on April 23, 2008
Today is Administrative Professionals Day—a day when bosses everywhere are encouraged to demonstrate how much they appreciate their admins, secretaries, office managers, etc.
In my post a few days ago, I noted that what administrative professionals want the most—more than flowers and candy—is professional development. (Flowers and candy in addition to professional development won’t hurt, though.) When admins are encouraged to grow professionally, you show these vital employees how much you value their intelligence and their potential. This means that you allow them to choose the workshops, professional organizations and meetings that are most appropriate for them—and you happily pay for the dues and meetings, and consider the time they spend there as work time. And you reimburse them for mileage and meals, by the way. You invest in them—and in return, they will invest more in your organization.
You really, really want your administrative folks (receptionists, office managers, front desk workers, secretaries, etc.) to be fully engaged on the job. You want them to be ambassadors for your organization. The reputation of your organization depends on it.
If your vitally important, front-line employees are not happy and engaged on the job, others will hear about it. And that goes for employees in every other kind of position as well. Employees who are unhappy and/or unengaged complain about their jobs, their employers, their co-workers, and their bosses, because it’s just human nature to do that. They complain to other employees, of course. But they also complain to their spouses, children, relatives, friends and neighbors…and they complain to your customers. Ouch.
Administrative professionals are often in a position to help you the most…and hurt you the most. They are the “go to” people who typically see and hear more than the average employee. They are often described as being “indispensable” or “irreplaceable” or “their bosses’ right and left hands.” On Administrative Professionals Day, treat them like gold. And every other day of the year…treat them like gold. Not because you want to minimize the chance they will complain—but because it’s the right way to treat employees.