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Professional development for administrative assistants

Do offer/encourage "professional development" for people like AA's or EA's?

And if you do, what exactly do you encourage?

Answers

David Smith
Title: Manager
Company: Private
(Manager, Private) |

We have fairly high admin turnover, which I suspect is the reason we generally don't invest in training for executive assistants and administrative professionals. It's hard to justify training for folks who often are working somewhere else soon.

On types of training, I'd like to see better event planning, writing and email management courses for our admins. I'd be curious to read what's true elsewhere.

Ernie Humphrey CTP
Title: CEO & COO
Company: Treasury Careers
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO & COO, Treasury Careers) |

Who even has one anymore? I find the concept a bit archaic in today's world

Jennifer Wilson
Title: Sales & Marketing Executive Assistant
Company: Neenah Paper Inc.
(Sales & Marketing Executive Assistant, Neenah Paper Inc.) |

Yes, ignoring training and professional development for admins is definitely the way to go. Especially when one considers that the cost of training is probably less than 2% of the total cost of the employee.

Since no engaged employee has ever been promoted from an entry level job or made a valuable contribution to any organization, it is best to just grind through frequent replacements.

Especially true when one considers that replacing an admin is virtually free of all forms of cost. Plus, how could a disengaged executive assistant/admin ever cost an organization anything in lost productivity or mistakes? Inconceivable!

At the same time, there are absolutely no online options for cost-effective employee training. As everyone knows, there are none.

Finally, the proof is certainly evident as the hallmark of all great organizations is ignoring professional development, company culture, fostering loyalty and improving productivity... especially for the people who are not at the top.

I could not agree more. Way to go!

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

It is NOT the title but how you use/benefit from them. I have been in organizations that use them as expensive errand persons and I have also been in organizations that won't or can't function without them (even if they don't/can't recognize it yet).

To those that are familiar with the TV series SUITS, my ideal EA/AA would be the likes of a Donna, the EA/AA of one of the main character (sans the sexual tension).

As for the question, I would plan for development where I am (this is person specific) not good at or those that I always need help with. Presentation, event planning, even excel skills. The trick is finding how to maximize utilization of those they support.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Professional development for administrative assistants isn't something I've seen done. I do think it'd be a great idea for the company to develop these employees. If the employee is loyal to the company, then there's a chance to promote them within the company. To David's comments above, turnover does tend to be high amount AAs. Could professional development curb such turnover?

Ideally, training on Excel, Word, and other Microsoft applications would be great. Depending on their writing abilities, a company could also invest in copywriting courses for the AA. Communicating with internal and external people is important, especially for executive assistants, so some type of communication training and conflict resolution.

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