What does the use of the personal assistant benefit look like in practice? Interview with Kasia Michalak of Bee Talents

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December usually means more tasks for us whether in our private lives, where we start preparing for family get-togethers and celebrations, as well as in our professional lives, it can be a heightened time of working out recaps or higher sales and demand for services at the companies we work for.

That’s why our Head of People & Culture Nicole Tomanek undertook an interview with AskHenry benefit enthusiast Kasia Michalak, who has the opportunity to use it at Bee Talents. From the conversation, we will learn how the personal assistant service can support us in our daily private but also professional challenges, and we will look at the service in the context of value for companies that decide to introduce this kind of benefit for employees.

But after all, can I do everything myself?

At first impression, we may not understand at all what the idea of such an unconventional benefit is, because we may assume that everything can be done on our own. Is it possible? Of course you can, but AskHenry’s goal is to free up our users’ energy and time for activities outside their list of daily (not always favorite) duties. Anything we can get done on our own can also be delegated, which comes down to a change in attitude and mindset. This is extremely convenient, especially when we can avoid having to leave the house for just one thing, for example. With Henry, for example, we can save time by reserving a product at a store far away from us and asking him to pick it up, which makes it so we have it the next day.

A good prompt is a must!

For me, this is the benefit of a lifetime. As a big fan, I find it apt to compare AskHenry’s services to GPT Chat. When we start using GPT Chat, we must first learn to develop good prompts (Prompt – a command or question asked to GPT Chat, which is the starting point for the answer it generates.). I see the same relationship in my early days of using AskHenry – a bit of testing, adjusting, and learning that if the need arises to get something done we can pass it on to the other person i.e. my personal assistant, and we automatically direct that need toward placing an order. For example, I recently made a purchase at Media Markt and wanted to return an item, so I asked Henry. This is a great convenience for me, as I don’t have to waste time traveling to the store, especially now that I work remotely and need to pick up my daughter from daycare quickly after work. Henry takes care of such extra things for me, which allows me to manage my time effectively,” admits Kasia.

Without implementation, not a move!

What was the genesis of introducing a personal assistant in the company, was it the result of a perceived need or your own initiative, and what convinced you that it was the right step to take? – Nicole asked.

I must admit that at the very beginning we did not feel the need. She appeared with the initiative of the salesman who contacted us. At the initial stage, we were intrigued, but did not fully understand what exactly this benefit was all about. It was only during a detailed meeting that all doubts were dispelled. It was explained to us step by step what this service is all about, which clarified the issue considerably, examples of assignments were given, such as asking Henry to take photos of our unneeded items and place an ad on OLX, or even to donate larger items, like a wedding dress, to the commission. There was also a story about an unusual task of delivering a pizza to a speeding train, which stuck in my mind. This meeting illuminated a lot, because at first many of us didn’t realize what specifically could be commissioned. It also shed light on the beliefs we struggle with, such as the habit of handling everything by ourselves and sometimes the shame of delegating tasks we consider trivial. – Kasia replied.

Henry will also take care of corporate duties

Bee Talents often uses AskHenry for office issues, such as transporting documents or equipment. A great example is the delivery of all equipment upon Kasia’s return from maternity break. The office team also regularly uses Henry to handle day-to-day matters. Examples include not only transporting equipment and delivering documents, but also sending letters and packages, which is especially helpful given the challenges of possible time spent in line at the post office window. New employees also receive Welcome Packs via Henrys. It has also been quite helpful to carry chairs when moving from offices to homes during the pandemic.


What should we pay attention to as an HR department when introducing this type of unconventional benefit?

The implementation of assistant services should be preceded by an online presentation or an offline meeting, especially if you work with distributed teams. It is useful to provide concrete examples of how the service can be used, and to actively engage the team to come with specific questions and inquiries.

Companies should prepare to involve the team in the implementation process, emphasizing that delegating tasks is not just an option, but an effective time-saving strategy. An inspirational newsletter with real-world examples can be helpful, as well as videos that demonstrate how to accomplish specific tasks using Henrik. It’s also a good idea to organize training sessions for new employees, where they can ask questions and learn how to use the service effectively. Inspirational internal channels, where teams can share ideas on how to use the service, are also valuable.

For companies that want to work with us, it’s important to understand that Henry’s doesn’t implement expert services, but helps find the right specialists. It’s also time-saving, convenient payment links and the ability to contact us by text message, which makes the whole process organized and efficient.

Newsletters with inspiration

In our newsletters, we present bright and inspiring assignment suggestions for Henry, tailored to different periods, such as back to school or the winter season. We are pleased that our users respond positively to these activating suggestions, which also confirms their usefulness in planning the week. We haven’t encountered accusations of spam; on the contrary, employees share their experiences, which helps keep them motivated and bold in using the benefit. Conversations with clients confirm that these inspiring offers work as a form of support, helping to break down barriers and encouraging them to delegate tasks they hadn’t thought of before.

Support during the holiday season

During the winter season, especially the holiday season, Henry’s supports our users in various areas. First and foremost, he helps with the purchase of gifts, both those that can be ordered online and those available in stationary stores. Henry is also helpful in booking and delivering gifts, and at Bee Talents, he even delivered packages of DIY candle-making kits for the company’s Christmas Eve party. During this period, Henry also gets involved in finding Christmas decorations, extra baubles or lights for the tree. He also acts as a support for last-minute purchases of toys for Santa Claus or wrapping gifts, carrying them to packing stations and even delivering them to a designated address. This use of a personal assistant in the run-up to Christmas saves employees time and minimizes the stress of Christmas shopping and preparations.

Flexibility to match users’ expectations

Submitting orders can be a bit confusing for some people, especially when it comes to remote orders. The important thing is that Henry is flexible and can adapt to different levels of user decision-making. Some prefer full delegation, while others only want suggestions that they will later evaluate themselves. The fact that the service is very malleable makes it possible to adapt to users’ individual needs and preferences, which is especially important in the context of seasonal orders, such as Christmas shopping for various family members.

Recently I made a classic mistake, I dyed my laundry with a pink sweatshirt, which made all the rest of my clothes pink now. I outsourced this to Henry, telling him openly about the problem and asking for help in finding a solution. Although I’m a bit confused about whether it’s better to use laundry, stain removers or other means, I wanted to highlight the situation to show how varied and unexpected orders can be. – Nicole mentioned.

During the conversation, a question came up regarding specialized orders – when it comes to ordering highly specialized services, such as installing kitchen appliances or comparing prices of bathroom tiles, our services are more focused on recommendations, comparing prices and checking reviews. For example, we can help you find the right companies to install kitchen appliances or provide a tile price comparison with reviews and recommendations. However, it is important to note that we do not provide installation services or specialized repairs, and our goal is more to facilitate the process of choosing and comparing options available on the market.

What is the greatest value to you in what AskHenry offers? – Nicole asked.

Henry speeds up my errands significantly, especially when I use courier services, and the text message contact with him allows me to make additional corrections or questions. It’s also important that Henry remembers my address information and phone number, which eliminates the need to re-enter it for each order. This is a huge convenience for me, especially when exchanging shipments with several people. In addition, the convenient payment links I receive after completing an order are crucial for me. Even if the link sometimes eludes me, the payment reminder arrives after a week. All this makes processes more efficient and organized, which translates into great convenience. – Kasia replied.

Reading about our service in only superlatives, one may get the impression that such a service can be a very expensive benefit. To nail down these objections, we invite you to read a comparison of the assistant service to the famous seasonal sandwich from a restaurant with golden arches. :)