The Untapped Potential of Administrative Professionals
Research Uncovers Non-Traditional Areas Where Support Staff Are Assisting
Toronto - Administrative professionals are often a manager's right hand, and new research shows these office superstars would love to help even more at work. Half (50 per cent) of support staff surveyed said they have skills that are not being tapped.
The findings are part of Office of the Future, a research project from staffing firm OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Visit officeteam.ca/ootf to learn more about the study and download How to Hire All-Star Administrative Professionals and Maximize Their Potential, a guide providing tips for companies to recruit support staff and keep them engaged.
Administrative professionals were asked, "To what extent does your current manager utilize your full abilities?" Their responses:
To a great extent -- I use my full range of skills - 43%
To some extent, but I have some skills that are not being tapped - 50%
Not at all I am completely underutilized - 7%
"Administrative professionals often have skills that make them well-suited to help with tasks outside of their conventional roles," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "When support staff take on new projects, companies gain a valuable resource, and workers receive the opportunity to boost their talents and try their hand at new things."
Four other key findings from the research:
1. Support staff are organizing soirees and spreadsheets.
Administrative workers identified event planning (78 per cent) and controlling costs (66 per cent) as the top areas they've been asked to help with.
2. Many are 'getting social.'
About three in five (58 per cent) senior managers interviewed said administrative staff have assisted in updating company profile information or images on social media.
Forty-five per cent noted that support personnel have monitored user comments or feedback on these sites.
More than half (54 per cent) of executives said administrative professionals have helped manage or support the company's LinkedIn account. Forty-nine per cent have received their assistance with Facebook.
3. They have connections in all the right places.
When asked which departments they collaborate with at least once a week, most administrative workers said information technology (79 per cent).
Many also interact with colleagues in finance and accounting (76 per cent) and human resources (66 per cent).
4. Administrative professionals have more influence than you might think.
Most managers (88 per cent) stated they value their assistant's opinion about the job candidates they interview.
Nearly half (49 per cent) of administrative professionals said they've been asked to provide feedback on job applicants based on their interactions in the lobby or on the phone.
Forty-four per cent have interviewed candidates themselves.