Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

Question: "I work at a company that loves meetings. I support a C-level executive and am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of meetings he needs to attend. I’ve tried reducing the length of meetings, sending delegates, changing the frequency (quarterly instead of monthly), handling more topics via e-mail and scheduling them over lunch or dinner. Every few months, we review all scheduled meetings to see whether we can cancel anything.  And yet there still are not enough hours in the day to accommodate all the high- priority meetings. Does anyone have additional suggestions for eliminating the amount of meetings?"  — Angela Van Cleve

Question: "I work at a company that loves meetings. I support a C-level executive and am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of meetings he needs to attend. I’ve tried reducing the length of meetings, sending delegates, changing the frequency (quarterly instead of monthly), handling more topics via e-mail and scheduling them over lunch or dinner. Every few months, we review all scheduled meetings to see whether we can cancel anything.  And yet there still are not enough hours in the day to accommodate all the high- priority meetings. Does anyone have additional suggestions for eliminating the amount of meetings?"  — Angela Van Cleve

Question: "I am on a task force to develop a "desk audit" or "task audit" that will give our 20-member staff a better sense of how our time is spent, where we can become more efficient, and address unanticipated tasks. Our strategic planning consultants have told us that it would be best to develop our own workflow audit, as there are few models in the not-for-profit world.  They recommend choosing an "appropriate" unit of time and reporting frequency, making it easy and sharing data with staff frequently to show progress, but we're still feeling daunted by the task.  Has anyone developed a desk/task audit that they'd be willing to share?  How did you make it palatable to your co-workers?"  — Louise

Question: "I am on a task force to develop a "desk audit" or "task audit" that will give our 20-member staff a better sense of how our time is spent, where we can become more efficient, and address unanticipated tasks. Our strategic planning consultants have told us that it would be best to develop our own workflow audit, as there are few models in the not-for-profit world.  They recommend choosing an "appropriate" unit of time and reporting frequency, making it easy and sharing data with staff frequently to show progress, but we're still feeling daunted by the task.  Has anyone developed a desk/task audit that they'd be willing to share?  How did you make it palatable to your co-workers?"  — Louise

"Our office allows a more casual attire in the summer. But some of the employees push it way too far. It doesn't help that the VP in charge of the office likes to wear shorts, so everyone else thinks it should be OK. We don't have any written rules on this, but I think it's hurting our image (as some of our sales reps sometimes have clients in for meetings). How can I present this to 'Mr. Casual' VP...or should I? -- Kathleen

"Our office allows a more casual attire in the summer. But some of the employees push it way too far. It doesn't help that the VP in charge of the office likes to wear shorts, so everyone else thinks it should be OK. We don't have any written rules on this, but I think it's hurting our image (as some of our sales reps sometimes have clients in for meetings). How can I present this to 'Mr. Casual' VP...or should I? -- Kathleen

"How can I deal with a co-worker who constantly complains that he doesn’t like his job or the people in the department? I suggested he talk to those he has issues with. I even suggested he find a new job. But he just keeps complaining and it interferes with my performance and morale. What can I do?  I don’t want to be mean or unprofessional." -- Janice

"How can I deal with a co-worker who constantly complains that he doesn’t like his job or the people in the department? I suggested he talk to those he has issues with. I even suggested he find a new job. But he just keeps complaining and it interferes with my performance and morale. What can I do?  I don’t want to be mean or unprofessional." -- Janice

Question: "Is there a rule of thumb when it comes to determining severance for an employee?  What factors should be considered when calculating severance (length of service, position in company, etc.)?  What seems to be the “norm” in this economic time?" — Sheri Thomas

Question: "What types of policy/guidelines do you have for office events during business hours? For example, does the admin plan the event or should a committee plan it? How involved is the senior management staff in planning an event?" — Anonymous