Administrative Assistant's Update

October 2018

Focuses on the training and development needs of admin professionals and features topics such as hard skills (software competencies, writing, communication, filing) and soft skills (teamwork, time management, leadership).

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OCTOBER 2018 P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T F O R C A N A D A ' S O F F I C E S U P P O R T S T A F F Administrative Assistant's UPDATE UPDATE PM #40065782 INSIDE About being you � � � � � � � � � � � 2 Authenticity makes you less vulnerable to replacement by AI Julie Blais Comeau � � � � � � � � � 3 Workplace civility depends on the power of one: you Admin marketplace � � � � � � � � 5 Multi-skilled admin pro in demand across Canada MS Word Ribbon � � � � � � � � � � 6 How to customize it to fit the way you do your work Admins save managers 101 minutes a day How to measure the value of an administrative professional? One way is to ask the execu- tives they work for. An OfficeTeam survey of more than 600 senior managers in North America reported that their administrative assistants saved them an average of 101 minutes each day. Admins with strong interper- sonal skills are in demand, partly because they increasingly act as the face of their executives inside and outside the organization. Firms are looking for admins "who can think quickly, communicate clearly and work well with others," says OfficeTeam in its 2019 Admin- istrative Salary Guide. Continued on page 4 By Jennifer Lewington AAU Associate Editor Over a 35-year career at a major Toronto hospital, admin professional Cynthia Francis has worked with a diverse range of col- leagues and patients, sometimes in stress- ful situations that go with life at a big research and teach- ing institution. But no matter her role at St. Michael's Hospital – first in the then-steno pool, later in medical imaging and patient relations and now a long-time executive assistant to a vice-president – Francis uses one word to sum up her approach to promoting a diverse workplace: "respect," she says. "It is about giving respect and showing respect." That approach is essential in today's workplace, according to Carleton University business professor Luciara Nardon, author of Working in a Multicultural World, published earlier this year. The modern reality of project-based teams, contract employ - ment, online communications and a workforce more multicultural than in past generations creates the potential for misunderstanding and friction. "You don't know who you are go- ing to meet in the course of your work- day," she says. "It [the workplace] becomes more dynamic, which makes it a lot more ambiguous." In those "ambiguous" environ- ments, Nardon says admin profession- als are potentially influential players in promoting a work culture that values all employees no matter their ethnic, cultural, gender, age group or religious background differences. "They [admins] are right there in the centre of those connections," she says. "So I think their role is really important." Her assessment is shared by Mi- chael Bach, chief executive officer of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. "In their support function, administra- tive assistants are the backbone of an organization," he says. "They have the ability to play a role in driving the change by adding their voice to a conversation, whether they are racialized, LGTBQ-identified or have a disability. They can play a strong role." In his previous role as national director of diversity, equity and inclu- sion for KPMG Canada, he credits the work of his former assistant for his success at the consulting company. "She was able to activate a lot of Admins set tone for respectful workplace Credit: Iheartwordart (Shutterstock) Cynthia Francis Luciara Nardon Michael Bach

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