Based on the stories I’ve heard over the years there is no doubt in my mind that assistants have one of the most stressful and underrated jobs out there. Administrative assistants are the workhorses behind many successful business executives, they spend the majority of their career making someone else look good. They even help new managers advance up the corporate ladder. Yet they go unnoticed although they are incredibly well informed about confidential, critical, and personal information. They are pretty much invisible unless things go wrong and most of them have accepted this fact, but wouldn’t it be a good idea, to recognize these valued partners at least once a year?
Many assistants are young and often straight out of school however they are often the ones most up to date on trends in technology and are adept at learning the newest technologies, proving themselves to be a valuable asset very quickly. Experienced administrative assistants are keenly aware of keeping their skills up to date and most of them are taking additional courses in marketing, management and organization in order keep up with the ever changing work environment. Career administrative assistants are an indispensable resource for managers or executives and contribute directly to the profitability of the company. This quote in the HBR – says it best “Microsoft will never develop software that can calm a hysterical sales manager, avert a crisis by redrafting a poorly worded email, smooth a customer’s ruffled feathers, and solve a looming HR issue-all within a single hour.” Harvard Business Review 2011 Let’s face it Administrative Assistants are the ones who manage the managers.
However in my opinion the one thing lacking the most in their position is recognition. To really make this day special organize a meeting or lunch and present an award to the administrative assistant. Let the rest of the organization know how many hours she has spent learning the new software, improving client relations, keeping meetings running smoothly. Let her enjoy the admiration of the company and present her with a gift that will remain with her for decades.