A new OfficeTeam study shows that administration professionals save their managers an average of 101 productive minutes per day. Let’s discuss it.
“Today, managers recognize that administrative assistants are true partners, that they let us do more and gain a huge amount of time,” says Montreal O’Leary, regional director of OfficeTeam in Montreal. This time savings is not insignificant since according to the study their work lets the company earn, on average, the equivalent of a full day of work per week in productivity. In addition, executives who participated in the survey are unanimous – their assistant is an important factor in their success and close to two-thirds feel that their contribution is “very valuable”.
A changing role
If support personnel allows for such a time saving in productivity, it’s particularly because they do not just perform basic administrative tasks. Their responsibilities have increased and some of them go beyond tasks that are part of their traditional job description. “Administrative assistants can take care of reports, managing schedules, training colleagues in the company’s technology or mentoring new employees,” Michael O’Leary says. Study participants gave other examples of opportunities where administration professionals went beyond expectations, such as “analyzing data and identifying potential customers for the business”, “sending birthday cards and flowers to all staff members, or “supporting selection of new employees, posting jobs and arranging interviews”. In addition, in the OfficeTeam study, 75% of senior managers say that the administrative support workers’ responsibilities have increased over the last five years.
The skills of administrative professionals can also be used in different departments of a company and they currently have more promising career growth opportunities than before. “Some work with the finance department, then they will gradually integrate into the purchasing department, then production,” Michael O’Leary gives as an example. He says that their skills need to be put to the best use. “The more staff is involved, the more skilled they become,” he believes.
Support staff therefore deserve fair recognition of what they accomplish in a company. “I believe that any good organization recognizes talent and value wherever it is,” says Michael O’Leary, emphasizing the importance of knowing how to value employees. Indeed, according to the Robert Half recruitment firm, two employees out of three say they would probably quit their job if they did not feel appreciated by their manager.