The talented, respected administrative professional who can produce efficient, meaningful reports or set up a budget grid in a flash can become even more valuable to his or her company. When people skills like communication, team-building and problem-solving are enhanced, a person’s skill level will also increase, making him or her more valuable as an employee. This integrated training approach makes perfect business sense in today’s work environment.
Smart Business asked Anne Hach, executive director for professional training at Corporate College, to explain how training in business etiquette, business writing, event planning and sales makes an administrative professional indispensable to making an organization profitable.
How important is the enhancement of technical skills?
In our increasingly technical environment, advanced skills increase productivity and effectiveness. Computer competence turned to computer savvy is smart for both employer and employee. Being able to take a PowerPoint presentation to the next level, for example, can pique a client’s interest and close the deal. A sophisticated, clean timeline can focus and accelerate an important project. Everybody on the team wins.
Why is business etiquette essential to business success?
The administrative professional often is the first contact with a potential or existing client, so the initial image really counts. In all jobs, it is the little things that matter, like returning phone calls promptly and writing thank-you notes. So when we know what to do and when to do it — sometimes even before it happens — we can be confident we are doing our best to reflect and preserve our company’s reputation.
Picture this. The company president, scheduled to greet a top client and give a VIP tour, is suddenly called out of the office for an emergency. No need for panic. The president is confident that the company’s administrative professional is poised, courteous and knowledgeable and will win the day. ‘Opportunity favors the prepared mind,’ so being ready for anything gives you the chance to step in to any situation.
How does a business writing course help the administrative professional?
Professional writing is the visual side of business etiquette. When you’re able to write correctly and persuasively, your ideas are taken more seriously, and you add even more value to your company. Skilled writers can initiate and move projects along. For example, while waiting for management or the sales team to return from four hours in the field, a talented administrative professional can get a jump on the proposal that was due yesterday.
Why is event and meeting planning important?
These days, many companies consider event planning a critical competency.
The administrative professional who is creative and skilled in planning and executing the important details is steps ahead. And the value of having someone on staff able to use the latest electronic and online event-planning tools can be measured in two ways: potential cost savings and reduced stress for the company — along with more broad-based opportunities for the administrative professional.
Why do you think basic sales training is important for the administrative professional?
If you understand the sales process, you can keep information moving quickly in an already fast-paced environment and become an even more integral member of the team. When you know how to research prospective customers, discuss product and service benefits, and address client’s concerns about deadlines and billing, you’re in a position to save the company time and money, as well as boost sales. That kind of training can really pay off.
How does one go about getting such an education?
Programs like our Administrative Professional Certificate Program are fast-paced interactive programs that explore techniques to achieve professionalism in administrative support staff. They cover topics that will help the participants improve their daily work skills, interpersonal skills and task skills to increase performance and improve productivity while enhancing their self-esteem. Upon completion of this track, students receive certification. Areas that are covered include the 2003 Microsoft Office Suite and professional development training in business etiquette, business writing and event planning.
ANNE HACH is the executive director for professional training at Tri-C’s Corporate College. Reach Hach at (216) 987-2962 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information on the Administrative Professional Program, reach Rochelle Vallee at (216) 987-5836 or Rochelle.Vallee@tri-c.edu.