The role of the Senior PA in the run up to Christmas

Christmas working

For many people, it may still be a little soon to be thinking about Christmas, but not for the Senior PA who has probably been organising things for many weeks now.

Holidays, in particular the festive period, are a very busy time for all, not least the PA. Attic Recruitment take a look at the roles and responsibilities of the Senior PA at this very busy time.

Organising the festive diary

It seems that if ever there was a time to get the calendar organised it’s Christmas. As well as the staff Christmas party, there are all the client invitations, the meetings about plans for the new year and the family obligations such as the Christmas Nativity and other school concerts. Fitting it all in is going to take some supreme organisation and co-ordination.

Travel and accommodation arrangements

The head office party is on one side of the country while the child’s nativity play is on the other. Ensuring that everything flows is going to require booking hotels, purchasing and collecting train tickets and organising taxis. Blocking out time in the diary for meetings, time to catch up on important emails and the travel time itself, is a juggling act that requires the skills of an experienced PA. 

Prioritising the most important things

There will be times when there are just not enough hours in the day to physically fit everything in and calculating what is possible and what is not, is going to take some good decision making. The best plan is to write down those that clash and let the boss make the decision of which they feel they should attend, or would like to attend. Presenting the events to them with the reasons that they are likely to attend each one is the best solution. Then it is over to the PA to accept or decline the invitations. 

Organising staff events

In addition to all of the events that the boss has been invited to, there is also the question of the office party and who will be responsible for organising this. Often, the booking of the event, the facilities, catering, entertainment etc. either fall to an events manager or in the absence of one, the Senior PA. This can take up a fair amount of time so it is important to ensure that first of all the date and event are arranged before planning and arranging the finer details. 

Staff rotas and holiday cover

Many companies will take the decision to close for the festive period, more so those in an office environment or a business to business industry. Other companies will need to remain open with some kind of skeleton staff to cover the phones and any urgent enquiries. The various teams will need to organise their own staff rotas to cover these periods but it may be up to the Senior PA to collate everything so that the boss has an overview of what is happening. 

Staff and client gifts and rewards

Often companies will reward both the commitment and loyalty of their staff and clients throughout the year with some sort of gift. This may be in the form of a bottle of nice wine or some other gift. Organising numbers, delivery and budgets for these gifts will often fall to the Senior PA.

Christmas for the Senior PA is a very busy time, perhaps more so than most in the office and good organisational skills and a cool head are required. With a bit of luck though, they might just get a nice peaceful festive break to recharge those batteries in preparation for a busy new year.