Retain Top Talent

By on Apr 21, 2021 in Events

A resourceful administrative assistant is worth their weight in gold (or palladium for that matter). Admins are the backbone of the company: from facilitating events to communicating between departments and clients, they keep day-to-day affairs running smoothly.


April 21 is Administrative Professionals Day, but the celebration doesn’t have to end today. In fact, it’s important that the celebration continues if you aim to retain your top talent. Below are a few practical tips to help you get started.

Schedule ways to show that you care.

One of the best ways to celebrate administrative professionals is to extend the celebration beyond one day. Sure, flowers and a certificate of appreciation are nice. But when you want to improve employee satisfaction and promote company loyalty, the day-to-day actions are what matter most.

Consider putting a reminder on your calendar at least once per quarter. Schedule a simple way to let your admin know that you appreciate their efforts. It could be a grand gesture like a spa retreat, of course, but smaller gestures are also valuable. Consider a collectible item that you know they like or an extended lunch break. The key is to consistently show that you appreciate them.

Ask. Listen. Respond.

Find time outside of their performance review to check in. Sometimes, it’s as simple as asking “How are you?” if you don’t already do so.

You can begin with a check-in template. You may also consider asking any of the following questions, personalizing them as you see fit:

  • What would make your work here more rewarding?
  • What could we do to support you and your work?
  • What do I do as a manager that’s currently a roadblock?

If the last question felt like a punch to the stomach, don’t be afraid. Craig Cincotta, senior director of marketing and communications at SAP, a data processing giant, has good reasons for the question.

“Demonstrate your own self-awareness and find out what you can do better,” Cincotta says during an interview with Entrepreneur. “If you are managing multiple people, you will find they all have different styles and personalities. You need to have some chameleon-like qualities so you can get the best out of them. By understanding what you can specifically do for them, the easier it will be to have a strong working relationship.”

Provide the tools needed to succeed.

Cincotta also recommends removing barriers for employees to help them grow and serve the organization better. “A really important function of management is to help remove roadblocks and barriers for employees,” he says. “If you can help them understand their path to success and clear the road of obstacles before they get there, the result is often a more efficient and productive employee.”

Most admins crave efficiency. These often organized, type A personalities shine when they’re able to work with greater ease, less confusion and zero redundancies. If they’re shuffling paper and working on outdated systems, document management tools can be a simple way to help them help you.

Consider a cloud-based document management system that promotes efficiency, teamwork and secure remote access for busy days on-the-go. Revamping your document management style can help to increase productivity and communication throughout the organization. Your admin will thank you.

Seek, acknowledge and value good ideas.

Admins get a bird’s-eye view of the way things work around the office. They interact with executives, junior team members, and vendors alike. That’s why their ideas can be incredibly valuable.

Luke Thomas is a contributing editor at Friday, a mission control platform for remote work. He recommends giving your admin opportunities to think outside-the-box when it comes to how the company, the office, or how an upcoming project performs.

Consider asking, “If you were me, what would you improve about the company?” says Thomas. “Check-ins aren’t just about building relationships and constructive feedback, but about keeping tabs on how well the company is doing too.”

Not every response will be actionable but be sure to acknowledge what is and explore options around it. When a team member feels valued, you earn loyalty and their investment in the wellbeing of the organization.