Overseeing the administrative responsibilities in any business is a career in which the right business-minded individual can truly succeed. An administrative assistant is tasked with ensuring that the organizational leaders are equipped to perform efficiently and effectively. However, this requires not only understanding a business’s overall goals and objectives but using that information to run the business successfully. At its core, the skills needed for a successful career as an administrative assistant include the ability to think analytically, communicate effectively, and execute efficiently.
Today’s management structure differs greatly from past standards and modern companies are focused on identifying the most effective operational practices to leverage against the needs of a senior leadership team. Tech startups, the type of global businesses that provides low-cost, high-return yields, is one example of a type of organization that has been growing in their acceptance of the value that administrative assistants provide, thereby increasing management’s time available and capacity. Whether in New York or California, startups and small businesses have become a leader in supporting the key performers including adding more administrative assistants to set them apart from the competition.
Establishing an effective administrative assistant staffing model involves strategy development with some trial and error, but a skilled administrative assistant can shape efficient and effective business processes by taking over often trivial though necessary tasks that boil down to a few traits we’ve seen during the last 20 years at Premier Talent Partners.
1. An Administrative Assistant is Realistic
A strong administrative assistant knows that their direct supervisor is a highly valuable asset and must communicate with their staff on a frequent basis to ensure productivity doesn’t fall. This means that administrative professionals must not only be the messenger of various communications – phone calls, emails, etc – but also being aware of the work environment that encompasses other who are a part of the same team.
It’s no surprise that teams with strong and trusting leadership positively impacted team employees’ individual and collective performances. As an example, if an administrative assistant realizes that there may be an issue in scheduling an important meeting that could end up costing the company revenue, communicating this quickly and directly is imperative. Effective administrative leaders can impress upon their supervisors the practical yet vital changes in information that occurs daily. In the event that there is an issue with their administrative tasks, or if a scheduling conflict arises, there should be a point person to bring this to attention without sugar-coating their communication.
2. An Administrative Assistant Looks For Efficiency
An effective administrative assistant is hired to support a one or multiple managers and is hired to moderate inputs in communication and resource planning, typically from a highly visible desk in an office environment. These individuals reduce the time others spend handling the minor complexities in communication, allowing those others to spend more time and attention invested in their own siloed skillsets. They may be taking direction from multiple parties at once, and their impact on production is often not as heralded though in some cases more rigorous and sensitive. They are able to achieve this through sheer efficiency.
An administrative assistant must remain aware of the task at hand, and this is often tied to a core organizational objective, rather than any single department’s individual goals. To accomplish this, administrative assistants must be flexible in their daily tasks and execute cross-functional communication to facilitate efficient workflows between teams and departments.
3. An Administrative Assistant Focuses on Quality
In today’s marketplace, the focus on quality has progressed to ensuring value at each component of a business. Rather than use a communications tool that would be used by 50% of the office, an administrative assistant might conduct further research to eventually decide on a tool that charges slightly more but has more features to ensure that it will be used.
Not only does focusing on quality help administrative assistants maintain productive environments by fostering pride in their work, but it can also drive down costs thereby helping an organization gain an advantage over historical performance or competition.
4. Administrative Assistants Are Effective At Time Management.
Administrative assistants play a vital role in the growth of a company. Administrative assistants within an organization are working tirelessly to execute and supervise the office environment to minimize risk and effectively respond to interruptions that are bound to occur during the course of a business day. Since administrative assistants focus primarily on the internal business units, they have an increasingly wide range of responsibilities. Businesses have begun to use temporary and contract administrative assistants to be able to focus on organizational goals and orchestrate collaboration without the need to get in the weeds.
As an administrative assistant, having effective time management skills requires knowledge of the business unit to encourage appropriate response times, especially if they are customer facing in any capacity. For example, scheduling and planning meetings is a priceless task that requires facilitating multiple parties in an available space at the same time. As an administrative leader, having effective approaches to time management requires knowledge of office culture, business operations, communication systems and data entry as well as customer service. Admin assistants need to respond to business leaders in timely, productive ways that reduce complexity and move forward without delay.
5. Administrative Assistants Lead From The Trenches.
The best administrative assistants are known by name for their ability to facilitate communication between multiple teams without the need for constant back and forth. While their role is less focused on business decision-making, the ability to maintain a degree of responsibility for the course of action is as important as the decisions being discussed. They are in charge of moving multiple parties towards a centrally defined goal, which is the optimal design for a team that is growing yet could use a temporary or contract-to-hire administrative assistant to handle the ancillary details.
Administrative assistants work to ensure that the staff they support is enabled to leverage their own abilities by removing the slight barriers to productivity that inevitably get in the way of daily operations. We believe the top-performing organizations are composed of healthy and motivated team members, and as those teams grow you may see the need to onboard supporting roles. The need for an administrative assistant may not be apparent until multiple members of your team make mention of the small, passive activities that are getting in the way of performing their dedicated tasks. Your ability to manage timelines and communication will wane as your company grows, and there will be a point when your staff struggles to meet performance goals and address those sensitive operations areas that can easily be remedied with a contract administrative assistant. You want to surround yourself with organized individuals that excel and support their mission.
When your goal is consistency across multiple teams and business units, you should encourage and support your staff to perform at their peak, and sometimes this means bringing in contract administrative staff to retain and reach your optimal business standards.
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