Getting the Most From Your Support Staff Starts with You

Administrative Personnel

Your support staffers keep operations humming, and most can anticipate needs and problems before they ever arise. They have talents and interests that can be extremely valuable to your organization, but are you getting the most from them? Most companies do not leverage administrative personnel effectively. Here are some tips to help you get the most from your talented support professionals.

Keep Them Engaged

Support staff – like all staff – are their most productive and effective when they feel good about what they are doing and feel challenged to learn.  Keep your support staff engaged by providing them with opportunities to develop their skills and learn new things.

It is also important to show them how their jobs make a positive contribution to the organization. It’s easy to feel unimportant when your entire job is about making someone else look good. When opportunities arise to connect their work to an overarching goal, take it.

Leverage Their Unique Skills

Most support staffers are extremely busy, but most are also not properly utilized. Your administrative assistants have talents, skills and interests that extend beyond their daily task list. Tap into those skills and provide them the opportunity to tackle new tasks and projects. They will feel more motivated when provided with variety, and they will feel a sense of pride that the boss trusts them with additional responsibility.

Empower Them To Make Their Own Decisions

Some decisions do have to be “rubber stamped” by the boss, but if you require your support staffers to get approval for every decision they face, you’re not running an efficient team and you aren’t getting the most out of your employees. Empower support staff to make their own decisions based on their experience and judgments, especially seasoned staff. Team members who have been around for many years and who have good relationships with their bosses can easily anticipate the right decision without waiting for approval.

Say “Please” And “Thank You”

These words don’t take much time or effort to incorporate into your interactions with support staff, and they go a long, long way. Nobody likes being ordered around, but even if you are making a demand, rather than a request, form it in the phrase of a polite question.  “Bob, run me the weekly report. I need it in ten minutes,” will make Bob feel much differently than, “Hey, Bob! Would you please pause what you’re working on and run me that weekly report? I want to look it over before my meeting.” And when you do that that report in your hands, say thank you. People want to feel valued for the work that they do.

Support staff can be the glue that holds the office together.  But getting the most from those professionals starts with you. If you are looking to attract the best and brightest administrative staff in your market, reach out to the recruiters at CSS today.