Hello! I hope you enjoy today’s Monday Motivator.
What would they do if you weren’t there?
Any professional should do this but I highly encourage administrative professionals to:
Create a set of guidelines about how to do your job when you’re not there.
Creating an Administrative Desk Reference Guide
This doesn’t need to be a huge project. It could be as simple as outlining your daily duties, listing common business contacts (name, postal addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses), noting important issues you keep an eye on… The basics all captured on a few sheets of paper or less.
Or, if you believe your job warrants a larger document, go for it! The sky’s the limit- when you have time to devote to this along with your usual duties, of course. You could include Web sites you find invaluable to doing your job, references and tips from common technical issues you may encounter (a sort of FAQ- frequently asked questions- about your job.) Why, you could even provide a list of preferences for working with higher-ups, colleagues and clients- anything that boosts communication and effectiveness.
The reason for this project is simple: What would your office do if you weren’t there- due to vacation, illness, a career change or advancement, etc? Having a ready-made list of your top duties and a description of how you perform them is invaluable to you, your department and your employer. (Indeed, some employers are now requiring this to prepare for absences- whether planned or expected- long before they occur.)
Start the project by asking yourself some key questions:
- When I took this job, what didn’t I know? What did I have to learn?
- If someone had to “sub” for me, what would they want and need to know?
- What would my boss/co-workers hope and expect someone to know in this position? (Tip: You make them want to tell them what you’re doing and why, and ask for their input. Besides giving you important insight, it could spur others to do the same!)
This is a worthwhile exercise- and a fun, eye-opening experience that makes you aware of all that you do. Plus, it’ll help define and refine your myriad duties when performance-review time comes around! Good luck with putting together your job guidelines.