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 have been told my minutes are too "wordy."  Does anyone have a format to follow for the correct wording on report minutes?” — Rachel M. Ouimet
Question: “Our organization promotes collaborative work styles that allow people to change seats often. Have others had any success tracking employees who work in an "Agile Programming" environment and maintaining a correct and current seating chart in this type of setting?  The administrative staff is responsible for knowing where approximately 400 people sit for maintenance issues and mail delivery and also for locating an empty desk when new employees are hired. Other than updating the file daily, (which is in Microsoft Visio) any other ideas?” — Elaine Erne
Question: “Does anyone have any ideas for promotional contests? I am trying to bring in more customers, and our staff really gets motivated with contests.” — Angela Starnes
Question: “We are in the process of conducting annual employee performance evaluations and I am hearing complaints about the form we have used for the past two years. Can anyone provide a source for performance evaluation forms?  I would like to get several samples to review so that we can select one prior to evaluation time next year.” — Pam Bowman
Question: “I would like some additional training in report presentation and graphic design/layout. I type audit reports (Word and Excel), and I produce two newsletters (Microsoft Publisher). I would like to assist my bosses in better preparation and presentation of their audit reports (PowerPoint), as well as improve the look of the newsletters. Has anyone taken the career track graphic design/layout seminar or any other seminar? Any special software you can recommend?” — Diana Chase
Question: “I have to give a presentation to a group of administrative assistants. What topics/tips can I discuss that they don’t already know?” — Anonymous

Question: “At my office, we are bombarded with e-mail, multiple phone lines ringing, interoffice instant messaging and people walking in and out of cubicles all at the same time. When we describe the office scenario in interviews, job candidates nod and say they can handle it.  Then they get here and say, “Why didn’t you say it was this busy?” — Kristin Patterson
Question: “I supervise a young secretary/receptionist who has been with the agency for two years. She is a pleasant person, but I have to constantly remind her how to properly handle security procedures, how to ask questions so she doesn’t send people to the wrong department, how to handle the front desk when more than one person is waiting, how to do basic purchase requests and the list goes on. I have given her a detailed SOP and sent her to admin training classes to improve her skills. But she doesn’t improve and she continues to mishandle situations. What do I do next — I truly want her to succeed?” — Jo

Question: “I work in a health and safety department and need to purchase a software package that will track training and annual due dates, etc. Can anyone recommend a good one?" — Anonymous
Question: “I have worked with my boss for 20 years, and he will retire in June after 33 years with the organization. He is moving out of state. He will receive a clock as the traditional retirement gift from the organization. I would personally like to give him a gift, but I have no idea what is appropriate. A gift certificate would have to be from a national chain, and a present would have to be small enough to transport to his new home and not become clutter. Any suggestions?” — Anonymous