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Admin Pro Forum

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 am on a task force to develop a "desk audit" or "task audit" that will give our 20-member staff a better sense of how our time is spent, where we can become more efficient, and address unanticipated tasks. Our strategic planning consultants have told us that it would be best to develop our own workflow audit, as there are few models in the not-for-profit world.  They recommend choosing an "appropriate" unit of time and reporting frequency, making it easy and sharing data with staff frequently to show progress, but we're still feeling daunted by the task.  Has anyone developed a desk/task audit that they'd be willing to share?  How did you make it palatable to your co-workers?"  — Louise

"Our office allows a more casual attire in the summer. But some of the employees push it way too far. It doesn't help that the VP in charge of the office likes to wear shorts, so everyone else thinks it should be OK. We don't have any written rules on this, but I think it's hurting our image (as some of our sales reps sometimes have clients in for meetings). How can I present this to 'Mr. Casual' VP...or should I? -- Kathleen

"Our office allows a more casual attire in the summer. But some of the employees push it way too far. It doesn't help that the VP in charge of the office likes to wear shorts, so everyone else thinks it should be OK. We don't have any written rules on this, but I think it's hurting our image (as some of our sales reps sometimes have clients in for meetings). How can I present this to 'Mr. Casual' VP...or should I? -- Kathleen

"How can I deal with a co-worker who constantly complains that he doesn’t like his job or the people in the department? I suggested he talk to those he has issues with. I even suggested he find a new job. But he just keeps complaining and it interferes with my performance and morale. What can I do?  I don’t want to be mean or unprofessional." -- Janice

"How can I deal with a co-worker who constantly complains that he doesn’t like his job or the people in the department? I suggested he talk to those he has issues with. I even suggested he find a new job. But he just keeps complaining and it interferes with my performance and morale. What can I do?  I don’t want to be mean or unprofessional." -- Janice

Question: "Is there a rule of thumb when it comes to determining severance for an employee?  What factors should be considered when calculating severance (length of service, position in company, etc.)?  What seems to be the “norm” in this economic time?" — Sheri Thomas

Question: "What types of policy/guidelines do you have for office events during business hours? For example, does the admin plan the event or should a committee plan it? How involved is the senior management staff in planning an event?" — Anonymous

Question: "What types of policy/guidelines do you have for office events during business hours? For example, does the admin plan the event or should a committee plan it? How involved is the senior management staff in planning an event?" — Anonymous
 

Question: "Is there a rule of thumb when it comes to determining severance for an employee?  What factors should be considered when calculating severance (length of service, position in company, etc.)?  What seems to be the “norm” in this economic time?" — Sheri Thomas
 

Question: “My boss just piles work on his desk willy-nilly. I organized it once, but now he expects it again. How do I get him to tidy up his own desk?” — Anonymous
Question: “What is the best way to find out what is new in computer software used in most offices, since it seems to always be changing?” — Anonymous

Question: “How can I get across the fact that I’m very busy without seeming like I’m not a team player? I’m the executive assistant to the CEO and two partners. I’m also the CEO’s personal assistant. The attitude in my office is that I can’t be doing much since I don’t support a team.” — Anonymous
Question: “An ergonomic consultant recommended a narrower wrist/palm rest for several staff members. Their current rest is about 2.5 inches wide. I am having a hard time finding a narrower one. Any suggestions?” — Peggie Frost
Question: “I just started as the executive assistant to the senior vice president. I have administrative assistant experience, but this is my first time being an executive assistant. When I sit down on a one-on-one meeting with the boss, I feel really tense and can’t seem to think straight. I don’t say a whole lot because I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing. He is a very nice guy, but I just feel intimidated by his title. How can I feel more comfortable around him?” — Anonymous 
Question: “Does anyone know of a way to always have the BCC field populate with a specific e-mail address?” — Anonymous

“I’ve seen references to “tickler” files.  Can you please explain in detail, what they are and how you create and manage them?” — Valerie R. Butler
“Does anyone have an easy checklist available for putting together a conference for 100-plus people? I have started one, but I’m not sure if I have included everything needed.” — Michele
Question: “An employee went on maternity leave and some of her duties were redistributed to other admins during her leave. I was given the responsibility of reviewing the company's wireless phones.  In reviewing the contracts, I discovered the company could save about $10,000.  However, the employee has returned to work and changed the online account password to prevent me from further access. I told my bosses, but they have not done anything about it. The employee is an executive assistant to the president. Should I just let it go?” — Anonymous
Question: “We would like to create a work-order form for our custodian. This form would be used to assign work that is outside his regular duties. Is there anything available?” — Anonymous
Getting ready to create a website, business card or brochure? Think twice before you “save money” by using a template — it could end up costing you $100,000.
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