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Meeting Management

Successful meeting management is a cornerstone of good office management – and that’s where Business Management Daily can help.

From thorough meeting event planning to taking minutes that accurately reflect the content of the meeting, our checklists and articles help improve your meeting management.

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You may have seen Chef Jamie Oliver’s show “Food Revolution,” in which he transforms school menus. Now Oliver is doing the same thing for employees slogging through long off-site meetings. If you plan off-site meetings or conferences, boost the meeting’s ROI by rethinking food.

Problem: An administrative assistant works for several Johnny-come-lately bosses who think nothing of showing up late for meetings. What can she do to thwart the rude habit? Some of our readers had solutions:

Food service giant Sodexo has labeled some of its employees as “hard to reach”: those who work at client locations or telework from home or whose jobs don’t involve regular use of computers or e-mail. Now it’s offering managers several methods to reach out to them to ensure that they have knowledge, team spirit and the sense of belonging that are necessary to build a highly engaged workforce.

If the IRS determines that an employee has been misclassified as an independent contractor, it may assess federal employment taxes plus interest and penalties. These matters frequently end up in the courts. As the following case shows, it’s unlikely you can claim you’re an independent contractor if you own and run the business.
It’s one of the most sensitive issues HR pros have to deal with: the boss who treats administrative support staff like they’re personal assistants. Think it went out with the three-martini lunch? Think again.
When just the thought of creating the official meeting minutes makes your writing hand freeze, take note: Preparation starts well before the meeting. Keep this simple checklist handy:

As an admin, you may be tasked with helping to set agendas, scheduling and taking minutes. But how much power do you have to keep meetings productive? Plenty. Look for clues in the way meetings work at Google. You may find that not all of these tips are replicable at your office, but it’s a place to start.

Medical specialists employed at nursing homes and those who treat children are the most likely workers to report major episodes of depression (not just people who hate their jobs), according to a new study by Health magazine.
Admins are taking on more responsibility and those who can help leadership reduce operating costs by securing more advantageous service contracts, streamline a process or reduce spending, for example, will score big points.

Base pay for administrative professionals across the United States is expected to remain consistent with 2010 levels, according to the OfficeTeam Salary Guide 2011. The average increase in starting salaries for all positions is 1.1%, with slightly larger gains forecast in customer service and health care. 

To convey your organization’s new direction to employees, you host lots of informational meetings. You strive to stay on message and repeatedly emphasize core pillars of change. But to ensure that your meetings sink in, stop diagramming your vision like a football coach mapping out a play. Instead, let the group talk.

Signing a contract is always a hair-raising and nervous experience. But signing a hotel, convention center or other facility's standard contract for your company could damage your organization's financial well being. To protect yourself, ask to review the standard contract, but consider that as only a starting point.

If you feel as though you’re doing more but getting less done, it may be because you’re still multitasking. Leadership expert Stever Robbins may have put his finger on why: You like to multitask. “Just don’t expect to accomplish very much doing it,” he says. Robbins has developed a system that can help you maintain concentration and do more in less time.

Question: “Our organization has held systemwide support staff meetings that are usually topic specific.  We have undergone an organizational restructuring and the person who was in charge of these admin meetings is now gone.  Attendance at these meetings has been poor and the topics don't seem to relate to everyone.  We want to restructure these meetings. Does anyone have systemwide support staff meetings?  If so, what's your format?  What are the topics?  What do you find the most valuable?  How does the support staff respond to these meetings?” — Anonymous
When it’s time for company leadership to tap employees to work on a new, interdepartmental project, whom do you think they’ll pick? And if the company is forced to restructure and lay off, who would least likely be sacrificed? The cross-functional whiz, or the employee who works in a silo?

Administrative professionals could be a secret weapon in helping companies bounce back from the recession. New research by OfficeTeam and the IAAP shows admins are moving beyond their traditional roles to take on responsibilities in areas such as cost control, technology and the use of social media, hiring and corporate social responsibility.

Thoughts about how to kick off your next staff meeting.

Plenty of organizations offer flexible schedules, allow telework and let parents slip out early once in a while to catch a child’s soccer game. But in many workplaces, those benefits are perks that only managers and white-collar workers enjoy. Yet several studies show that when low-wage employees have some flexibility in their hours, teamwork improves and unscheduled absences abate. If your organization’s lower-wage employees are candidates for flex, consider these eight strategies.

Plenty of organizations offer flexible schedules, allow telework and let parents slip out early once in a while to catch a child’s soccer game. But in many workplaces, those benefits are perks that only managers and white-collar workers enjoy. Yet several studies show that when low-wage employees have some flexibility in their hours, teamwork improves and unscheduled absences abate. If your organization’s lower-wage employees are candidates for flex, consider these eight strategies.

If you hold a meeting and nothing gets done, what's the point? To avoid wasting time, begin by setting a clear expectation.
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