Administrative professionals are important links and support to the successful operations of businesses. Paying attention to their on-going training and development needs are just as curial as investing in your company.
It seems many organisations don’t recognise the need for training administrative professionals, there’s an assumption made that they’ll just be able to absorb new responsibilities and “get on with it” as they go. Having said that, Administrators need to start recognising their own value and having the confidence to persue develop opportunities.
To improve productivity and morale and also increase employee retention, the secret is to provide solid and professional development opportunities for your administrative staff.
Here are a few ways to invest in your administrative staff to help achieve both company goals and for them to feel more empowered.
Promote and support event attendance – It is important to provide regular opportunities for networking. Support and fund your administrative staff to attend at least one professional meeting per year. Once they’ve attended, you could ask for a short presentation to other staff about the event and what was learned. As far as value for money, sometimes there are group bookings available, so consider sending a selection of staff within the office or even across departments.
Value their opinion – “What do you think?” is a powerful question to ask your admin staff. Then importantly, listen.
A recent salary report we commented on stated that “the demand for administrative and office support staff is rising in line with business growth plans”. This means that companies should consider training and development even more.
Invest in training – career development and training is not just reserved for managers or specialists, admin professionals should also participate in their own professional development. The administrative professional has many roles and responsibilities, which often isn’t recognised amongst colleagues. Similarly with an increasingly diverse skillset it can be difficult to pinpoint what training may be relevant, which is why many don’t get the opportunity to engage in training beyond the “mandatory”. Companies should make steps to invest in both internal and external training opportunities to develop both soft skills (communication) and hard skills (technology). The benefit of providing such opportunities actually goes beyond the knowledge gained. Your admin staff begin to feel a sense of ownership and also a feeling of loyalty since you are demonstrating your beliefs in their talent and respect for their value. Above all else, a huge benefit of providing training is self-confidence and self-esteem and by upskilling they will have increased insight and skills to help the organisation grow.