Wednesday, April 28th is Administrative Professionals’ Day in Canada. Whatever day you choose to recognize it, it is well deserved. If our administrative professionals were to receive the recognition they truly deserve, there would be a whole week or even a month set aside. That is how important they are to the smooth operation of any business or office.
Who is an Administrative Professional?
There are many types of administrative professionals with a range of functions depending on the size and scope of an organization. Executive assistants normally work for the CEO or a small group of senior managers and are a link to their clients and outside contacts. Office managers deal more with the needs of employees and internal operations and workflows. Administrative assistants provide an initial interface with the public and may be responsible for providing general information, scheduling and booking meetings, managing supplies and equipment, and everything else that might fall between the cracks.
Key to Business Success
Check out any successful business owner or manager and you will quickly discover a highly skilled administrative professional close at hand. For me, my Executive Assistant is a second set of eyes and ears, someone who will give me a straightforward and honest opinion on my ideas and plans. She not only understands my businesses, she understands me.
A Multi-Purpose Asset
An administrative professional is a valuable asset whose overall contribution may be overlooked or under-appreciated because of the broad number of tasks performed. They can save time by triaging requests, getting to the core of an issue before it gets to you. An administrative professional can be a stand-in for you when you are busy or unavailable, maintaining goodwill and contact with your clients and associates. And, as I mentioned, they can be a reliable sounding board.
A Valuable Business Investment
A business just starting out might want to consider a part-time or virtual administrative assistant function. As the company grows, it might want to share the cost with another business or group of similar businesses. When it reaches critical mass, I highly recommend that a full-time person be hired. Speaking from experience, that person will quickly pay massive dividends on your investment, not just financially, but in terms of dedication, initiative and trust.
There are a lot more ways to show appreciation to your administrative professionals than simply a year-end bonus (although that is always welcome). Be flexible with their time—they are probably on call well beyond normal working hours. Make sure they have a comfortable workspace, including privacy and the latest technology. Organize special lunches or treats for them (normally they are the ones doing this). Recognize their efforts publicly with your other employees. And the best way to show your appreciation is to say ‘thank you’. Let them know that they are a vital part of your organization.
So to all the administrative professionals, on April 28th, enjoy your day. And thank you for a job well done.
|Andrew Abraham | Managing Partner & President|
2021 Faces Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year
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