A secretary plays a pivotal role in the office. The secretary is the person who keeps the office organized. The secretary is also the person who ensures that everything goes smoothly on a daily basis.
As the backbone of a company, secretaries perform clerical and administrative work to support office employees.
In the past, secretaries were considered to only influence the administrative realm by performing duties like note-taking and answering phones. However, today, secretaries are the heart of almost all essential operations, and they are responsible for mastering software, organizing executive schedules, and giving their opinion on important company decisions.
Who is a Secretary?
A secretary or personal assistant is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication, or organizational skills. However, this role should not be confused with the role of an executive secretary, who differs from a personal assistant.
Duties & Responsibilities of a Secretary
While the responsibilities of a secretary may vary depending on the particular position or organization, secretaries can expect to perform the 50 following things:
- Management: Secretaries manage the daily functions of an office.
- Travel: A secretary organizes all executive travel.
- Inquiries: Secretaries respond to clients that submit inquiries.
- Processing: Secretaries often process documents and forms.
- Storage: Files and project plans are organized and put into storage.
- Software: Secretaries use software packages, such as MS Word, to manage information.
- Schedule: If a meeting needs to be scheduled, secretaries make those arrangements.
- Liaison: Secretaries liaise between various employees in a variety of departments.
- Equipment: Equipment must be maintained and repaired when necessary.
- Correspondence: Secretaries correspond with clients and outside vendors through email and the post.
- Website: Some secretaries update the company website.
- Invoice: Secretaries send invoices and financial documents.
- Training: Secretaries train new administrative employees.
- Post: All post is collected and organised by a secretary.
- Events: Secretaries plan office events.
- Reservations: If a room needs to be reserved for a meeting, secretaries make reservations.
- Minutes: Secretaries take minutes at office meetings.
- Communication: If the public has questions about the company’s project, a secretary ensures they receive an answer.
- Agendas: Secretaries circulate agendas before meetings.
- Contacts: All employees’ contact information must be kept up to date.
- Publication Storage: Publications are noted and stored by a secretary.
- Annual Report: Secretaries create annual reports.
- Take Messages: When someone is out of the office, a secretary takes messages for the necessary party.
- Greet Walk-Ins: Secretaries greet office visitors.
- Appointments: Secretaries confirm appointments with clients.
- Supervise: Experienced secretaries may be asked to oversee new additions to the office.
- Edit: Secretaries proofread and revise written work.
- Supplies: When office supplies run low, secretaries make an order for new supplies.
- Research: Executives may ask secretaries to conduct research and find information.
- Technology Development: Secretaries must keep up to date on new office technologies.
- Prepare Checks: A secretary processes all pay stubs and payments.
- Project Management: Some secretaries help to keep projects on a strict timeline.
- Board Correspondence: Secretaries update the board on any office changes.
- Presentations: Secretaries set up and obtain equipment for office presentations.
- Photocopying: If a document needs to be photocopied, employees turn to a secretary.
- Budgets: Secretaries oversee the budget and ensure the company’s financial health.
- Document Review: Executives ask secretaries to find and review past documents.
- Advise: Secretaries are often asked for their opinion on various matters.
- Contracts: Secretaries oversee the creation of contracts.
- Writing Reports: Reports must reflect any policy changes in a company.
- Notification: Secretaries notify employees of upcoming meetings.
- Policy Management: Secretaries ensure that all policy is being followed.
- Insurance: A company secretary manages insurance.
- Expenses: Expenses are logged for budgeting and financial purposes.
- Procedures: Secretaries oversee the implementation of new procedures.
- Backups: Secretaries backup important data on external hard drives or digital databases.
- Workshops: Some secretaries attend workshops to stay updated on the field.
- Confidentiality: Company integrity is maintained by keeping information confidential.
- Board Meetings: Secretaries take minutes at board meetings.
- Support: Secretaries provide support for other employees in the office.
- The duties of a secretary are expansive and diverse. As the demands of this position continue to grow, secretaries have never been more valuable.
Traits, Personality & Skills of a Secretary
- Organizational abilities
- Clear, friendly and professional communication skills
- A personable phone manner
- Initiative and drive
- Honesty and discretion
- Efficient time-management skills
- A flair for championing a team ethic
- The ability to cope with pressure, deadlines, and multitasking
- Project management skills.
- Confidence with IT and computer packages
- Accuracy and good attention to detail
- A bright and positive attitude