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: 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

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
Personal Report for the Administrative Professional

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

Question: We are trying to create a recognition program for salaried employees. What criteria does your organization use to recognize salaried employees?  -- Anonymous

Question: We are discussing how to alphabetize our file folders, and our problem is twofold:  First, some people are good about putting files away as soon as they’re done with them; others just toss them anywhere until it becomes an all-day project for someone (usually one of the two administrative assistants in the office).

Second, not everyone agrees on “rules” to follow. Should “The John Smith Company” be filed under “J” or “S”?  We’re a fairly small office (20 total) that has grown significantly over the past few years. When there were fewer people, everyone knew that if you needed to find the “XYZ Corporation’s” folder, it might be under “Bob Jones,” because he owned it!!  We’re trying to convince people that newbies can’t be expected to know that.

Any help or ideas would be appreciated.  -- MK, Massachusetts

Question: I’d like to ask admin assistants and receptionists (front desk personnel) to share their tips on how to deal with constant interruptions.

We are a front desk staff at a nonprofit medical facility. We take care of visitors, set up appointments and answer a lot of questions from associates, as well as collect money, enter data, bill insurance and contact various departments to obtain information.

We have a small staff. The front desk person is required to be the front- and back-office staff for this facility.

The appointment book and central file area are located in the front office. Staff members come into the area to check their appointments and they walk through the area to get to the files and their mailboxes. There was another door they could go through to get to files, but, due to HIPAA regulations, it is now kept locked.  To get some confidential work done, we close our door. But people come in, anyway.

Thank you.  -- Anonymous

Question: Our manager consistently underestimates the length of time it will take to complete work. This affects my colleagues and me on a number of levels: 1. The manager is regularly late for meetings, and meetings with the manager generally go much longer. 2. The manager rarely answers questions or completes her own work on time. 3. The manager promises too much to clients and insists that the rest of us in the office stop what we are doing so we can try and meet unrealistic deadlines at the last minute. 4. The manager routinely questions others’ time estimates for both minor tasks and major projects. This has, on occasion, resulted in disputes. Is there any way for an office or an individual to assist someone to become more realistic? One thing I have done in regard to # 4 is outline all the projects, tasks and meetings I have on the docket when I am setting a deadline, so the manager knows what is happening, and we agree on the deadline. This has been somewhat successful, but I find it frustrating. It is also embarrassing, especially in meetings. I also find it difficult to quickly list all my priorities. Thank you for any suggestions you can give me!  -- Discouraged in Vancouver, B.C.