You will find the role of secretary in every organization you’re in. In general, their work is related to note-taking and correspondence. However, particularly in companies, their duties and responsibilities don’t just revolve around memos and letters. Secretaries also play an essential role in maintaining a smooth business operation. Without a secretary, the administrative function wouldn’t work as it should.
You can complete most administrative tasks on your computer using. In addition, you should know how to use other office equipment, such as a printer or scanner, as you will often be making copies or printing important material. Some companies provide special devices for employees, such as desktops, laptops, or tablets. Many executives prefer their employees to use Timesheet Management System to ensure all their appointments and tasks are in one easily accessible location. To improve technical skills, you can take online courses provided by many institutions.
So, what does secretary mean? In addition to organizing notes and sending letters, what are their responsibilities? What are the skills required to be a good secretary? We will answer these questions in this article.
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The Meaning of Secretary
A secretary is an administrative professional who plays an integral role in business and other organizational environments. Meanwhile, according to Merriam Webster dictionary, secretary is one employed to handle correspondence and manage routine and detail work for a superior.
Their work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication, or organizational skills. They deal with correspondence, admit new members, as well as organize official meetings and events. The term is derived from the Latin word secernere, “to distinguish” or “to set apart”, the passive participle (secretum) meaning “having been set apart”, with the eventual connotation of something private or confidential, as with the English word secret. A secretarius was a person who oversees business confidentially, usually for a powerful individual, such as king. As the duties of a modern secretary often still include the handling of confidential information. While the literal meaning of their title still holds true.
Secretary’s Duties and Responsibilities
Secretaries are typically the individuals who maintain and organize office tasks, implement procedures, and carry out additional administrative duties. Depending on the nature of their employment. For instance, the administrative tasks a secretary for can differ between industries. These industries are including law, private company sectors and government entities. However, all secretaries are responsible for several common duties, namely:
1. Answering and directing phone calls
Secretaries are responsible for answering office phone lines and directing each call to the appropriate individual. Oftentimes, secretaries handle solicitation calls, client calls, and taking messages. For instance, a legal secretary may regularly take calls from clients regarding casework or other information. Besides, they also need to be able to direct each client call to the appropriate attorney. Furthermore, they also taking and distributing other messages and correspondences. A secretary needs to have expertise in differentiating between urgent and less important communication.
2. Organizing and distributing messages
Another essential task secretaries commonly perform is organizing and distributing memos, notes, messages and other written communications. It’s better for secretaries to have exceptional communication and analytical skills to take on communication tasks like these. For example, a secretary who works for a CEO of a large technology corporation may be expected to organize and disseminate various messages or memos to bring only the most urgent communications to their CEO. An urgent message may be related to a change in a client’s contract or product issues. The secretary needs to be capable of quick and efficient communication as they pass messages along.
3. Greeting clients and guests as well as coordinating with other organizations
Other than administrative responsibilities, secretaries may also take on receptionist duties. For instance, a secretary greets clients who arrive for conferences or meetings. They also helps visitors get settled, brings refreshments, takes notes during meetings with clients. Moreover, a secretary generally works to maintain the professionalism and overall brand image of their company when greeting visitors. They also work to coordinate and form relationships with other businesses and organizations. If you were a secretary for an engineering firm, then you might be the liaison that connects with contractors, designers, and other engineering organizations to set up conferences. You might as well purchase resources, or form business partnerships.
4. Organizing company schedules and conducting meetings
Secretaries are commonly in charge of organizing team schedules for each of the company’s departments. They also organize the executives’ agendas by setting appointments with clients, vendors and shareholders. Secretaries keep the staff on track with reminders and alerts for upcoming conferences or meetings. Along with scheduling meetings and conferences, they also take on the responsibility of organizing and conducting meetings. For example, a secretary for a CEO of a retail corporation might organize a meeting with clothing designers, or other professionals in the industry. Then, the secretary may conduct the meeting by discussing the important points of the conference. They also take notes for the CEO and other decision-makers at the company. Secretaries can be a vital team member in performing these types of tasks. Remembering that executives, directors and other high-level professionals may sometimes be unavailable in similar circumstances.
5. Organize documents and record financial information
Keeping documents, records, and files organized is essential for a secretary. For example, a medical secretary is usually responsible for maintaining a filing system for patient medical records, expense reports for drugs and medical equipment, procedure documentation, and other essential documents. Documents of a company are often stored in databases, so secretaries need to have the necessary technical skills. Secretaries can use Document Management Software to manage essential data in one centralized system. Another equally important task is recording expenses, income, and other financial information. The secretary is obliged to document the revenue and sales amount reported by the sales team and costs and company operational costs.
The secretary assumes broad responsibilities, including setting schedules, holding meetings, and managing documents. Not infrequently, they also assist executives in working on projects and mentoring new employees. In carrying out these many tasks, the secretary can be helped by technology. ERP software from HashMicro is a solution to automate all aspects of the business.