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  • feedwordpress 15:30:49 on 2018/04/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , meetings, , , ,   

    5 Ways to Be a Value-Added Employee 

     

    team_adding_value

    I’m not sure if you know that 80% of my work is onsite training for administrative office professionals so I do a lot of traveling, in fact, 100% of my clients are out of state. From this point forward, I will be traveling extensively through September.

    While traveling gets old after a while and is tiring, I love what I learn when I go on site into an organization. I see employees in action in their environments. I meet executives and have great discussions. Observing administrative professionals at work is one of my greatest moments. When I’m facilitating a full-day workshop for assistant or executives about maximizing their assistant’s time, I experience several aha moments. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I never grow weary of learning, experiencing, and coming home feeling rewarded!

    One thing I can tell you from working with top-notch organizations nationwide is that the bar is being raised for all employees across the board. Organizations are communicating that it is time to “step up your game” or you may not be in the game in months to come. I know this is hard on those of you who already contribute a great deal and truly are committed. Then we all know there are the slackers appearing to be doing work. But don’t lose hope. As spring brings everything into bloom, this is your time to bloom. This spring, let your brightest colors show through (meaning all your talents) and be in full bloom.

     

    Be a ‘value added’ employee

    How much value would you say your work adds to the organization? Have you ever thought about it? Now more than ever, not only is every employee expected to pull his or her own weight, each person’s work must add value to the organization. There are a number of ways to be what I call a “value-added” partner. Here are a few that can help you earn the rewards and recognition you deserve:

     

    1. Boost productivity. If you can think of ways to streamline your job (or the work processes in a department, for example), it’ll improve overall productivity. That means more can be accomplished in less time – and management is sure to appreciate that.

     

    1. Make money. Is there a profitable opportunity that your employer is not currently taking advantage of? Whether you are a manager or an assistant, if you are familiar with your business, you can often see ways to make money—perhaps by paying attention to competitors or watching trends. Speak up, or prepare a brief summary describing your idea. Profit-generating ideas are a sure-fire way to promote your value.

     

    1. Save money. “A penny saved is a penny earned” applies to the workplace, as well. In what ways could you help save your employer money? Propose them.

     

    1. Be proactive. Ultimately, the best way to demonstrate your value is to show you don’t have to be asked to do something. You do it because it makes sense – because it helps the business and your co-workers!

     

    1. Go the extra mile. You will be noticed. Anyone can do what is expected, but not everyone can go the extra mile. Think of ways you can take that one extra step or add that one extra special touch.

     

    Star Tip: Document your value-added efforts to ensure you reap the rewards over time. Share results with your leader as they occur, and then again at performance review time. Even if your organization has a salary freeze this year, keep doing your best. Trust me, it’ll pay off!

     

    joan_burge_signature

    Joan Burge
    Founder and CEO

     

    wca_washington_chicago

    The post 5 Ways to Be a Value-Added Employee appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 18:44:09 on 2018/02/19 Permalink
    Tags: , meetings, , ,   

    Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings 

    Meeting_Tips

    I bet that like many people you thought meetings would go by the wayside because of technology or at least there would be fewer meetings. Not true! The reasons meetings
    have increased are due in part to the rise in teams and requisite team meetings and technology such as video-conferencing accommodating slashed travel budgets.

    Approximately 11 million meetings occur in the U.S. each day! Meetings are essential to an organization’s success yet all experts agree that the main reason meetings are such a waste is because no one really prepares for them and that some may be unnecessary.

    I would like to give you some tips as you prepare for meetings this week. Feel free to share these with people in your department or peers.

