Tomorrow morning we’re attending the United Way Ballarat Administrative Professionals Breakfast. Secretaries Day, as it was previously known was initiated to appreciate the work of secretaries and to encourage more people in the profession. The breakfast is always a hive of activity, with a key note speaker, lots of prizes up for grabs and some pampering for our administrative professionals. It’s capped off with the Administrative Professional of the Year award, publicly acknowledging an Administrative Professional who has been nominated by their workplace, for their contribution to their workplace and broader community. Having attended for many years now, it’s a wonderful event and is the perfect opportunity for managers to acknowledge and recognise the contribution that their administrators make to their businesses.

Our Admin Professionals are the glue holding our businesses together and the value they make to our businesses is invaluable. I know Inspire HQ would not be where it is today without the incredible contribution made by our Administrator. Wearing many hats, sometimes the title of Administrator doesn’t accurately reflect or encompass all the tasks and responsibilities they perform in todays changing business world. Working on site with a client earlier this week I was talking to the Receptionist about some of the challenges she faces in her role and how she needs to be the assertive gatekeeper but is often perceived and treated as “just” the receptionist. The reality is she is the receptionist but she is also the office manager, the finance officer, the payroll officer, the personal assistant to 3 senior managers, the purchasing officer; just to name a few of the different hats she wears.

As a recruiter I talk with Admin Professionals every day who are not engaged in their current workplace and are looking to change employers. Unfortunately on many occasions, the Admin Professional is motivated to look for a new opportunity because they feel under-appreciated, receive no recognition for their contribution or are treated as “just” the administrator. It’s incredibly disappointing to see these scenarios time and time again and often it is not until that administrator has resigned and left the business that the contribution they made is fully realised.

In working with businesses to assist them with their recruitment needs I often ask why would someone want to work here or what’s great about working here. Hiring managers tell me it’s a great place to work because they offer flexible hours, offer discounted gym memberships, have a fruit basket…. And the list goes on. These are all great initiatives. However from my experience, no matter how many incentives or gifts you might offer your employees, a good old genuine thank you is the most valuable and important recognition a staff member can receive. A public thank you in front of their fellow team members at a team meeting or a genuine thank you at the end of a busy day that your couldn’t have got through without their assistance and support goes a long way. Let’s face it, we publicly acknowledge and thank our sales people when they close a major deal or our production manager when they create efficiencies and save money, or our finance team when they negotiate reduced costs with a supplier. When was the last time you thanked your administrator for providing excellent customer service that ensured your customers kept coming back, or thanked them for being an effective gatekeeper and saving you from having to handle an extra 20 phone calls?

In the busy world that we operate, it can be easy to forget the little things that just happen because of our admin professionals skills, abilities and expertise in ensuring our businesses run effectively. A genuine thank you can go a long way in engaging and retaining your team. At the end of the day we all just want to feel valued and appreciated. A genuine thank you won’t cost you anything but its power is in valuable.

Do you agree? Is a thank you important to you in the workplace? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this weeks blog.


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About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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