I don't think any of us will be surprised with these survey results by OfficePro, which show that "nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of managers polled said responsibilities for support professionals have increased in the last five years".
It is also reported that, "Fifty-seven percent of executives also said administrative staff have greater career options than five years ago".
I thought these survey results tied in nicely with my article "Thinking Outside the Job Description Box".
I was speaking with a manager and he related a story about a person who worked for him, but he was quick to add that she was a "secretary" not an "assistant". I asked him to explain what he meant and he said a secretary just completes a job they are told to do, but an assistant goes beyond that and does a task with little or no instruction. He felt an assistant was a greater help to him. It was nice to see that he could see the difference.
As we near Admin Professionals' Week, OfficePro offers the following ways to recognize support staff. APW (April 20-26):
"-- Give thanks. Express gratitude for your assistant's contributions and achievements in person or with a handwritten note.
-- Do lunch. In addition to thanking your assistant, take time to discuss his or her professional goals and potential career paths.
-- Host a party. Plan a companywide event to recognize all administrative staff.
-- Encourage networking opportunities. Offer to pay for your assistant's membership in relevant trade and professional associations.
-- Provide ongoing educational opportunities. Encourage and, if feasible, pay for your administrative personnel to attend professional development seminars and conferences. Support your staff in pursuing industry certifications and relevant coursework."
I have worked at a few offices where they hosted a luncheon for the assistants served by the managers. It was an easier way to recognize the group as a whole rather than individual bosses buying their assistant gifts.
I think of all the things on the list above I like the last two: Paying the membership to your professional organization and providing educational opportunities.