5 Ways to Work More Effectively With Your Administrative Assistant

Stop hiring new administrative support staff. And learn how to retain your existing administrative staff.

Are you a manager, director or other senior-level personnel who wants to work more effectively with your administrative support professional? Did you know that partnering with your administrative assistants and executive assistants can actually help you to meet your professional goals at work? Would you like to know how to improve morale among your administrative support professionals and retain them as long-term employees? After all, isn't it a lot more profitable to retain existing staff than to constantly hire, train and get along with new staff? Here are five ways to work more effectively with your current administrative support professionals starting now:

1. Assume that your administrative support professional doesn't know what's on your mind until you tell him. That's the one assumption it's okay to make in the office environment. Always remember that your administrative support professional is not a mind reader--no matter how in tune with your thoughts she or he may seem to be sometimes. It's that one time that you "assume" when things will go awry in your work relationship.

2. Discuss your personal and professional goals. In order to be your partner, your administrative support professional needs to know who you want to be when. What do you personally want in your career? And what are you striving for on behalf of the company? These answers will affect your administrative professional's duties. She wants to help you achieve your plans. Knowing these answers helps her to clarify the prioritization of tasks and situations that arise daily. She'll focus on projects relevant to your goals first when possible. And she'll know and pass along pieces of information she happens upon throughout the year that would be useful or of interest to you.

3. Discuss project expectations. When you're giving an assignment, make sure your administrative professional precisely understands the expected project outcome. This means you will need to clarify the outcome in your head first and then clearly relay that expected outcome to your administrative professional. Clearly voicing the precise (or nearly precise) expected project outcome before it happens means no surprises upon project completion and efficient use of your time and that of your administrative professional. Precise communication prevents misinterpretation by both parties which can cause bad relationships and inappropriate work results. If the results aren't what you asked for then maybe in actuality you didn't quite ask for the results you wanted.

4. Have a daily briefing with your administrative support person. Meet daily whether either of you want to do so or not. This meeting forces communication to flow daily between you both, which is a good thing. And comfort levels with each other will rise. It could be a five minute meeting while standing. Or it could be a 10 minute meeting while seated that's officially posted on the calendar to happen every day that you're in the office at 9:00 a.m. Do what works best for you both. And make sure you're uninterrupted during this time.

5. Support opportunities for your administrative professional to achieve certifications. For example, your administrative professional can become a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) and a Certified Professional Secretary (CPS), both elite designations by administrative professional criteria. Encourage her or him to train and test for these titles as well as have your company pay the registration costs.

(c) 2005 Karen Fritscher-Porter

Karen Fritscher-Porter is the author of the eBooklet: 87 Ways You Can Work More Effectively With Your Administrative Support Professional. Order your copy at http://www.admin-ezine.com/e mployertips.htm. Fritscher-Porter publishes The Effective Admin newsletter (http://www.admin-ezine.com). The monthly e-zine is distributed to 800+ administrative assistants and executive assistants globally to help them excel on the job and in their careers.

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