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How do I create industry standards for administrative support staff?

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Question: “I have been asked to locate or create industry productivity standards for my administrative support staff. How do I measure productivity for people whose job duties change daily?” — Jennifer Woodson

Comments

You maybe looking at this to hard and deep.

Think of standards as minimums.

Minimumly, they must be able to type xxx per minute.

Minimumly, they provide admin support to xxx.

Minimumly, they must have experience in MSOffice.

Think of standards as minimums and this will be much easier for you. Anything above and beyond is gravy in the hat. Remember, standards are minimums, not the extreme.

This does seem like a somewhat-difficult task. Could you approach it from another angle besides quantifying standards? Such as: Accepts projects as assigned, performs duties without much direction; consistently goes above and beyond, is willing to step in and take ownership when tasks are presented, etc. Just another thought process...not sure if this is feasible for your situation or not. Hope this helps.

It may be as simple as described by the other comments, but if needed more specific data can be developed. When I was self-employed, I used a book called Desktop Production Time Standards by Robert Brenner (www.brennerbooks.com) to help to establish expected completion time for various projects. Obviously, not all tasks are going to be covered under this heading, but proofreading, report writing, editing, layout, etc are. For instance, under "General editing and proof-reading": simple-20pgs/hr, complex-1.1 pgs/hr, Average-10.2 pgs/hr. I think which direction you take will depend largely on how the data is expected to be used and applied. Are they looking for measurable, quantifiable standards for performance evaluation or more indepth data to identify appropriate staffing vs. work to be done expectations? If the detailed productivity standards are sought, then although the specific tasks may change, the general nature of the work does not, i.e., proofing, editing, typing/data entry, document processing, database/contact management, mail merge, layout of brochures, flyers, etc. There are industry standards for all of those in the book named. Hope this helps!

Why does the boss want to establish productivty standards and how are they to be used? Are the standards going to be used to turn the support staff into a support staff production factory? Are they going to be used for negative evaluations? I think that you should use all sources mentioned above and should also have a meeting with support staff to get their input. Staff will be much more likely to look at the standards in a positive light if they have meaningful input into the process?

Why does the boss want to establish productivty standards and how are they to be used? Are the standards going to be used to turn the support staff into a support staff production factory? Are they going to be used for negative evaluations? I think that you should use all sources mentioned above and should also have a meeting with support staff to get their input. Staff will be much more likely to look at the standards in a positive light if they have meaningful input into the process

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