In most organisations the administration/support team, although they can be acknowledged as being important to the business, they are treated as if they're not.
Day after day, week after week they are in the office, slogging away making sure the work gets done. Many of them are so conscientious they won't take time out and stay at their desks until the work is done. Not only are they integral to the running of any business, their income and the way they are treated may not always reflect the importance of their role.
Jenny has worked for her current employer, for the past three years and thoroughly enjoys her role as Personal Assistant to the General Manager. They have a great working relationship. Whenever she needs time off to attend her children's sports days and special events, it's never an issue. If she requires the occasional afternoon or morning off to deal with personal matters, all she has to do is ask. Because of this attitude with her employer, she does her utmost best in her work and never thinks twice about working overtime on the odd occasion. In fact she works twice as hard.
This is a totally different situation to Jenny's previous employer. Jenny had been working for another organisation where her boss was 'married to the job'. Although he had a wife and family, his behaviour didn't reflect this. He worked all hours of the day and night and couldn't understand why everyone else went home at 5.00 p.m. Although she did her utmost best to organise him and get the work done on time, he would always ask for tasks to be done just when she was getting ready to leave for the day.
On the many occasions when she worked back or took work home so that her boss would have what he wanted for the next morning,he never thanked her. He just assumed that's what she should do. He never considered her needs. She was a single parent and therefore had major responsibilities. She had a life too. Her boss on the other hand was fortunate to have a a wife who didn't work and took care of their personal life.
Prior to Jenny being in this role, there had been three other people who had worked in her position, and all three had lasted less than three months.
Jenny had enough, she left after 6 months and found her current position. It wasn't the money that was her main issue. It was the flexibility and appreciation. Although her boss was pleasant enough, he just didn't understand that there is more to working with someone than just paying their wages.
The Final Word
When employing staff make sure they are the right fit. If you're looking for someone who can be extremely flexible in their hours and can come in early and stay late, then make sure that person is in the right personal situation to do that.
Employing people is a skill in itself. Keeping them happy so that they will be an important part of your business is another story. As mentioned in prior newsletters, when you look after your people, they will look after you and your business.
About The Author
Lorraine specialises in working with businesspeople showing them how to dramatically boost their productivity, reduce the stress and the mess in their lives and have more time for enjoying their life. www.office-organiser.com.au, firstname.lastname@example.org