The survey, conducted in February 2012, involved nearly 300 administrative professionals, representing more than 15 industries and nearly 200 companies of all sizes from around the world. Respondents were asked to identify the biggest challenges they face in the workplace.
The most common response had to do with lack of acknowledgement, lack of appreciation and a feeling of being undervalued.
One respondent said, “My biggest challenge is getting the respect, appreciation and support I think I deserve. The role still has the stigma of being ‘just a secretary’. Most people don’t understand everything we do (until we’re out on vacation or something!).”
Chrissy Scivicque, a former executive assistant and current corporate trainer who works exclusively with administrative professionals, shares this insight:
“Administrative Professionals Day is coming up on April 25, 2012. This is a great opportunity to shift the conversation. Show your admins—and the rest of your team—how much administrative professionals contribute to the success of the business by hosting an appreciation luncheon or offering an exciting training session.”
She does, however, share this caution:
“Remember that showing appreciation once a year isn’t enough. Find ways to incorporate small recognitions into your daily interactions.”
She specifies that these acts of acknowledgment don’t have to be fancy or costly. In fact, the small ones often have the greatest impact. Ms. Scivicque recommends offering regular, sincere public and private praise and using respectful language when discussing the contributions of the admin team.
While Administrative Professionals Day can help counter the number one complaint expressed by support staff, it’s even more effective when followed up with consistent positive reinforcement.
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Chrissy Scivicque, founder of EatYourCareer.com, works with administrative professionals (both individuals and teams), providing training, education and coaching to help elevate workplace performance and increase career satisfaction. As a former executive assistant, she understands the unique challenges and opportunities associated with the field of office administration. She currently runs a successful coaching and consulting practice out of Denver, CO. Learn more about her one-of-a-kind ELEVATE Admins program and how to bring it to your company by visiting http://www.ElevateAdmins.com or calling (303) 872-3731.