Striving for excellence is an important part of professionalism in any job. It involves trying to put quality into everything you do, and this attitude tends to separate the achievers, who make rapid strides in their careers, from others.
Seeing excellence at first hand is an inspirational experience. And the devil is in the detail.
We had the privilege last month of guest speaking at the inaugural PA Network event at Buckingham Palace for PAs who work for the Royal Family from all over the UK.
Small things stuck out for me, like the fact that when we had finally pushed our way through the crowds watching the Changing of the Guard, the soldier on the gate knew exactly who I was as soon as I said I was there to speak to the Assistants. Once inside, the footmen took our coats and someone was there to meet us and take us to where we were meant to be. The Head of HR was present and was both interesting and interested in the personal development of the Palace PAs. And the Assistants themselves were immaculate, on time and meticulously attentive. It was one of the highlights of my career so far but could so easily have been a disappointment had it not all been handled so beautifully.
Roll on a month and I was in Billund, Denmark for a EUMA event at the Munkebjerg Hotel. Of all the hotels I have stayed in this year, this was exceptional and another real highlight.
They have their own bakers, their own confectioners, their own patisserie and even smoke their own fish. The team went out of their way to make the Assistants feel like their most important guests and, put simply, the hotel’s entire ethos was about extraordinarily friendly and attentive service.
In the middle of the Danish countryside, with a stunning view of the Vejle Fjord, it goes without saying that the hotel’s physical surroundings are excellent. In the 1880’s the hotel was known as a retreat for contemporary painters and artists. They came in need of service and quality, peace of mind and recognition. And today, the hotel still reflects these values. Their strength is in the detail, which makes the difference between the adequate and the sublime.
So much of what an Assistant does is about getting the detail right and making people feel important whether that is your boss, the team or your business’s customers.
When an Assistant gets it right they are uniquely placed to be brand ambassadors for their business and to lead their whole team to success. And yet time and again I talk to Assistants who don’t see the value in their role.
Rising training star, Kemetia Foley will be looking at what customer service has to do with being an Assistant at Executive Secretary LIVE in London this March particularly addressing the vital role of first impression makers and the impact of customer service on your organisation, and your career.
We look forward to seeing you there.