Win/Win a guest blog by Pamela J. Baird
How? That’s the question. What steps would we like our leadership team to take in creating stronger partnerships with their administrative partners? How can our organization simultaneously elevate performance, increase job satisfaction, and develop this integral portion of employees? Where do we begin? There is no formula. This is mostly based on feelings and you know how difficult that can be to understand.
I’ve had many assistants share with me the challenges they face on a daily basis and how their managers endeavor to make them more effective in their department. Administrative professionals are not miserable at work, but they don’t feel as enthusiastic as they once did. They would like some nourishing. In their professional direction.
Have you seen the Hierarchy of Career Needs?
Spiritual Needs: Purpose, Participation, Passion, Power and Principles
Mental Needs: Challenge, Engagement, Enjoyment, and Stimulation
Physical Needs: Income, Security, Stability, Comfort, and Safety
Social Needs: Relationships, Sense of belonging, Respect, and Personal Interaction
Many of the administrative partner responses are fascinating and I’m using them as a roadmap to an acronym I came across. “ELEVATE.”
E – ENGAGE
All employees, including administrative assistants excel most when they feel enthusiastic about their work and deeply involved in (and committed to) the success of the business. Engage your admins by providing ample development opportunities; facilitating two-way communication between administrative professionals and management; and helping administrative partners understand the priorities of the business and how their role contributes to the bottom line.
L – LEVERAGE
Few administrative teams are properly leveraged. This doesn’t mean they are not busy; they simply are not contributing to the fullest extent possible. Your administrative peers have talents and interests that go beyond the typical day-to-day tasks assigned.
Leverage your administrative team’s capabilities by offering a greater variety of challenging tasks that allow them to utilize and expand their unique skill set. You and your department will benefit from the added productivity, and the administrative partner will experience increased motivation and job satisfaction.
E – EMPOWER
Administrative partners are sometimes stifled by micromanagement and lack of authority. Empower your administrative professional to make decisions and take action based on their own sound judgement. Give them access to the necessary resources and hold them accountable for the consequences. Doing so will give your administrative partner a greater level of confidence, a better understanding of business, a deeper investment in the outcome, and a greater sense of purpose within the organization.
V – VALUE
Everyone wants to feel valued and valuable and administrative professionals are no different. Administrative partners will rise to meet the expectations placed on them. The more you think of them, and treat them, as valuable team members, the more they will act as valued member of your team.
Show that you value your partner by offering sincere public and private praise, acknowledging their victories, and using respectful language when discussing their contributions.
A – ARTICULATE
Don’t force your administrative partner to play detective. When you offer clear, accurate and timely communication, administrative professionals know exactly what is expected of them. They are able to work faster, make fewer mistakes and better utilize their skills to meet the demands of the job. Ultimately, they are positioned for success and better equipped to support you.
T – TRAIN
While business leaders enjoy large budgets for training and development, administrative partners often get little to no support in this regard. Invest in your administrative professional and watch them flourish.
With regular training and education your administrative partner will hone their skills and network. This allows them to take on more responsibility, complete tasks more efficiently, and require less supervision. Perhaps the more important picture, they will feel valued. Their commitment to your organization will strengthen as they feel the company’s commitment to them.
E – ENRICH
Help make a more enriching experience for your administrative partner by giving them the space to grow personally and professionally. Support volunteer efforts, encourage a healthy lifestyle, and allow for sustainable work-life balance. As human beings, we all want to feel that our work supports our bigger life goals.
Administrative partners, like all employees, perform best when they feel rewarded on a level deeper than a paycheck. Implementing these seven simple steps will help you lift your administrative partners – and your business – new heights.
Pamela J. Baird, Guest Blogger
Credentials: Pamela has a degree in Computer Science from Michigan State. Her prior employment was General Motors Corporation for 16 years in product design/development in Detroit and Pontiac, Michigan. Pamela has been at Intel since March, 2005. She was previously at Intel from 1995 through 2001. Pamela has been a Sr. Admin Assistant for Carlene Ellis, VP, Education, and is presently supporting Rosalind Hudnell in Corporate Diversity. Pamela would tell you her positions have been very exciting
What she loves about her work: I really enjoy seeing the new faces at Intel. It’s very important that people feel connected to Intel Corporation as well as the community they will reside in. The new employees all have such fresh outlooks and are so eager to be here. It should be a top priority to Intel to make them welcome and valued. We want the best from our new employees, and we should give them our best foot forward. I get a sense of Intel’s future as I listen to their ideas, feedback, and questions. It is a privilege to meet them first! I must also say that I have had excellent supportive managers who encourage me to instruct these classes. Both Carlene Ellis and Rosalind Hudnell can see the value added to Intel and my personal growth.
What she loves to do for fun: In my spare time, I take off to the Atlantic Ocean. I am a “cruise ship fanatic”. Ask me about any Caribbean island…I’ve been there.
Family: Four children! Owen, 39, Ebony, 37, Deborah 33, and Synnamon 20. Of course, I cannot leave out my dachshunds, Linus and Roxie.