October 19, 2017
10 Tips for Being an Invaluable Assistant:
Assistants in the administrative or executive positions within the workforce are meant to aid their office, firm, business, or company manager in day-to-day routines involved with running the office. Office assistants don't just work under their management to help the day-to-day operations run more smoothly but they are supposed to work with their office management as well. Working with the right people effectively is what will set an "average" office assistant apart from an invaluable one.
Some of the following are the most effective ways to work with your "higher up" office staff to ensure that you are being effective as you can be to help the office run smoothly:
- Learn How to Solve Problems/Issues: Learning how to solve problems is one of the most effective things you can do to help the business run smoothly. The most important step this is not just deciding how you will solve problems but how you will manage the people who help you solve problems. People will develop opinions on how you organize things pretty quickly so make those good opinions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when solving problems. Reach out and ask for help. Problems get solved faster when the team works together.
- Get to Know Each Other: Get to know the people on your team and the people you will be working with. Whether it’s through small group or one-on-one meetings or through team building exercises. Getting to know each other and talking about what makes a good and bad team will help establish a precedence for how everyone needs to work together to solve problems. It also determines detrimental behaviors to ensure that you are not being your team’s own worst enemy.
- Show What You Stand For: Show the team what you are doing and what is going into each decision. Being transparent with the team can help you gain trust and respect among the team. Open the decision up to feedback to help the process go better and team member even come up with ideas you never thought of. The whole team will benefit from everyone having to say and everyone will feel as though their voice matters. Understanding what the company priorities are can help everyone work towards those goals more productively.
- Explain People’s Roles: If people don’t understand their roles it’s very hard for them to perform them. Make it clear what you need and expect from each member of the team and what they need to do to contribute to the overall success of the team. Outline their responsibilities clearly and hold each individual accountable. Offer help when they need it and allow them to reach out for assistance at any time to ensure they are doing their jobs effectively as they can. This helps hold employees accountable for their actions (or inactions) and weeds out those who are unwilling to help and be part of a team as people you don’t want in your company.
- Be Clear: When explaining what you want from each employee do not sugar-coat or beat around the bush about what you expect. The clearer you are the less room there is for misunderstandings.
- If You Must, Overcommunicate: Giving more information than is minimally necessary is better than leaving employees guessing what you want them to do. The clearer you are the less room for error there is.
- Allow Employees to Ask Questions: Allow people to question something if they feel it’s not right or allows them to express how they feel. Of course, it must be done in a respectful way but ensure that everyone is able to question what they feel is wrong and able to feel OK about the work they are doing (morally and ethically).
- Keep Your Door Open: Allow employees to come talk to you when they feel that something is not working or that they are having an issue. Whether the issue is work-related or with someone they work with, solving problems when they are minor can keep them from turning into crises which cripple company production and ability to function. Show that you are on the employees’ sides and want them to succeed and that you are willing to do what needs to be done to help ensure that everyone succeeds. Once employees realize that you do care and that you are on their side they are a lot more likely to reach out and accept the help that is offered when they need it.
- Remain Neutral: Don’t show favoritism toward employees or certain people you are managing or in charge of. All this does is turn other workers off and their contributions to the team may well be lost along with their productivity. Treating everyone professionally and respectfully will ensure everyone is engaged and working to their potential often as possible.
- Score an Early “Win”: Allow employees to express what is going well and what needs to be improved about how the company works. Allowing employees to express frustrations and offering to help fix them is a great way to get on everyone’s “good” side early on. Be sure that you are communicating clearly with everyone and while it may take time to get all of the little things sorted out, let everyone know that you are working on it and will do your best to get things going in the right direction soon as possible.
For more information about how to be an effective office assistant when it comes to working with your team please feel free to contact us.