Admins

For admins, the work never ends. Administrative professionals fill key office management functions every day – tasks that go unnoticed (until they’re not done).

Admins are the unsung heroes of the workplace – the glue that holds an office together. Every week should be Administrative Professionals Week!

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It’s not surprising that employees and employers can view the same circumstances differently. Consider, for example, the following case, in which an employee thought she had been replaced and promptly left. She was entitled to unemployment compensation based on her reasonable belief that she had been fired even though her employer never told her so.

Question:  “Our office manager constantly takes aim at minorities and older employees. After we sent an anonymous letter to the human resources manager about this woman’s prejudiced behavior, he posted a notice saying only signed complaints will be investigated. If we sign our names, we know the manager will retaliate.  She has a history of firing people who protest her heavy-handed tactics, and her boss wholeheartedly supports her. If human resources won’t consider our complaint, what can we do?” — No Way Out

Lavish office parties are as distant a memory as mimeograph machines for most workers. This year, as companies cinch their belts a little tighter than usual, how are you handling the holiday office party? Administrative professionals weighed in with their suggestions on our Admin Pro Forum:

Halloween may be over, but “ghost work”—the work left behind after colleagues are laid off—still haunts the employees who remain. According to a recent survey by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, admins are hit particularly hard by the spectre. Here are three tips to help you gain control of "ghost work":

Question: “I’d like to update my Microsoft Office skills. If I have limited staff development funds, but would like to get some advanced training, which program would be the most beneficial to me and the company? In other words, what’s the best bang for the buck?” — Anonymous

Question: “What would be a few good agenda items to discuss at our next administrative professionals meeting?  No one really wants to say anything, and therefore, the individual departments do not share any new ideas or updates on their activities. Do you have any sample agendas to share?” — Victoria

Almost half of executives say that employees would be more productive if their companies banned meetings one day a week, according to a recent survey by OfficeTeam. That may be the case, but administrative assistants say meetings are still very much a part of every day—to a fault. How are admins taming the meeting madness?

True or false: Employees are either creative or they’re not—creativity isn’t a skill you can teach. False. Managers can play a key role in creating an environment in which employees will want to look for new ideas. Share this article with your supervisors to help tap employee creativity.

With admin conferences coming up (such as the Administrative Professionals Conference in October), you may want to meet some of the presenters. You can, says Keith Ferrazzi, who’s been called the world’s most connected man by Inc. magazine.

When a secretary posted a question on our Admin Pro Forum recently, she heard plenty of advice from admins who have trouble getting supervisors to adhere to deadlines. Here's a sampling of their “been-there-done-that” advice:

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