    • Identify the objective for your meeting. If you do not have a clear objective, then there is no sense holding a meeting.
    • Distribute an agenda to participants before the meeting. Participants should come prepared for their meeting. Without enough notice, participants cannot adequately prepare to be a contributor.
    • Participants should know what is expected of them prior to a meeting. Be as clear as possible with expectations.
    • Often, I hear people are invited to meetings and they do not even need to attend. Limit attendance to only those individuals who truly need to be involved.
    • Set time limits for the meeting and each topic to be covered. When attending meetings, it is easy for people to get off track. This is not necessarily a bad thing and can generate great discussion. On the other hand, the meeting leader wants to ensure everything that is important gets covered in the meeting.
    • Distribute materials in advance. Again, you want participants to be prepared as best they can. Springing something on attendees during the meeting is not good use of time. Give attendees as much of a heads up as possible.

    One phase of meetings that often gets forgotten is the post-meeting stage. So here are some ideas for you.

    • Confirm tasks assigned to attendees and deadline dates.
    • Send thank you notes.
    • Transfer action items to follow-up lists, calendars, and “to-do” folder.
    • Send recap of meeting or minutes.
    • Update your calendar with future meeting dates.
    • Send necessary information to non-attendees or tell alternate’s team leader.
    • Get feedback from attendees.
    • Make note of “personal lessons learned.”

    I hope these ideas are helpful as you go through your week and weeks ahead. If you want to dig deep into meeting planning and execution, I’m hosting a live e-course Tuesday, February 20 at 10:00 am PT.

    Wishing you an amazing week.

    Joan Burge

    The post Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:38:11 on 2016/12/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , from idea to action, how to communicate with your executive, how to communication with your boss, how to get information from your leader, , meetings, , , new skills for assistants, , , , , ,   

    Revolutionary Ways Assistants Can Get Information from Their Managers 

    The theme for our 23rd Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence was The Revolutionary Assistant. Our conference was held in October 2016 in Las Vegas. We had 450 assistants from 11 countries attend.

    Our team-building activity for 2016 was called Compression Planning®: From Idea to Action and Results Faster. Annette Brown who is a certified McNellis Compression Planning Instructor hosted the session with my assistance.

    We were really excited about this activity because the main goal was to get assistants to come up with revolutionary solutions on time-old problems such as managers not making time for their assistants; managers not providing sufficient information to their assistants; handling constantly changing priorities; getting support for training and development.

    The concept I loved most about Compression Planning is to move “it” from the conversation to the action. For more than 4 decades assistants have been complaining about the same issues (I mentioned above). When I was an assistant 40 years ago we complained about not getting time with our executives; we complained about not getting enough information from our managers; we complained about not getting support for training.

    And yet here we are 40 years later and I still here the same complaints from assistants. We have to stop having these same conversations over and over. The idea is to come up with revolutionary answers that will create change and therefore create better conversations.

    Our team-building session was 2 hours long and we just touched the surface. I can’t possibly share everything with you about Compression Planning.

    But what we did promise our attendees is that we would share the 4 main issues we covered during the session and provide all the answers our 450 attendees developed. The 4 main topics to be addressed were:

    1. Revolutionary ways to get the communication and information you need from your manager.
    2. Revolutionary ways to approach your leader to get their undivided attention and more one-on-one time with them.
    3. Revolutionary ways to handle constantly changing priorities and increasing work volume.
    4. Revolutionary ways to gain true manager support for your ongoing professional development.

    I will write one blog for each issue and we will provide the 25 ideas for each topic that our attendees developed. By the way, all 450 attendees did not work on all 4 issues. We broke the room into quadrants and a section of the room worked on 1 of the 4 issues.

    Let’s take the first topic/issue regarding managers and executives not providing enough information to their assistants. First I’d like to give you some background information. In 2015, Jasmine Freeman sent out a survey to our webinar attendees and asked them to identify one thing that was standing in the way or was a barrier in their relationship with their manager. We received 700 responses!!! Wow. That was huge. And I read every single response. I realized that 80% of the assistants could resolve their problems if they would communicate with their executives or if they would have courageous conversations with their executives.

    From the survey responses, I created a chart to show our conference attendees the types of issues assistants were having around their executives and communications.

    communicationSince there is a long list of ideas, I have pulled what I consider the top 4 and will expand on them. Then you will see the entire list.

