Setting Amy up for success

When a new employee starts here at we have a very well-defined onboarding process so they know what they should expect day one and week one and what we expect of them during that period.
This process, which we’ve refined over time, sets new employees up for success.
Amy isn’t all that different. If you want Amy to do her best work for you, there are a few simple steps that will help her do it. And there’s no magic here. If you were to hire a human personal assistant, sometime during his first two days, once he had gotten his computer set up, received his building key card, and figured out where to eat lunch, you’d sit down with him and explain how you like to manage your calendar. You would give him some tips about your favorite locations for business lunches, best hours for in-person meetings, and people you schedule with often. Only then would you hand off the task of doing the actual scheduling, and for those first few weeks, you might even guide him when an unusual meeting type arises.
Amy is really no different. To get her up and running you need to have that conversation with her (or her brother Andrew); rather than share this information face to face, however, you share it via It’s there that you can quickly connect your calendars and “tell” Amy your scheduling hours, the buffer time you need between in-person meetings, the default locations for each meeting type, all of the emails you’ll use to communicate with her, and who gets VIP treatment (the contacts who can copy Amy on a meeting request with you, rather than wait for you to approve the meeting and pull Amy into the conversation).
And just like a human assistant, after Amy gets into the swing of things, you may want to revisit some of your earlier directives. You may realize that except for the occasional mid-town client visit, you really don’t need 30 minutes of buffer time between face to face meetings. So you’ll nudge it down to 15 minutes. You might get bored of Blue Bottle coffee and decide you’ll make your default coffee location Birch instead. The nice thing about all this is that it’s easy, and once you tell Amy something, she never forgets.
We see communication as the lifeblood of our human organization and the same goes for Amy. Invest the time and energy in telling her what you like and don’t like by setting up preferences—and don’t be afraid to go back and tune them a few weeks in.
Finally, know that you can always cue Amy in when you need her to do something specific, just as you might take your human assistant aside to give him some additional insight into a particular meeting. Whether you need to tell Amy to push a meeting out a month or let her know that Susan is an optional participant, you can just email her.
Amy and Andrew want to understand you, or at least their version of “understand.” The more you help them, the better work they’ll do for you.