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Admin Pro Forum

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

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Question: "Last week, one of our newer employees  -- let's call him 'Nat' -- asked me to show him how to compile a monthly report that I've been doing as part of my job for years. Nobody had mentioned this to me before 'Nat' approached me.

"I showed him how to compile the report. He thanked me and went back to his desk. But now, I'm worried that I'm going to start losing responsibilities.

"I don't know how to bring it up to my boss.

"How would you approach this situation?"  -- Rhoda, Virginia

Staff letters

by on November 18, 2005 4:30am
in Admin Pro Forum

A staff newsletter is one of the most powerful and creative tools an organization can use to communicate with its employees. Do you help produce one for your organization? If so, what makes it outstanding or unique? What tools and sources do you use to pull it together?

Tell me about it, so I can include your story in an upcoming issue of Personal Report. Either post here or e-mail me directly at admineditor@nibm.net. (If you post on the Forum, make sure you leave your e-mail address, so I can contact you.)

Alice Bumgarner
Editor
Personal Report for the Administrative Professional

Job share

by on November 11, 2005 4:30am
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: Is anybody out there  involved in a job share? How did you make it happen, and how well is it working?

Alice Bumgarner
Editor
Personal Report for the Administrative Professional
admineditor@nibm.net

Question: I would like to know how other assistants/receptionists/whatever your title deal with disruptions.  I 'm not talking about the phone ringing, sales people coming in or clients.  I 'm talking about people just stopping at your desk asking you how your weekend was, what did you have for lunch, how's this, how's that.

I' m not even centrally located to the rest of the office (to the managers, I am), so it's not like they really come to talk. How do I politely (since I have to work with everyone every day) say I 'm too busy to talk about lunch/dinner or the weekend?  -- Anonymous

Question: Has anyone put together a group program for the administrative assistants at their company to promote communication, education, training, etc? I have been asked to organize a quarterly meeting and I need a starting point. If anyone has done this and has suggestions or ideas, I would greatly appreciate the help!  -- Anonymous

Question: Our company has been through four major acquisitions in the past 8 years, most recently a year ago.  All employees have lost faith in the executive team due to corporate flavor of policies and standards being changed constantly with each new acquisition.

Most recently, an employee who is well liked by all tendered her resignation after 28 years of service because she disagreed with her supervisor's review of her. (She thought she should have received "Above Standard" ratings on each item but didn't.)  This started a rumor that the executive team (of which HR is a part) fired her, which was not the truth. She gave the executive team an ultimatum and they did not meet it because the review was a good and fair review.

There was a silent protest with all employees not of the management team wearing a circle with "28" inside on their shoulders. The employees are very vocal in their displeasure,  stating that they will never believe what the executive team says ever again, and there has been quite a lot of gossip and innuendo, with most of the executive team being ostracized.

How do you approach this?  The employees whom HR has spoken to state that there is nothing that HR can do to make this better.  Do we review standards for comportment in the workplace again?  Get in front of them, send out a questionnaire so they can voice their grievances?  (They will not use the suggestion box.)  How would YOU handle this situation?  -- Anonymous

Question: Has anyone put together a group program for the administrative assistants at their company to promote communication, education, training, etc? I have been asked to organize a quarterly meeting and I need a starting point. If anyone has done this and has suggestions or ideas, I would greatly appreciate the help!  -- Anonymous

Question: I work in a small office with about 17 people.  We have a kitchen in our office with a microwave, refrigerator and toaster oven.  It has come to our attention that some  of the kitchen odors are offensive to other co-workers and clients who may be in the office for a meeting.  Even with the kitchen door closed, the odor permeates the office. In particular, onions and garlic were mentioned, but really, any strong odors would fall into this category. 

It has been requested that a memo go out to everyone asking them not to eat things that have onions or garlic.  My question is : How do you limit what employees can eat and how do you determine what odor is permitted and what is not?  A lot of people bring leftover meals rather than going out to lunch for the sake of saving time and money, so this may create a problem for some. 

I'd love to hear suggestions or if anyone has gone through a similar situation and how you handled it.

Thank  you, -- Anonymous

Question: It doesn't happen often, but whenever an employee is terminated, we struggle with how - or if - to announce it to the rest of the employees. It's such a sensitive issue. How do you let people know without affecting morale?  -- Kristin, Seattle

Question: One of my co-workers becomes defensive when I or anyone else offers constructive criticism. The last time I made a suggestion, she acted very offended and said she felt that I was telling her that she wasn't doing her job well.

We share a workspace for part of the day, and I'd like to suggest a more effective way to keep the area neat and full of resources for others who may have to cover in our absence. How do I broach this topic with such a sensitive co-worker?  -- K.R., New York

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