Administrative Assistants are the ones who take our ideas and draft them to fruition. They are the ones we constantly brainstorm with and are the backbone of the office. This year during Administrative Professionals Week (April 20-26), we decided to create a list of what Administrative Professionals wish they could share with their supervisors to be more effective in their position.
Consistency is key! If you want your assistant to approach you in a meeting one way, it’s best to maintain that expectation through every circumstance. When “rules” change, maintaining the ideal way you want things done becomes difficult to gauge. Assistants spend so much time trying to decipher which rules apply for the given situation, that they lose site of the overall picture and ultimate goal.
Respect their Job Description
While this is obviously a given, you would be surprised to learn how many supervisors bring their children to work and expect their Administrative Assistants to keep them entertained. They are there at work to do what you need them to do, but be respectful of their time and workload before you ask them to do something that is not in their job description.
Keep Work and Home Life Separate
Many times Administrative Professionals know a lot of what is happening in their supervisor’s life. While that is not bad, it can make it difficult when they become an emotional punching bag during emotional times when their supervisor isn’t the happiest. Remember that while assistants can and will do a lot, using them as a sounding board can cause stress in their life, as well.
Administrative Professionals need time from their supervisors to do a great job at work. When a supervisor carves out a few minutes during each day to go over projects with their Administrative Assistant, the assistant’s efficiency drastically improves. Spending time with your Administrative Professional increases morale and boosts self-esteem because they see themselves as an important part of your day. This also reduces the amount of time they interrupt you during the day to answer questions!
Create and Maintain Trust
You likely went through an extensive process to hire the right assistant, so why go through that trouble if you don’t trust them to do the work they were hired to perform? If you need to find out where they are with a project, ask for regular updates or set deadlines for follow-up. Then, expectations have been established (inspect what you expect) for anticipated progress or consequences, should those updates be missed. Trust that you hired a capable professional, set expectations and then you can trust that tasks (big and small) are being completed.
Always Say THANK YOU!
Administrative Professionals always want to do a good job and consistently take great pride in their work ethic. Remember that saying, “Thank you,” can really reinforce and impact their job performance.
Remember that whenever you need something or are in need of a project being completed, your Administrative Professionals are the ones making that happen and assist you in running a well-organized and maintained office. Pride yourself on recognizing their achievements and don’t be afraid to steer them in the right direction with positive, clear and consistent communication.