It is often said that the more invisible the Office Manager is, the more efficient they are.
I truly believe this. Below are but 4 of the attributes a good office manager has, all of which are mostly recognised by their absence. Let us know what your experiences are.
1. Efficient record keeping – this job seems so superfluous to some, but it is without a doubt the backbone of a good company.
Efficient retrieval of information, efficient proof of documentation, accreditation, legal compliance and client records go a long way to speeding up productivity and ensuring client satisfaction levels. All you have to do is remember the last time you had really poor service, or had to wait for something, were there lost documents involved? Almost definitely.
2. Efficient resource management.
There is nothing worse than having to print a tender document at the last moment only to find that your paper and/or ink is running low. Or that the print server has still not been repaired after you were made aware of it a week ago already. Not to speak of the mornings when you cannot make coffee as there are no filters for the machine! Abominations indeed!
3. Efficient inter team and conflict management.
I once, a long time ago, worked in a company where the administrative and finance departments worked actively against each other. It was a nightmare! The passive aggression, the lack of cooperation, the rolling eyes, the palming off of responsibility, the finger pointing and turf guarding led to many wasted hours and in the end this was the reason I left this company. I simply could not face the atmosphere, but even more so I could not go to work to re-climb the same mountain of document search, being sent from pillar to post, apologising to inconvenienced clients every day, and I was in marketing! A totally different department!
4. Making the impossible happen – a good Office Manager has the PR skills of a PRO.
They cut our time lines, they find the impossible through good research skills
and they convince the hardiest of opponents to produce through excellent relationship building and networking. All of this happens quietly and behind the scenes, so that when a request is put out to do the impossible, the manager asking doesn’t even realise the magnitude of the request – until of course the office manager is not there and what seems to have been so easy, now becomes an insurmountable hurdle.
© Debbie Engelbrecht
Debbie is the MD of Staff Training, a soft skills training company offering more than 60 short courses including Etiquette, Diversity, Customer Care and Conflict Management. Find out more here.