PAs are getting a raw deal with learning and development
Most executives would agree that PAs attribute more than 30% to their productivity. But are PAs getting the kind of specialised training they deserve? The simple answer is 'No'.
Considering the staggering return on investment a good PA represents for the business, it is surprising how many senior managers take the view that PA training is not a priority.
PAs are professionals. All professionals need to maintain relevance and effectiveness in their role. They have to stay ahead of the game, keep up with the latest best practice, and find ways to add value in their role.
Specialist PA training is a necessity, but PAs often have to make do with internal training courses year in, year out, such as 'How to Conduct Effective Meetings', or 'Report Writing Skills'. These courses are relevant to the PA role, but they skirt around the core challenges of the PA role. Assistants should regularly attend specialist PA refresher training, but they are often frustrated by the obstacles to development.
"No provision in the budget" is the usual obstacle. For this reason PAs often avoid putting in a request for PA training. Past experience teaches them that they probably won't get their request signed off.
The truth is that executives do not neglect the development needs of other professionals in the business, such as Accountants. And yet, PAs pack their parachute on a daily basis. Investing in good PA training is a win-win strategy that should provide a good return on their investment.
Considering that many PAs earn less than 25% of their boss’s salary and typically contribute more than 30% to the executive's productivity, they ought to be empowered to do their job well.
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