Challenged as a new supervisor?

Linda recently wrote on our Admin Pro Forum, “I recently took a job where I supervise three administrative assistants. I work directly on a daily basis with one admin … but I don’t have daily contact with the other two admins, because they are in different parts of the building. How do I supervise the other two and complete their performance evaluations?”

The advice back from admin readers fell into two camps: The first camp suggested weekly or biweekly one-on-one meetings. The second camp said to go beyond a formal meeting.

Their comments:

“I have never been a supervisor,” says Diane, “but I always appreciated the supervisor who would make an attempt to come over and say ‘Hi’ every now and then. It made me feel like he or she was there for me. Sometimes, the best one-on-ones are those that are done on the fly.”

“Grandma Duggie,” who supervises five admins in another building, holds regular team meetings, as well as regular one-on-ones. “We also make a point to celebrate birthdays and other special events together,” she says. “Best advice: Make a point to keep in touch.”

Performance Review D

Ask the admins to document their goals and projects for the upcoming week in a weekly e-mail, suggests an anonymous admin.

“Get to know the people they are working for,” suggests Liza. That way, you can hear about the quality of the work and how he or she interacts with the team. And you can let them know “that you are the person to talk to if they have any concerns or want to compliment the admins’ work.”

When you drop in for an informal one-on-one, ask the right questions. Debbie suggests asking how things are going, whether the admins need any specific support to do their jobs or whether they’ve run into any obstacles.

“Formal meetings are great, but dropping in lets you resolve issues more quickly,” she says. “It also helps those admins in a separate building feel more a part of the team.”