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08-06-2020

Roles and Responsibilities

The PA role has evolved greatly in recent years and the speed of that evolution is increasing. Delegates on Today’s PA courses tell us they now have a much broader range of responsibilities than ever before. Alongside this, they are now becoming involved in projects once considered outside their usual remit.

 

In the Today’s PA Survey survey, we wanted to get a clearer picture of this trend.

When we asked our PAs whether they undertook projects for the wider organisation, approximately 70% said they worked on company-wide initiatives, over and above their day-to-day activities.

Hospitality and event management (including staff social events) benefitted most from PA involvement. There was also a high number working on HR projects, including the interviewing, training and induction of new employees, staff wellbeing, and the monitoring and actioning (where necessary) of suggestions, compliments and complaints. Marketing, IT, and finance were other popular areas, together with a wide range of industry-specific projects.

However, it seems that PAs are also undertaking work that even just a few years ago would have been thought of as a senior manager’s role. Examples of this are:

✔Strategic planning and compliance (including sustainability group planning, ISO accreditation, corporate responsibility, and GDPR).

✔Company secretarial duties.

✔Risk and crisis management.

✔Travel arrangements (beyond the usual PA duties) and issues surrounding the safety of those travelling.

✔Private family office duties, such as real estate investments.

✔Office refurbishment, redesign and other FM projects.

✔Overseeing tendering process (for change of suppliers or purchasing equipment) and coordinating roll out throughout the company.

Alongside this, PAs also have a key role to play in helping employers fulfil their staff welfare responsibilities. Our respondents told us that they were taking on “Ambassador” type roles, such as Harassment & Bullying Support Advisor, training as Mental Health First Aider, or being the central point of contact for the company’s First Aider Incident Control.

From our survey results, it’s clear that both the scope and the range of projects is increasing, reflecting the nature of organisations today and the emphasis placed on staff welfare and community engagement. It’s also clear that employers are beginning to see PAs as a vital resource, adding value not just to their manager but to the business as a whole.

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