Depending on your company internal calendar of events and procedures the appraisal process isn’t that far away. Most appraisals start in March/April in preparation for the new financial year. For a PA,
EA and Secretary this is the time when the task of organising appraisals or preparing for appraisals starts. It is, however, worth noting that the business year begins April (often referred to as the New Financial Year), so the business year has another three months to run, (the last quarter). It is, therefore, time to start thinking about what you want to achieve in the final quarter of the financial year and what you want to achieve in the coming year.
As a PA (Personal Assistant), an EA (Executive Assistant) or secretary you may be asked to undertake an appraisal, this could be for junior members of staff. An Appraisal, Performance Review or Staff Review happens once a year. The appraisal gives the employee and the employer an opportunity to openly discuss the previous years working structure.
Some General Guidelines
Appraisals are on an individual employee’s job description. If you are conducting the appraisal you need to ensure that you are aware of the employee’s job description and not undertake a comparison with other employees. You also have to be aware that the appraisal is on their past performance and not on what you would like them to do. That is the value of job analysis and detailed job descriptions.
A rating system may form part of the appraisal process. The rating system could be a numerical, alphabetical system or a combination. All PAs or secretaries conducting an appraisal should be trained on the rating system used. A good rating could result in a pay rise or promotion. It is important that the rating system is robust, understood and utilised.
A Performance review or appraisal is one of the tasks managers hate to do, and employees hate to receive. The entire process can cause sleepless nights for both concerned and create lots of anguish. However, I would like to suggest that you may be looking at a performance review in a rather negative way.
A performance review should be a process that you look forward to and not something to be feared or dreaded. An Appraisal is an opportunity for you to talk to your employer about you. Within the conversation, you will discuss your current role as a PA or Secretary within the organisation and your Job Description. You could also discuss any potential career development or progression that you would like to achieve in the company.
Businesses work hard to get contact details from existing clients and new possible clients. Just take a look at your local supermarkets and insurance companies. They all want your contact details.
Businesses also work hard to keep a client happy, loyal and hopefully become an advocate for the services or products. There is just as much hard work and time invested in finding a new client. This all has a cost to the business because:
Listening Skills for a Secretary, PA or Minute Taker are essential. When we talk to our work colleagues, we are there to obtain information and to understand their needs. We need to learn and know what tasks they would like us to undertake quickly and efficiently. Interestingly, on average we hear about 30-50% of what a person speaks in a conversation, we then we faze out. This is where your skill as a Secretary, PA or Minute Taker needs to come into play. You need to become an active listener.
Welcome to our online magazine from Julie and the team. If you have been on one of Julie’s training courses, you know she is passionate about PA, EAs and Secretaries being the best they can be. She also has very strong opinions about what a PA, EA and Secretary should and shouldn’t do. If you have a question, or would like to add an article, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.