Guest post by Dan Matthews
With the new year comes new opportunities — be it in one’s personal or professional life. For office administrators (or admins, for short), there’s no better time than the new year to establish new procedures to promote business success — after all, gone are the days where being an office admin was synonymous with only scheduling and keeping tabs on office supplies. While these are still part of an office admin’s job, administrators of today are tasked with a variety of duties.
With this in mind, you as an office administrator can get a head start by tackling some major tasks at the beginning of the new year, so as to ensure success as the year progresses. Here are some ideas about new procedures you can implement to foster an atmosphere of efficiency and smooth-sailing:
Develop a Communication Plan
As an office administrator, you are often required to be the point of contact between departments. Because of this, you will often have to communicate company-wide changes to different departments and levels of employees. At the start of the year, consider instilling a communication strategy that you can rely on as the year progresses.
The communication plan should cover specific ways to communicate different things, from company-wide news to operational changes to business events. For instance, less significant news can be communicated via email, whereas larger changes might be better communicated through in-person meetings and a follow up email. Thus, you should build a communication skeleton that covers different scenarios and lays down which communication methods to follow depending on the type of situation.
Contribute To Conversations about Insurance
Annually, every business should determine whether their current insurance plan is sufficient and appropriate for their needs. Ideally, this should be done at the start of the year so that changes can quickly be implemented if necessary. There are many different types of business insurance, and office administrators need to be a part of the conversation when assessing insurance options.
Why? As an office admin, you have a unique vantage point of the entire business and can bring to light liability issues that those in more specific roles tend to overlook.
The ability to anticipate problems before they happen is one that is especially useful when it comes to choosing appropriate insurance coverage. Additionally, it is likely that you will be the one to follow up on new insurance implementations, and so it only makes sense to be involved in the discussions from the get-go.
Research New Amenities
As an office administrator, you already have insight into the preferences of employees. As the new year approaches, you can leverage this insight to research and suggest new amenities to further benefit employee wellness. From new office suites and supplies to healthy food options for departmental breakfasts, you can put together a list of perks that will contribute to fostering a better workplace culture.
As we’ve stated in a previous article, employees tend to love company social events, free food, and casual dress codes. As an office admin, these are all things you can implement with the permission of higher-ups. More often than not, most leadership will be thrilled that you are taking an initiative and thus show little resistance to the positive changes you’d want to make, especially if you arrive with a plan to implement and have employee backing. And with the incoming new year, there’s no better time to get started when it comes to making way for new workplace amenities.
Organize Package and Parcel Procedures
Office admins are usually tasked with handling incoming and outgoing packages. It is essential that admins keep track of whom parcels are for, where different parcels need to go, and when they need to be shipped out. To do so effectively, you should develop an intuitive tracking and follow up system. This could be in the form of an Excel spreadsheet, a customized tracking software, or even a pen-and-paper system if you prefer a more traditional method.
If you already have a system in place, take some time to evaluate it based on the past year. Consider what could be improved to make the next year even more seamless in terms of delivery and receipt processes. Automating processes through shipping software can save time and reduce shipping errors, for example. Talk to your superiors about investing in this sort of software, especially if the business relies heavily on shipping out goods.
Build A Calendar for Employees
Usually, office administrators are in charge of everyday scheduling. Under this responsibility, you should develop a calendar for employees to disseminate at the start of the year. The calendar should cover any pre-decided company events, special seminars, as well as public holidays and days off as decided by upper management. Providing employees with an annual calendar gives them enough notice in regards to events, ensuring high attendance rates. It also allows employees to strategically plan their own holidays and days off so that they are able to request leave well in advance.
These are just some of the tasks you can tackle at the beginning of the year. Remember, a new year is a great time to implement change, so use this to your advantage and be sure to start off 2020 on the right foot!
Author Bio: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture. You can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn.