In any kind of organisation, regardless of its size, experience, sector or industry, its admin function plays a very significant role in ensuring smooth operations and streamlined processes. On a day-to- day basis, routine tasks can pile up without admin staff to handle them and ensure they are completed as per requirement. Also, for every department, delivering quality output on time and within constraints like scope and budget can take the company to new heights of success. And this is one of the many key areas where admin plays a critical supporting role. An administrator is also a very important link between various departments, helping to improve collaboration and deliver more powerful outcomes.
Moreover, admin staff are often the first people outsiders such as prospective customers, vendors, business collaborators, etc. speak with. This makes them important gate-keepers and brand stewards for the company. All in all, it is very difficult to run a company in the medium and long term without a strong, well-run administration department. For all these reasons, admin is truly the backbone for any company.
Key Responsibilities of Office Administrators
The admin department can handle several important day-to-day tasks, which can help an organisation improve its operations and workflows, create competitive differentiation, enhance customer experiences, and ultimately lead it towards growth and success. These include:
- Plan, co-ordinate and manage various operational procedures and systems
- Monitor costs and expenses to assist in budget preparation
- Track staff attendance and ensure that records are updated
- Make sure that all appliances and equipment, such as ACs, printers, water coolers, staff desktops and other devices, etc. are up and running with minimal interruptions. They also ensure that annual maintenance contracts (AMC) for company assets are purchased and renewed on time
- Take care of staff needs related to car hires, hotel bookings, flight tickets, etc.
- Monitor office expenses like supplies and stationery, and ensure availability for staff
- Maintain the inward and outward register for good and correspondence, and manage incoming and outgoing courier services
- Monitor premise cleanliness, and make sure that the office floor, kitchen, pantry, cafeteria, and other staff areas are always clean, tidy and safe
- Manage the staff notice board and ensure it is up-to-date with the right notices and memos
- Regularly inspect the first aid kit and replace expired medicines and other healthcare products
- Prepare purchase orders, invoices, and other important documents
- Greet new visitors, e.g. customers, and assist them around the office
- Reply to external enquiries coming in via email, telephone or face-to-face interactions
- Process time sheets, expense sheets, etc., and make them available to senior management as required
- Maintain filing system and keep it updated for various departments
Important Skills and Competencies for Office Administrators
From the above list, it’s obvious that admin staff wear many hats. Not only do they need to coordinate with various departments, they also need to be excellent multi-taskers. Equally important, they need to handle sensitive information so they must be able to maintain confidentiality and secrecy at all times. Senior management rely on their inputs and support to keep operations going, so their contributions to the company are invaluable. This is why certain skills and
competencies are a must-have for all admin personnel. These include:
Effective Communications and Teamwork
Since admin is an org-wide support function, they often coordinate and collaborate with multiple departments and functional areas. That’s why, they need to have excellent communication skills. By communicating clearly with their colleagues, they can understand their needs better, address challenges faster, and eliminate confusion and rework. They can also help streamline workflows, minimise errors, and promote trust within the company.
The nature of admin work requires that admin professionals manage their time effectively. They often need to multi-task while ensuring that quality never suffers. To this end, they must be able to prepare to-do lists and ensure that tasks are documented, prioritised, monitored and completed on time. They also need to keep buffer time available to fit in ad-hoc or urgent tasks that are not already on the list. All of this requires advanced time management and organisational skills.
Admin staff is required to manage multiple office-related tasks to ensure seamless operations across different functions. Their office management skills can help enhance organisational efficiency, productivity and even profitability. From planning and organising to coordinating and issue resolution, admin professionals possess skills that enable the company to meet its business objectives consistently and economically.
Any admin professional must have excellent interpersonal skills because their outcomes are so closely dependent on their ability to work well with others. They must be able to promote trust and transparency within the organisation. They should also be able to deal with conflicts before they really become huge challenges for the company. Moreover, their interpersonal skills should extend to both internal and external stakeholders. Without these skills, the organisation’s operations will suffer, and so will its productivity and even its reputation.
When a company is doing well, often it’s sales or marketing departments, or leadership gets all the accolades. Of course, they all play important roles in the company’s success journey. However, these functions cannot perform at the high level that’s required in a competitive market without the support of efficient, organised and talented admin staff. Admin matters and they must be given their due.