Administrative assistants need to be highly organized and professional with excellent communication skills. They often function as the backbone of the office, ensuring that daily processes run smoothly, meetings start on time, schedules are adhered to and emails are answered. As a manager or supervisor, there are several things you can do to support admin assistants and ensure that her skills are put to good use.
To ensure that your administrative assistant doesn’t feel overloaded by her duties, stick to assigning her tasks that are within her job description. Don’t insult your assistant by asking her to order flowers for your wife or pour your coffee. These personal tasks are likely not within her written responsibilities, and doing these kinds of things takes away from her ability to focus on actual work duties.
Consistency is the key when dealing with your administrative assistant. When it comes to job duties, procedures and communication, do not constantly change your approach, as this becomes confusing and frustrating for your assistant. Be clear and consistent with regards to expectations and work rules so that your administrative professional can focus on her role in the organization rather than worrying about what she should or shouldn't be doing.
Don’t vent about your home life or personal problems to your administrative assistant. It’s okay to share information about yourself and your family, but don't unload your issues on her. She likely has her own sources of stress, and it’s not her responsibility to act as your counselor.
Give your administrative assistant the authority she requires to complete her tasks and projects. Let her know the scope and deadlines for the work, and ask her to keep you apprised of progress and any issues, but give her the freedom and trust that she will complete the work correctly and on time.
Help your administrative assistant grow professionally by providing her with opportunities to develop new skills. Offer her the chance to take leadership training or enroll in classes to increase her knowledge of software programs or other technologies. This training is an asset to both the employee and the organization, and it lets your assistant know that you value her future with the company.
Be sure to make time in your schedule to meet with your administrative assistant on a daily basis. This allows you to answer questions she may have, get updates on project progress and go over schedules. Take advantage of this time to thank her for her contributions and recognize any exceptional efforts she’s made. This also helps boost her self-esteem and lets her know her hard work is appreciated.
All employees want to feel appreciated and useful, and administrative assistants fulfill an important role in any company. Be sure that you take the time to support admin assistants and build her up as an employee.
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