    #1 Idea: Establish and protect regular 1:1 time with manager.

    This is the #1 solution according to my 46 years’ experience in the profession on both sides of the desk!! I have coached over 200 executive/assistant teams. When I instruct them to have daily huddles as the solution to 80% of their issues, they always get back to me and tell me that is the best lesson I taught them….ever!

    You might be wondering what you would discuss in meetings with your manager.

    Here are some ideas:

    Daily Calendars Technology is not perfect and neither are humans. It is easy to place a wrong time or wrong date on a calendar. Or because so many leaders are independent, they place events on their own calendars and forget to inform their administrative partner.

    Accuracy in scheduling is extremely important. Leaders are TOO BUSY to have hiccups in their schedules. Plus it is embarrassing to the leader or the administrative person who set the schedule.

    Many administrators are now handling their leader’s pre-read meeting materials by printing, reviewing and flagging them as appropriate. Many administrative professionals are doing research, preparing outgoing pre-reads and filtering e-mail note strings for their leader in preparation for a meeting. (Gone are the days when administrators simply reserved a conference room and readied it for the meeting!)

    Discuss E-mail Communications When it comes to e-mail management, there are various approaches. Some leaders want their administrative partner to read all their e-mails and take action on those e-mails. Another approach is the leader who wants to manage all his or her own e-mails and forward specific e-mail to their administrative partner as appropriate.

    Your daily huddles are the time for leaders and the administrative partner to update each other on e-mail communications, whether it is a status update or clarifying new actions to be taken.

    Department Issues This is a good time to discuss any departmental problems that need your leader’s attention. Administrative professionals are often privy to information within the department or are aware of potential personnel issues. These should be brought to the attention of their leader before a situation escalates.

    Status Updates Provide your leader with updates on projects, meetings, items you are working on, and any other pertinent information. Leaders do not like to have to ask the status of projects and tasks. (Nor do they have the time.) A Star-achieving assistant initiates status updates.

    Upcoming Travel Find out about upcoming trips so you can anticipate schedules and prepare necessary travel materials. At least bi-weekly, you and your leader should review the calendar for upcoming events as far as three months out.

    Follow-up Items Bring to your leader’s attention information requested from staff that you have not yet received. You can also let your leader know whose work you have received.

    Special Projects Find out what special projects your leader is working on or has coming up in the next few weeks. Ask if there are any portions of the project you can work on. Is there any research that needs to be done? Will information necessary for the project be coming from others inside or outside the company? If so, can you start assembling that information? Are presentations, graphs or charts required? If so, how many?

    Time: Investment or Expense?
    It might initially appear as though these meetings might involve a tremendous amount of time, but they don’t when you meet on a regular basis because things don’t have a chance to build up. In fact, it keeps everything flowing smoothly, reduces chances of missed details or tasks falling through the cracks, eliminates chaos and reduces last-minute crunches. Whether you view time spent as an investment or an expense can often be based on the filter with which you view time in general.

     

    #2 Idea: Develop confidence to not accept “one word” answers.

    This is when you ask your executive something like, “Can I help you with something?” and they say, “No.” Or you might ask, “Do you have everything you need for that meeting?” And they say yes. Imagine asking instead, “What else do you need to be fully prepared for your meeting?” Or “What are we missing that would be vital to you having a successful meeting?” By changing a question, you change the answer you receive.
    So if you want more information and you want to be in the know, then you need to ask different and better questions. Then you’ll get more of what you want.

     

    #3 Idea: Participate in leadership meetings.

    Often when I tell assistants they should sit in on their executive’s staff meeting or other leadership meetings, they ask how they will ever get their work done. Or they will tell me they are too busy to get away from their desk.

