April 23rd to 29th is Administrative Professionals Week and their special day of celebration is Wednesday, April 26th. Better book your lunch reservation now.
Administrative professionals are those individuals who are responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in support of an office-related environment.
Being an Administrative Professional is not an easy job. The best add tremendous value to the business and are extremely impressive in the role. It takes a certain personality, training, experience and set of skills to be outstanding in the position. Some may say the best are – Control Freaks, Perfectionists, Sargeant Majors, Quiet Leaders, FBI Agents, Co-Overseers, etc, etc. BUT I’d counter with Life Saver, Career Builder, etc.
Administrative Professionals keep the engines running everywhere — from small business offices to the upper reaches of multinational corporations.
Who are these Professionals?
There are many different flavors of Admin Professionals for each sector of the modern economy, locally and globally. Today, the title is changing and evolving and the position is now gender neutral. Whether one is referred to as an Administrative Professional, Executive Administrator, Administrative Assistant, Office Manager, Administrative Specialist, etc. there are several core skills that are transferable.
Administrative Professionals are often far more competent with two of the same skills required by everyone from the C-Suite to the front line. Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills. Where top Professionals tend to excel is in their ability to navigate politics and anticipate what comes next. It is not uncommon for Administrative Professionals to own responsibility for organizing, coordinating and assigning the schedules of several executives, their teams and company customers.
Executives, Managers and almost everyone else in the business do not always recognize that they would be unable to perform at a high functioning level without Administrative Professionals. This week is an opportunity to “wake up and smell the coffee”.
Did you know there are more than 4.1 million Administrative Professionals in the US and 475,000 Canada?
How does one properly honor an Administrative Professional?
It can be tricky. What is an appropriate acknowledgment? How does one avoid being either sexist or condescending?
Surveys have shown that Administrative support personnel greatly appreciate being given opportunities for learning and growth in addition to being offered memberships for participation in professional organizations. Employers always benefit from providing tuition reimbursement for professional development. This may be approving registration for appropriate conferences, seminars, one-off upgrading classes, continuing education workshops or the support to attend college classes that may contribute toward a degree.
Obviously, it is easier when bosses/managers have a close professional relationship with their admins or a long term partnership. In larger organizations, all of the administrative staff might go out to lunch together. In a smaller companies lunch might be brought in and a toast given to the well-recognized people who hold the business together.
Other acceptable options may include flowers, chocolates and gift cards for personal use (Spa, restaurant, retail store, etc.) If budget is an issue, make sure that a “thank you”/acknowledgment card, email, Starbucks card and a few kind words are on the agenda.
What if you do not have an Administrative Professional in your midst?
If you are an entrepreneur or a solopreneur without an assistant, don’t let this day go by without patting yourself on the back. Who do you think has been handling all of the administrative tasks in your business? Is this the week for you to consider the possibility of outsourcing some of your work to a Virtual Assistant? Have you considered giving yourself back some personal or revenue generating time?