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Build buy-in to get managers on track

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in Admins,Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

A frustrated administrative professional, Sally, recently vented on our online forum: “I’m at my wit’s end!

“In order to keep track of the comings and goings of 12 managers,” she wrote, “I have put up a travel/vacation board, a daily out-of-office board, and a meeting room board to keep track of who is using the conference room.”

Yet no one is “participating” in her attempts to keep the office organized. “Any advice?” she asked.

Our advice: Start over by telling managers how a tracking system ben­efits them.

Example: “I’d like to connect you quickly with clients and customers when they call, because I know how important that is to you. To do that, it would be helpful to know where you are. Just last week, I took five messages from VIP clients because I didn’t know how to reach you. I’d like to make sure you never miss an opportunity like that.”

Then ask what sort of system they use to manage their time. Do they find it convenient to consult a white board on their way in and out of the office? Do they use Outlook to manage their calendars? Do they text frequently?

So, first, sell your managers on the benefits of an organizing system, and then choose one that “fits.” When you roll out your system, remind them how this system helps them accomplish their goals (not yours).

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