Five Things Your Administrative Assistant Wants You To Know
In honor of this year's Administrative Professionals Day, here are five things your admin— you know, that person who can wrangle your insane calendar, remember everyone in the office’s birthdays, and find that toy your daughter wants even though it's sold out everywhere— wants you to know.
- They’re happy to help. Seriously. Besides it being their job description, admins take pleasure in feeling like they’ve made your life a little easier. While scheduling a meeting feels like a time suck for you, your admin views the task as a puzzle to be solved. Don’t feel guilty asking them for help.
- But don’t forget to thank them. Think about how you know you’re doing well at work. Maybe you created a new product and sales are soaring. For your admin, success is measured by your feedback. Feeling valued is everything for them, so receiving a genuine “thank you” can feel like the equivalent of landing a huge sale.
- Admins have many skills, but mind-reading isn’t one of them. We know you’re very busy; that’s why you have an admin in the first place. However, those cryptic emails with little instruction, or worse, just a forwarded email thread your admin is expected to decipher, is only creating more work for everyone. When assigning a task, take an extra 30 seconds and include the who, what, where, when, and why, so your admin doesn’t have to keep bugging you for more information.
- Let them create their own job titles. “Administrative assistant,” “executive assistant,” or even (cringe) “secretary,” might be fine on a resume, but chances are those titles don’t fully encapture everything your admin is doing, and frankly, sounds a little demeaning. Even if it’s only used internally, titles like “Scheduling Ninja,” or “Chief Happiness Officer” can make your admin feel more like a valued member of a team, and not just the assistant to the “real” employees.
- Don’t overlook their potential. Most admins have skills and education that extend far beyond the day-to-day tasks they are responsible for. Try including them in decisions, or bounce an idea off of them once in awhile, and you might be surprised by their contributions.
Takeaway: Today is all about appreciating the less visible members of your team, and recognizing that success comes from great collaboration. For best results, keep the spirit of gratitude going year-round throughout your entire organization.