The following is a message from the President of the Caribbean Association of Administrative Professionals, Carol D. Charles on the Occasion of the Observance of Administrative Professionals Week 23-29th April 2017.
‘Excellence is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities’. Anonymous
For over forty-five years, Administrative and Office Professionals around the Caribbean have joined their counterparts globally in observing Administrative Professionals Week. The theme this year, ‘Service Excellence….The New Normal’ is apt since consistent and excellent customer service has and continues to be hallmark of who we are and what we are about.
Traditionally, there are many different myths and assumptions when one thinks of service excellence and often time ‘exceptional service’ is mistaken for “servitude”. Service excellence has been validated and good manners, selflessness and efficiency are some of the attributes which enhance the delivery of performing good service.
Very often, Administrative professionals are the last and sometimes the first line of defense for their executives and in many capacities can create a negative or positive impression of the organization in which they are employed. What makes the daily duties of this set of professionals unique is the fact that:
• Their personal knowledge and experience, gives them the competitive advantage by the high service delivered;
• They uphold the values and principles of their professions;
• They multi-task and provide a wide range of services second to none;
• They network skillfully and consistently to bring results that benefit the majority;
• They meet challenges and conquer them proactively;
• They establish and maintain quality control in all aspects of their work;
• They embrace technology and use it creatively to be innovative in the delivery of solutions;
• They seek guidance in areas that are new and uncharted; and
• Ultimately add value and create awareness.
Notwithstanding the facts above, in our own profession, we constantly explore new ideas which enable us to stay focused and think critically, as we adapt to an ever-changing business environment.
Despite, our different cultures, we must all admit that when one thinks of service excellence, good manners, persona and etiquette always marry together. In our chosen fields of work these characteristics shape us and improve our dispositions.
Additionally, Administrative professionals by the very nature of their training are leaders who are inspired and driven by the innovative principles and practices that have stood the test of time. Despite diverse roles, we must commit to creating a culture devoted to deliver the best service experience possible.
Regionally, we grapple with the economic crises our island homes face. Therefore we must confront the threat to our health and livelihoods, and rely on ingenuity to exchange ideas, identify resources and make service excellence the norm and not the exception.
Change is unpredictable and could be daunting but as we look ahead, we must endeavour to become practitioners and find niches and opportunities to work smart and build productive relationships with our internal and external customers.
As we come together during this week to celebrate and recognize the achievements of Administrative Professionals let us not forget the value of teamwork and the partnerships which we initiate.
I leave with you the wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi, and I quote “Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large”.
Administrative Professionals embrace the New NORM of Service Excellence!