How to be a great administrative assistant

How to be a great administrative assistant

In the hustle and bustle of big offices, there is a superhero maintaining peace and order within the workplace. It is the administrative assistant who works day after day to keep an organized office from turning into a chaotic flurry of papers and distraught employees. Every successful business needs one, but how do you become a great administrative assistant?

Social Skills

A good administrative assistant must be able to communicate. Sure, watercooler conversations are a good start, but it will take a little more than that to effectively convey important messages. You need to fine tune your listening skills to pick up on important times and dates for scheduling purposes.

As the go-to person for many, you’ll have to pass on important messages from the boss to the entire team. Be clear and concise. Make sure that any email you send or any phone call you make delivers the message without leaving out vital information. Communicating to others quickly and efficiently is a surefire way to save time and eliminate stress.

Technical Know-How

Administrative Assistant's Technical Know-How

Understanding how to send emails, use Microsoft Word and Excel are important qualities of an administrative assistant. Mastering the office technology will allow you to stay organized and communicate effectively.

Any assistant who can format a boss’s presentation or report to send out to the team is sure to succeed. A great administrative assistant will have some knowledge of accounting, payroll, and company software.

You might also be in charge of ordering office supplies. A shortage of supplies can quickly wreak havoc on an already hectic workload. Keep your pens stocked and your team happy. Master the fax machine, copier and printer. They are used often and will likely jam or present an unknown error. Knowing the specific functions of the technology in your workspace will put you a step above the rest.

Organizational Skills

Organizational Skills

If you can’t stay organized, you cannot expect to be an effective administrative assistant. Everyone in the office relies on you to keep the company running on-schedule, send messages, and assign tasks to improve productivity.

You will have to multitask to keep your boss organized, your team organized, and your mind organized. Managing a filing system is a good way to prevent paperwork from getting lost. Regulate the flow of paperwork in the office to ensure information is getting to the right place.

Nothing can put a stop to efficiency like disorganization. Having all your ducks in a row becomes more difficult when you’re in charge of the office’s ducks as well. Delegate responsibilities to other team members in an organized manner to ensure every task is completed.

Problem-Solving Skills

One of the qualities of administrative assistants that will take you from good to great is the ability to solve problems. Life isn’t always predictable and bumps in the road can present many challenges for the organized, plan-ahead administrator. A quick thinker must figure out where to slip last-minute obligations into the schedule without knocking everything else out of the way. Conflicts between team members should be resolved swiftly to maintain order and maximize productivity. Technology will break and life will get in the way. Regardless of the problem that materializes, a great administrative assistant will know how to make decisions quickly and find a way to help solve it. Understanding the intricacies of the workplace will help you to reach a decision that works for everyone and is in the best interest of your office.

So, what do you think makes a great administrative assistant? Let us know in the comments below!