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: I manage several administrative support assistants in an executive, senior management environment. One of the assistants has difficulty separating emotions from her job duties. She internalizes many business decisions either as personal attacks on her or reminiscent of personal relationships not related to work. Her feelings factor into many of her business decisions. As you can imagine, it is difficult to manage her performance.

Her interpersonal relationships with her co-workers and me are occaisionally strained. For lack of a better word, she is almost a bullying personality and is frequently moody. She is making minor mistakes on a more frequent basis, and appears to increasingly resent my corrections of them.

When confronted about her performance, she appears willing to accept and make changes, but is very emotional (crying) during these meetings. And as each issue corrects itself, it seems another one appears.

What is the message I am not understanding from her? What am I not doing that I need to do? How can this situation be corrected?  -- Anonymous

Annual review

by on March 18, 2005 10:30pm
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: It's "annual review" time in our office.  Each year, my supervisor asks me to write my own review and then we discuss it before he writes the final version.  Since I know my job so well, I work independently and require no supervision.  One of the questions on the evaluation form asks for "outstanding accomplishment(s) since the last review."  I've been working at the same job for 27 years and am running out of adjectives to describe how great a job I do.  There's nothing "new" to report and I'm concerned that I won't get the raise I think I deserve.  How do you handle your annual evaluation without repeating the same things year after year?  -- Anonymous

Question: I have just recently been assigned to train our student workers for the receptionist job in a counseling center of a major university. The job requires them to do data entry and general office duties. I would like some ideas or forms I can use to track training problems. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.  -- Anonymous

Question: Our company doesn't have one set of written travel guidelines. What is allowed for the production lab differs from what is allowed for the sales force or for an executive. Through the years, the company has grown, and administrative staff and managers have changed enough so that we lost the verbal guidelines once used. I have found four different documents that were written to cover different departments. I would like to pull them together into a company-wide guideline, but would like to see what other companies are using first.  -- Anonymous

Question: What are the first things you do when starting a new position? -- Anonymous
Question: What are your favorite sites or techniques for Internet research?  -- Anonymous

Potluck Rebellion

by on February 25, 2005 11:00pm
in Admin Pro Forum

Question: I work in an office where traditionally worker birthdays have been celebrated with a potluck lunch. My position is responsible for organizing the event.

When I started two years, ago, workers seemed enthusiastic about the potlucks. However, some people are now saying that potlucks are too much hassle and they do not want to do them anymore. This does not offend me, but it does present some problems.

1) My director likes doing the potlucks, and she and I thought that clearly making them voluntary would ease the tension. However, those who dislike the potlucks have been complaining instead of excusing themselves.

2) Transitioning away from potlucks into just a cake-and-ice cream-style event may offend people who are expecting a potluck lunch party.

Therefore, I need suggestions for easing the transition and any suggestions for potluck lunch alternatives.

Also, if anyone wants to comment on why the itty biddy petty things set people off at work, that would be informative as well. Thanks!  -- Anonymous, California

Question: I was given the task of figuring out how to mount these large township maps that are covered with sheet protectors as a flip chart type, almost like an easel. However there are 60 of them, and they are hard to handle. I did try the big ring binders but had to tape them closed and whenever someone needed a particular township map for a presentation, the tape would have to come off and all the maps would have to be removed to get that particular one, thus leaving them all out of order and unable to be closed properly again.

What I need is an idea of how to mount or attach to some type of board (what kind, I don't even know) so they can carry them easily and yet flip them over like an easel pad would work.

Any suggestions? I am running out of ideas. I even went to an art store and they weren't very helpful.  -- Terri Michael, Administrative Coordinator, Lancaster PA

Question: I am an Executive Assistant who works for a small non-for profit organization (65 employees). We had a CEO who was recently asked to resign (November). We have six Directors and one was asked to be Interim President & CEO while a search firm conducts a search for a new president.

The Acting President, whom I am supposed to be an assistant to, will not include me in any information. It appears that everything is a secret. I can't help if I don't know what is going on. I spend my days doing research for her department and not any Executive Assistant duties. My concern is: When they hire a permanent President, I will not be able to support and help him because I won't know what has happened in the past six months.

Please give me some advice on how to address this issue.  -- Anonymous
Question: I recently completed my graduate degree in business and have been working as an executive assistant at my current company for almost 4 years. I have been doing an excellent job, taking and completing tasks outside my job description, and have made sure that the right people are aware of my accomplishments including my MBA. I am ready for more responsibility and my performance, education and "self promotion" have set the stage for approaching my supervisor (HR Director) about becoming the head of the admin team. This would be a new position for the company, and there are sound, supportable reasons for creating this position and putting me in it, but there is one hurdle to overcome.

I am not the assistant to the President of the company. His assistant is probably the least qualified person on the admin team to assume a leadership or managerial role and I'm sure he knows that. Although she is a very competent assistant, she has no desire to be anything more than an assistant. Unfortunately, the last time I spoke to the HR Director about a promotion within the admin team, her response was, in essence, because I was already an Executive Assistant but was not assistant to the President and because of the current organizational structure of the admin team, there was nowhere to promote me to.

This type of position I would like is usually called either "executive administrator," "office manager" or "manager, administration" or something similar. Does anyone know of situations where this position was created or are currently in this position and can provide sound evidence based examples of how this position helped the company?  -- Anonymous
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