19 April 2011

What do you think about Admin Professional Week?

As many of you know, this weekend is the Easter weekend, but it also starts Admin Professionals Week, with the actual day being on April 27th. You will see from the article on the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) website, they are suggesting the theme should be celebrate all office professionals and I agree with that. I never did like being singled out as we have gone so far away from being just a secretary to being an important part of the team, whether it is directly supporting management or whatever area you are in. The admin profession has changed so much over the years that we not only support the manager, sometimes we are the manager.

The organization I work for recognizes our small team of admins for the work that we do and rely on us to contribute by providing excellent support services, but it didn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work to shake off the old stereotype into a new professional one. Here are some things you can do to bring that about:
  • Bring your level of service up a level (or two if necessary);
  • Act the way you want to be treated. If you want to be recognized as a professional, act like one;
  • Acquaint yourself with the goals of the organization and determine how your position aligns with those and work towards accomplishing them from your job. It takes a lot of little things to accomplish the big goals, so nothing should be discounted, including answering the phones and greeting clients or new customers at the reception desk;
  • Show management that you are paying attention by contributing intelligently at staff meetings with answers and suggestions that show you have the best interests of the organization in mind;
  • Take your performance appraisal time seriously and complete it with thought and not just something you have to do every year;
  • Present yourself as a professional working towards completing your tasks in a timely fashion;
  • If you don't have an Admin Team, think about starting one and organize yourselves in a professional manner by setting an agenda, recording the minutes and meeting with a goal to increasing the efficiency of the organization. It will be noticed!

17 April 2011

8 Ways Cell Phones Can Harm Your Health

Here is a link to an article that you might be interested in regarding the use of cell phones as it relates to your health.  Since we all use this technology I thought it would be a timely reminder that moderation is probably the best rule of thumb:


14 April 2011

Minute taking webinar April 26

Hello everyone,

Once again I am giving an effective minute-taking webinar.  If you are able to join me, please do on April 26.  For more details, please click on the link.

See you on the Web...


2 April 2011

Reply to Comment

Someone by the name of Cass posted a comment to my last post (please read it for context) and I thought I would reply as a new post so everyone would have the benefit of joining the dialogue as I think it is a common problem among assistants.  The more organized you are, the less work it seems to others so the less recognition you get.  Or sometimes assumptions are made that all the group helped, when it really was only one or two.  Anyway, here is what my practice used to be at my previous job where I organized a lot of events.  It was a large law firm and had a lot of Departments that I realize most organizations would not have, but I think you will get what I am saying.

One of the first things I did when I had a date for an upcoming event was notify those who would be affected: The Mailroom Staff (to give them a heads up that there would be printing and binding required and extra supplies would need to be ordered such as name tags, binders, paper, etc.), the Finance Department (to give them the codes to charge things to and dates I would need cheques), the Marketing Department (so they could start designing the invitations and preparing for the RSVPs), the IT Department (so they would be on call when I needed them when something just wasn't working right) and my neighbouring co-workers so they would know what was on my plate and could help as needed. I found that letting them know ahead of time really helped as I went through the stages of organizing so they were aware of it from the beginning and last-minute requests could be anticipated.

Since I was the lead for the event, immediately after it was over I would send a thank-you email to everyone who had helped and would cc my boss, the HR Director and the bosses of the people who helped. This usually sparked a few emails back and forth congratulating each other on a job well done and left a great team feeling among the group.  You can be sure the next time an event was organized everyone would be more likely to be back on board again to help where needed. 

I find if we leave the thank yous to our bosses, they don't always know what and who were involved to get the job done.  They just know it got done and everything worked out.  Sometimes we need to take the initiative ourselves and then we can be sure the right people are recognized and nobody is missed. 

I personally prefer my boss not do the congratulations because he undoubtedly will do just as Cass mentioned in her post, forget some people and thank others who had nothing to do with it, but if the boss is going to do it (and there is something to be said when the head of an organization recognizes the efforts of a particular group),  make sure they get input from you so all the appropriate people are thanked.

If anyone has any other suggestions or ways they have handled this common problem, I'd love to hear your comments and I think the Admin community would benefit from hearing your experiences and ideas and just to know they are not the only ones this happens to.