You know that person. The person in your organization who makes you look organized when you aren’t. Who shows you how to do things on your computer (for the 100th time) you should already know. Who knows as much about the new fill-in-the-blank service or product you’re launching as you do. Who understands your customer’s quirks and preferences better than you ever will. Who is the gatekeeper for all those pesky calls. Who schedules their vacation around your vacation or conferences. Who meets you downstairs with that document you need but left in your office. Who does all of this with only an occasional thanks and probably an even rarer compliment. You know them. Your administrative professional.
This week is Administrative Professionals Week and Thursday is Administrative Professionals Day. Take some time and thank your admin professionals today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. It will be hard to forget to do it, because reminders are everywhere. But take it a step further: thank them every week.
Thank them when they reduce your stress. When they stay late without you asking. When they go the extra mile (which they often do) to meet your last minute deadlines. Give them specifics when you thank them. Let them know how they help – what they have done that day for you that meant something.
Leading administrative professionals is like leading any other professional; you must invest in them to help them grow. Practice being a “One Minute Manager” (as Ken Blanchard says in his book); help your professionals (admin and otherwise) by being honest with them about their performance and helping them learn from their mistakes when they make the mistake, not weeks afterward. As Blanchard says “The best minute I spend is the one I invest in people”.
Your constructive, immediate feedback about mistakes made will be better absorbed if it comes with consistent, genuine and specific praise and thanks throughout the year.