     

    Well, that is not thinking like a strategic business partner. If you are your executive’s business partner you need to learn and hear as much as you can about the business and what is going on with their work, team and project.
    I attended such meetings when I was an assistant. Yes, it was to be away from my desk but I always found it time well spent. I learned so much. I especially learned about upcoming assignments, projects, events and meetings. I heard the actions my executive delegated to others in the meeting. This allowed me to be more proactive; be better at following up on assignments and deadlines; anticipate workloads; anticipate barriers; and take the initiative. Your executive cannot possibly keep you up on everything they are exposed to. So it is your job to insert yourself so you can get the information you need.

     

    #4 Idea: Train manager on how to utilize admins (you).

    Great idea. If you don’t tell your manager that you aren’t getting the information you need, they will continue doing what they have always done. This is because they will assume they are doing a good job at communicating with you.
    Do yourself and your manager a favor by letting him or her know what you need in order to be more successful which ultimately makes your manager more successful in their work.
    Teach your manager to have daily one-on-ones with you. I did that when I was an assistant and my managers loved our morning touch bases. It was a great way to start our day.

     

    As you read the rest of the ideas generated by attendees at our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence, ask yourself the following:

    1. Have I tried this? If yes, did it work? If it did not work, why didn’t it work? Do I need to use a different approach? Maybe it wasn’t good timing.
    2. Is this a truly revolutionary idea? I have not thought of this or tried. Be willing to try it and give the idea sufficient time.
    3. Since you can’t do everything at once, pick the topic 5 ideas that you like and might be different from the approach you have used in the past.
    4. Then determine your strategy for implementing that idea.

    Revolutionary ways to get the communication and information you need from your manager.

    • Develop trust
    • Communicate your style preference for receiving information
    • Align schedules to have time to talk
    • Consolidate emails/list
    • Train to manage
    • Attend management executive and assistant retreat together
    • Shared calendar
    • Assistant copied on email
    • Utilize internal SM and messaging apps for knowledge sharing
    • “Stand up” meetings
    • Establish and protect regular 1:1 time with manager (courageous conversations with manager first)
    • Develop compression planning sessions with administrative professionals and management
    • Develop technology to assist with mind reading and increase efficiency
    • Ask for feedback session on both ends
    • Establish guidelines for communication by learning their communication style
    • Set-up meeting detail template
    • Creating a timeline to gather information you need to continue the work
    • Schedule daily meetings to discuss action list accommodating executive schedule
    • Schedule daily briefings in a flexible type of communication with a trial run period
    • Identify high priority issues and bring them to attention and insert agenda into calendar
    • Utilize color-coding to prioritize emails and calendar
    • Utilize communication applications like Slack, Asana and Trello
    • Prepare executive for success for real time updates
    • Utilize apps, texting, have your cell on your person
    • Protect downtime for executive
    • Adding buffer times to meetings
    • Schedule recurring 1:1 meetings with your executive
    • Establish equality
    • Getting a seat at the table

    Special Note for 2016 Conference Attendees:

    I’d like to present a few challenges to you:

    1. After you see this information, would you share the revolutionary thinking with other assistants? Maybe use your network to share.
    2. Share the top 3 things you learned with your manager.

    Best of luck!

    Joan Burge

    P.S. If you want to learn Compression Planning and see everything we did at our conference session, you can purchase our 2016 Conference on Demand. Plus you will receive 10 other fabulous sessions with our amazing speakers.

    The post Revolutionary Ways Assistants Can Get Information from Their Managers appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:28:50 on 2016/12/01 Permalink
    Tags: , Coje, coworking, event planning, flexible meeting space, green meetings, historic meeting locations, industrial space, meeting planner, meeting trends, meetings, Peterson House, Spacebase, The Farm Soho, , unique meetings, where to find meeting space,   

    4 Fresh Meeting Trends and Where to Find Them 

    In the midst of our constantly-changing culture and ever-more-digital world, the meeting and events industry is the next realm to be updated. Dull, dusty meeting rooms are being replaced and refreshed by smart trends that are making meetings more productive and more enjoyable. The emergence of unique and
    interesting meeting rooms and workshop spaces is changing the market and offering many more options to meeting and event planners around the world. Four major trends in meeting room styles are featured below and all four (and hundreds more) meeting rooms can be found on Spacebase along with many other
    budding meeting industry trends.

