Paul Wherly

The Real Value of Training Staff Who Specialise in Office Support

Today’s blog is a guest post by Alice Harrison. See Alison’t biography at the end of the post.


Staff who specialise in office support are usually secretarial staff and personal assistants, not all of whom are women, for those wondering who fills these important workplace roles that were once overwhelmingly female orientated.

Employers that provide their secretarial staff with training, either on the job training or training which takes place outside of the workplace in a training centre, reap the benefits of investing in staff members who perform a wide array of important office support duties.

Training courses for staff in office support roles are usually brief and often come in the form of one or two day workshops held during the week or over the weekend depending on availability and other factors, including their employer’s ability to find someone to cover for their office support staff if they were to attend a workshop during the week.

Many employees in office support roles hold qualifications like degrees in business administration; however, it’s often necessary for these qualified individuals to undertake refresher courses from time to time, to learn how to use new software programs that their organisation has recently implemented, take on new roles and duties, and to improve their business communication skills, skills which are naturally very important in such roles.

In addition to brief, yet quite intensive one or two day training workshops, many personal assistants and secretaries work towards earning diplomas, for instance, LCCI International Qualifications – Level 3 Private Secretary’s Diploma and Level 4 Executive Secretary’s Diploma.

These qualifications, whilst highly advantageous to possess, aren’t the kind of training that employers will usually provide for their office support staff, but rather qualifications that individuals would pay for themselves and earn in their own time.

Audience at symposium
Audience at symposium Image credit: Liberale, license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Image source:

Short Courses for Office Support Staff

There are usually a number of short courses for office support staff provided by prominent training companies nationwide. These are, as was mentioned earlier, usually short courses of one to two days in length and as they are quite brief, they usually focus upon one aspect of office support, for instance minute taking or time management, and they’re usually quite intensive.

Here’s a quick look at what a high personal performance course aimed at busy personal assistants and secretaries might entail.

  • Techniques for balancing performance and pressure in the workplace
  • Techniques used to accomplish more under pressure
  • Personal performance management pointers
  • Managing pressure and stress and identifying the symptoms of stress

A short course like this, although aimed at office support staff, would also have many benefits even for management level employees; and in fact, it isn’t uncommon for those in other roles, including those employed at management level, to enrol in courses like this.

The Real Value of Employee Training and Development and Benefits to Business

Employee training and development are linked in many ways, though they’re not, as many people wrongly assume, the same or even similar, for whilst employee training is the provision of training for employees that improves their capabilities and knowledge, employee development is more about increasing employee engagement in the present by discussing/planning employees’ career paths and their ascension to more prominent roles in the organisation with the aim of providing the organisation with long-term value.

Whilst both employee training and development are inherently important, it should be mentioned that due to their size, some business organisations like SMEs, are unable to provide their employees with employee development options because there are no positions for them to ascend to, as is often the case in small, owner managed business organisations.

Business organisations that are in a position in which to provide their office support staff with training and development are highly advised to and stand to enjoy the following benefits.

  • Increased employee job satisfaction and morale in the workplace makes for a more productive workforce, thus improving profits for the business organisation
  • An appealing company culture often arises as a result, and appealing company cultures help to attract prospective employees and reduce staff turnover and absenteeism
  • Employees that receive training, like the high personal performance course discussed above, are generally better equipped to manage the pressure of the workplace and provide high levels of office support
  • Employee training and development has been found to boost employee loyalty, resulting in employees being far more willing to go the extra mile for their employers

These are some, though far from all, of the benefits afforded to business organisations that provide their employees with training, and development if that’s an option.

However, although training and development are inherently advantageous to provide employees in office support roles with, management must decide upon the areas in which training is required, establish a budget that allocates funding for training and development, and look into their options concerning the customisation of training courses, an option many training providers make available, and one that’s well-worth looking into.

Author Bio

Alice Harrison
Alice Harrison

Alice Harrison is a professional writer who works on a freelance basis for Spearhead Training, one of the leading providers of quality training courses in management, sales and marketing, pa and office support, business skills and specialist FMCG training since 1981.


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