World Administrators Alliance Chair Helen Monument tells the success story of the past year

When the World Administrators Alliance launched the Global Skills Matrix (GSM) in September 2021, with a special supplement from Executive Support Magazine, we had no idea of the impact it would have on the administrative profession. We were absolutely convinced that it would be a game-changer for our industry, and we are delighted with the global responses, the support and the adoption of this tool in the year since the launch.

The Global Skills Matrix is the first-ever globally recognised framework for administrators and HR teams. It makes it possible, irrespective of the country, to identify levels of work for a given role and career progression opportunities to realise the potential to an organisation of effective administrative professionals.

The information contained in the Matrix is intended to assist you as an administrative professional in understanding where you fit and how you can progress. It is also to assist your executive, your HR department, and recruiters to better understand the roles administrators fulfil and the structure and range of tasks within those roles, and to show a clear career pathway for those who wish to progress.

One year later, we can confidently report that the response has been phenomenal. One year on and already there have been more than 5,000 downloads of the Global Skills Matrix Report and the Executive Summary from the dedicated website, www.globalskillsmatrix.com.

The Global Skills Matrix came out of research gathered from over 3,000 administrative professionals worldwide. Our statistics showed over 160 different job titles, and with 73% of respondents feeling that their organisation didn’t understand the role or the potential impact of using them properly – it’s no wonder there was confusion and ignorance about the work that millions of people are doing every day. We knew it was time for change.

Free Webinars

On launch day, Lucy Brazier, OBE and I made a 12-month commitment to give free 45-minute introductory webinars on the Global Skills Matrix, and the requests came pouring in from around the world. We have given over 45 of these webinars in more than 16 countries. They have been so successful and so much in demand that we are going to continue offering them for another 12 months. We tell the story of how the GSM came about, we explain the statistics behind the report and explain how it will help individuals and organisations to understand the true value that their Business Support resources give to their bottom line.

If you would like us to give the free webinar for your organisation, association or network, please get in touch.

Conversations

All transformation starts with a conversation. Whenever we could, we have taken the opportunity to talk or write about the Global Skills Matrix and explain its purpose to those inside and outside the profession. The past 12 months have given us opportunities to have that conversation in many magazine articles, blogs, podcasts and in keynotes at conferences.

Wherever we have spoken, the feedback has been overwhelmingly supportive – comments like, “This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for” and “I shared the GSM with my HR Director, and she was very impressed. I’m updating our current administrative job family to better align with the Matrix and the support our administrative team is currently supplying.”

It’s clear from the feedback we received from the webinars that individual administrative professionals are welcoming and embracing the Matrix; one said, “It showed me how I can further articulate the importance of my role.”

Translations

We started getting requests for translations of the Matrix report into local languages. We have been working with groups of volunteers from associations around the world to complete translations in German, French, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese. These are now available on our website, and we have Spanish, Greek and Norwegian translations in the pipeline. The GSM has an even greater impact, and the messages are more powerful, if administrative professionals and organisations can read all about it in their own language.

What the Business World Is Saying

The original project that started the Global Skills Matrix was to have included international credentialing. This was a mammoth task and needed greater resources than we had available at the time, so we pushed on with the GSM in September 2021 because the world was coming out of the pandemic and the world of work had changed. Businesses were starting to look at the return on investment (ROI) of each member of staff, but they didn’t know how to do it for administrative staff, so they needed help. It was absolutely the right time to launch, to show the GSM to HR Departments and to demonstrate that there had never been a better time for businesses to be utilizing their administrative professionals properly.

The feedback from the business world has been wholeheartedly positive. Robert Half, ranked first on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms and America’s Best Temporary Staffing Firms, have supported the Global Skills Matrix. We have also been asked by several trainers if they could refer to the GSM levels in their training courses, and we are seeing some recruiters including it in their job postings. We hope that not only will others follow their example, but also that administrative professionals the world over will be asking them, “What level on the Global Skills Matrix is this training aimed at?” or “What level on the Global Skills Matrix is required to apply for this vacancy?” Bestselling authors like Bonnie Low-Kramen and Sue France have included the GSM in their upcoming books.

Implementing the Matrix

Through Executive Support Consulting, Lucy Brazier has been talking to business and HR teams all over the world and advising them on how to implement the Matrix. One way to convince organisations of the value of this tool is by case studies. Once complete, we will be sharing them to show other organizations the benefits of the GSM and the value the administrative staff brings to their bottom line. We can show that the GSM is all about excellence and performance.

We haven’t yet heard from any HR departments who don’t like the GSM. In fact, they are relieved that we have provided this tool because they haven’t been able to know how to do this exercise themselves. Using the GSM, they can work on the development of the administrative professionals they employ in the same way they work on career paths and training needs of all their other departments.

Global Skills Matrix Reloaded

This was the title of one of the discussion groups held on Day 1 of the World Administrators Summit on 15th October. Summit delegates came together to talk about what’s working well and what we need to improve on the GSM and also to determine how to take it to the next level. The group produced some great ideas and suggestions. These outcomes were presented and discussed on Day 2 of the WA-Summit on 22nd October and will be widely shared. A task force is working on these outcomes, so the work continues on actions to get the GSM message spread further. The WA-Alliance can only do so much, and we need others in the profession to help us to have those conversations with recruiters and HR, increasing awareness of the GSM and value of the role.

Conclusion

The Global Skills Matrix has been an evolution. It has brought clarity to the ambiguity surrounding the functions of the administrative professional and offers a tool that finally articulates what the role entails. One webinar participant commented, “What I love about the Matrix is that it speaks for us, from a neutral standpoint, when it is difficult for us to speak for ourselves.”

Helen Monument inspires and encourages Assistants to be the best they can be by sharing 30 years of experience as a management support professional. Her career has taken her from Secretary to Office Manager and Business Support Team Leader, so she ... (Read More)

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