    Green Meetings

    Environmental friendliness has crept slowly into our culture over the last decade, touching every industry including meeting planning. Making meetings more sustainable, or ‘green,’ is all the rage and venue owners and companies alike are designing their spaces with sustainability in mind. A great example of this
    skyrocketing trend is Coje, a coworking space located in Berlin. This bright meeting space for rent is flooded with natural light that highlights the rustic elements of the room. The peaceful and open space has beautiful rustic tables and lots of wooden accents covering the floor, the walls and everything in-between These
    spectacular wooden decorations do more than just create a natural atmosphere: they also help the environment. Some of the wood featured in this green meeting room in Berlin is over 100 years old and has been recycled and repurposed to create this amazing environment. The various plants scattered across the
    room also add to the green ambiance that so many meeting and event planners are searching for today.

    green-meetings
    Historic Locations

    Although it’s a common misconception that all trends must be new, this particular trend is old…historic, actually. Renovated historic venues are seeing a huge comeback as meeting and event venues. As the economy changes, plenty of evidence has been given to show that people are paying for experiences more
    than they’re buying material goods, like vacations, music festivals, cooking classes and anything else they can tell their friends about. Using a historic meeting space is definitely an experience; for example, the Peterson House in New York City has an illustrious history that meeting-goers aren’t likely to forget. Built
    between 1854-1855, this exceptional building was originally home to an iron merchant and later went on to house a few famous artists. The design of the space is nothing short of amazing either, with a gorgeous black marble fireplace with gold trimming and an attention-commanding chandelier in the room’s center. In
    the case of historic meeting rooms, the old adage runs true: everything old is new again.

    historic-meeting-locations
    Industrial Space

    The interior design world has been embracing industrialism for the last few years, taking old spaces and leaving them raw while adding modern accents to give the space an update. Meeting rooms are no exception to these interior design trends and some have taken on their own industrial vibe. Kulturwerkstatt in
    Hamburg perfectly illustrates the major craze that many meeting and event venues have adopted. The beautiful and bright loft has painted brick walls and unfinished floors, yet lacks no elegance or class. Some studies say that working in an unfinished space can act as a blank canvas, triggering creative ideas and
    solutions. Exquisite Persian rugs are placed across the floors and modern photography gives the space an artistic and contemporary atmosphere. This industrial yet upscale workshop space has exactly the perfect balance of creative influence and unfinished attributes to inspire imaginative meetings.

    industrial-meeting-space
    Flexible Layouts

    It’s no secret that the workplace is leaving behind old customs and adapting more flexible policies, such as non-traditional working hours and interactive work environments. Open, flexible layouts are also being implemented in many corporate offices in an attempt to encourage natural collaboration. This technique also
    works wonderfully for meeting spaces, as changeable seating arrangements can facilitate easy and creative brainstorming. Having a variety of working stations or desks to work from also increases comfortability and productivity; for example, when work begins to feel stagnant and concentration slips out the window,
    changing your seat and surroundings is like restarting your brain’s computer. The Farm SoHo Coworking has endless options for restructuring in their meeting room; their open loft space has the ability for theater, parliament, block and u-shaped seating arrangements as well as desk space for standing or sitting workers.
    It’s certainly worth noting that this space (located in an historic building in NYC) is also pleasantly designed with reclaimed wood, exposed brick and friendly ferns – combining all of the trends highlighted on this list. Incorporating any one of these new meeting room trends is bound to make your meeting both memorable and effective; one can only imagine how much could be achieved by integrating all these meeting trends in one room!

    flexible-meeting-space-layout

     

    By Tess Anaya, Spacebase

    The post 4 Fresh Meeting Trends and Where to Find Them appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
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