Blue Ocean Academy has conducted a free webinar on the topic ‘How to be an Effective Office Administrator’. Around 60 professionals attended the webinar that gave practical examples of performing the role efficiently.
Following are the important points that were discussed in the webinar:
Office administrators are the unsung heroes in an organization. Most of the time, they work relentlessly behind the scenes and they are seldom noticed. It is one of the most complex and responsible roles in an organization.
The 3 Cs of Administrative Power Role
- Coordination- Office admins have to coordinate different tasks and activities in an organization. Often, they are the master-planners of whatever happens in the office.
- Communication- Exceptional communication skills are mandatory for office administrators. They must communicate with the staff, management and clients on a day-to-day basis. So, they should be able to convey their ideas clearly and assertively.
- Compliance- Office admins must make sure that the staff in the organization comply with the rules and procedures to create a better workplace.
The Key Challenges
There are some key challenges that prevent administrators from fulfilling their job responsibilities. Though these may differ from organization to organization, there are some common challenges that everyone faces.
- Handling difficult personalities
This is a major challenge faced by office admins. They will have to deal with different kinds of people every day. While some may behave in a professional way, some may overreact. So, they should take a tactical approach while managing people.
- Often seen as a person of lesser importance
Though administrators work hard for their organization, there is a tendency to overlook their importance. Most of the time, their efforts go unnoticed.
They have the herculean task of organizing their organization. They must organize information, documents and tasks at the same time.
- Time management
When there are too many bosses, too many tasks and too many distractions, time management becomes extremely difficult.
The most important skill is the ability to prioritize tasks. One must be able to distinguish between what is urgent and what is not.
- Expected to fix anything and everything
Unfortunately, office admins are expected to fix anything and everything that goes wrong in the organization. They are supposed to fix people, processes and systems.
Improving efficiencies in workflow
How can office administrators overcome these challenges to improve efficiency in the workflow? Following steps can help them to fulfill their roles in a better way.
When there are too many tasks, it is necessary to prioritize. Divide tasks into four categories- Very urgent, very important, less urgent and less important. It will make work much easier than before.
- To do lists
It is always better to jot down the tasks at hand. It will be helpful to keep track of the tasks and make sure that nothing is left undone.
- Streamline communication
It is the duty of the office admins to streamline communication to avoid confusion. They have to communicate meetings and important decisions to their team.
- Meeting, agendas and minutes
All official meetings must have a clear agenda. Once the goals are clearly defined in advance, it will help to save the time of the attendees and make the meeting fruitful.
- Stay organized
Needless to mention, admins must always stay organized. They should avoid doing too many tasks at the same time.
How to improve work relationships
As the office assistants need to deal with a lot of people on a daily basis, they must use some strategies to maintain healthy relationships with their team.
- Practise mindfulness- Stress can adversely affect your personal as well as professional life. So, reduce stress and stay calm.
- Be empathetic- Always think from other’s perspectives and be considerate.
- Power of appreciation- Appreciate and respect the efforts of your team members. Never hesitate to say, ‘thank you’.
- Don’t play the blame game- It is unprofessional to blame others for your mistakes. Instead admit it and move on.
- Foster a culture of respect- Respect each and everyone in your team regardless of his/her position. The way you communicate with your team matters.