how you can help support them now as they look towards planning for 2021.
Don’t limit helping your executive to just professional goals but see also how you might assist them in achieving personal goals or helping to problem-solve challenges they have encountered.
2. Create a Backwards Timeline
Are there loose ends that need to be tied up before January 1? What projects or goals may have been put on the back burner during the pandemic that now need attention? Create a backwards timeline, accounting for holidays, building closures and time off, to ensure things are getting done before the New Year.
3. Anticipate What They’ll Need
Anticipate what reports they will need at the end of the year or start of next year and start working on those now so they’re ready should they ask for it. Especially after a year like this, with so many changes to the economic and public spheres, take extra care while compiling information and make note of important trends or changes from prior years.
Be sure to remain organized while performing regular annual tasks like finalizing taxes and receipts or preparing documents for 2021.Because so much changed this year and many organizations were impacted financially, it is crucial to be on top of every detail.
4. Update Documents
Whether or not travel is planned for 2021, plan ahead like it is. Check all identification cards and note anything that may be expiring, like IDs or passports.
5. Update Contacts
An updated list of contacts is crucial for executives, so be sure to go through and add/remove contacts before year-end. Especially while many organizations are still operating remotely, consider which contacts may need to be updated with new addresses or phone numbers, as well.
Are there contacts that need reengagement, or top clients your executive should connect with before the end of the year? Preemptively schedule one-on-one time with these individuals to help strengthen relationships and wrap up the year strong.
6. Thank Vendors
In a support role, it’s likely you’re working with many vendors throughout the year. Writing each a hand-written thank you card or personalized emailcango a long way to starting the year off on the right foot. If there are vendors you typically work with but did not this year due to the pandemic, consider sending them a note as well to help maintain relationships for the future.
7. Plan Next Years’ Calendar
Look at the 2021 calendar with your executive and block out planned vacations, typical meetings and annual conferences they plan on attending. While acknowledging that many of these plans may shift due to the pandemic, be optimistic and schedule like they will occur as normal in order to set your executive up for success. It is more difficult to add these plans back into a crowded schedule than to modify or cancel events as needed.
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