Elevating Your Engine Room – The Strategic Roles Support Staff Can Play

Elevating Your Engine Room – The Strategic Roles Support Staff Can Play

Elevating Your Engine Room

Many business owners and leaders are pivoting in their roles at present whilst we navigate through a challenging and uncertain economy. This is absolutely what I myself and our Founder Martin Dineen have been doing of late in the MJD business, with the added layer of having our General Manager away on extended leave. And it’s got me thinking…

What would I do right now without my engine room? Our support staff.

We have 2 extraordinary right hand support staff in our business. Carli is our Project Administrator and assists me in handling our operations, facilities management, human resource function, sales processes, reporting, supplier relationships, budgeting, IT and continuous improvement planning. Lyndsay is our Executive Team Coordinator and helps me manage our Founder Martin which is a job in itself! 😉 But also assists with recruitment project management, our extensive marketing and social media practices and all internal and external events.

Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not surprised that their capacity and capabilities have elevated as we have had to swivel in our roles as leaders and ask them to step up in their responsibilities. But it has reminded me that I should be doing this more often, delegating and developing their capabilities and freeing up our time to be working more strategically on the business rather than in it.

As office support recruitment experts, we are advocates for the administration profession and promote to our clients often how these roles are ‘more than just administrative’ with their functions being capable of elevating to strategic and proactive if you let them. Particularly once you identify that a support professional has developed a good working knowledge of how their role supports and impacts your business. When they understand the why and the how, that’s when the magic can start to happen in terms of elevation. My advice is don’t wait another minute once you recognise this.   

I have spent time with both Carli and Lyndsay, elevating their understanding of the how and why. This has meant that whilst Martin and I shift in our roles, we have been able to call on them to  make educated decisions on our behalf in meetings, communicate and cascade important messages to our team, liaise with and represent us with important key stakeholders, conduct research and manage projects with confidence and implement effective improvement practices without direction.

I have had some timely and valuable reminders having recently encouraged the elevation of our own support team:

  • That your office support engine room will be more engaged and motivated to add value beyond their everyday roles the more appreciated, trusted and respected they feel
  • That showing confidence in one’s capabilities builds competence
  • Not just administrators, these individuals have access to so many different functions, people and areas of your business. If allowed, they can be elevated to key members of your leadership team and have strategic impact
  • Support staff are exceptionally resourceful and if they don’t know how to solve a problem at first they are more capable than you of finding a way to learn how to efficiently
  • Having engaged, elevated people around you is not only impactful it’s also incredibly rewarding and motivating for you as a leader
  • Often the fear of delegating and letting go of certain responsibilities can actually be holding you and your business back

So I encourage anybody reading this to take a moment and ask themselves 2 questions? The first one is; Am getting the right amount of value from my support staff roles? The second one is; Am I giving continuous consideration to how I can elevate my admin team to make them feel more valued and impactful? And to Carli and Lyndsay – thank you, I respect and value you immensely and couldn’t do it without you.


Author: Tanya Nanscawen, Executive Partner at MJD Recruitment

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