National survey reveals increasing importance of PAs in the workplace
- Category: Show
- Created on Thursday, 06 September 2012 11:45
Citing escalating workloads, evolving job roles and greater responsibility, PAs say they are now increasingly dynamic members of their company’s management teams.According to the latest findings of the UK’s annual National PA Survey, over half of all respondents said that the PA role has grown in importance over the last 15 years, reports Diversified Business Communications UK who carried out the survey for this year’s National PA Day, which coincides with the first day of its office* show, on Wednesday 12 September.
With an estimated 600,000 highly skilled executive support staff working in offices across the UK, the National PA Survey was first introduced last year in order to provide a ‘snapshot’ of how today’s PAs view their role in the workplace. Whilst a full summary of survey responses will not be unveiled until the office* show opens next week at Olympia’s National Hall, London, Diversified UK has chosen to highlight several key results early to encourage UK employers to support National PA Day 2012 at office*.
“With businesses expecting more from their workforce than ever before, it’s easy to see how the growing contributions of PAs and executive support professionals can often get overlooked,” says office* event manager Ali Mead. “Whilst the majority do feel appreciated for the essential business support that they provide, our survey shows that they don’t always receive the same level of support and career development opportunities themselves.” The results from last year’s survey, which was completed by 1,637 respondents, concluded that the majority of UK PAs enjoyed their work and 63% of the sample felt ‘very valued’ by their boss. When asked a comparable question this year, which substituted the word ‘appreciated’ for valued, an identical 63% of participants responded positively. By contrast, whilst the majority of the sample (56%) believed the PA role had grown in importance since 1997, only 46% said that career development was encouraged by their organisation (with a further 40% reporting that it was neither encouraged nor discouraged).
Similarly, when asked how good respondents considered their career prospects to be, only a third (30%) thought they were ‘good or very good’, compared to 42% who said they were reasonable but that the onus was very much on them.
“Career development and training is a vital component of any successful business, yet it’s amazing how many companies simply don’t prioritise it for their employees. The role of the modern PA is so different from 10-15 years ago and the tasks so much more varied, that I doubt many would recognise their own, old job descriptions now,” says Mead.
“Yet, despite the demands on them to perform the job to the best of their abilities, many PAs still have to use their own holidays, evenings or weekends to keep their training up-to-date. And this is something that the office* show is really seeking to change. By publishing these survey results early we’re sending a message out to employers that encouraging their staff to attend office* next week to celebrate National PA Day amongst their peers will not only boost team morale but offer training opportunities that will help build a much more efficient work force overall.”
The full survey results will be unveiled at office* on Wednesday 12 September, at the new show venue of the National Hall, Olympia, London. The two-day event features over 170 exhibitors, free Keynotes, expert training and unparalleled networking for over 4,000 PAs, office managers and executive support professionals.