Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics said “during the recession, businesses and corporate America learned how to produce more with less employees.” Many administrative professionals now find themselves supporting multiple bosses – when they did not before – as a result of companies forcing employees to produce with fewer resources. In fact, the results of the International Administrative Assistant Professional Bench Survey report that “businesses are trending toward having admins support more managers.”
So, how do administrative professionals stay organized when supporting multiple bosses? It is imperative for assistants to successfully prioritize projects, tasks and responsibilities. “With so many distractions and competing priorities, it’s easy to get derailed -and that can create chaos,” says Margot Carmichael Lester, the author of the article, Five Ways to Stay Organized. Administrative professionals should “have a dedicated basket or small shelf for pending projects, and stack them in order of deadline. If the deadline isn’t today, create a second file — not on your desk — for items that are due later in the week,” according to Janet Luhrs, author of The Simple Living Guide.
Administrative professionals can help themselves stay organized when supporting multiple bosses by understanding the importance of flexibility – especially when it comes to changes in the organizational structure, workload and processes and procedures. Many companies are consolidating offices in order to cut cost. An executive assistant may end up supporting management employees who transferred from a closed office – in addition to the team she was supporting prior to their arrival. An increase in workload from multiple bosses should compel an executive assistant to examine the way she performs her duties in order to accommodate their needs.
Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., is the founder and owner of AboutYOU, Inc., a career consulting firm in Atlanta, Georgia, suggests “scheduling time with each boss to better understand their priorities. Training your bosses on how to leverage your talents is a learning process for both of you and will evolve as you produce concrete results.”
As companies continue to become leaner, administrative professionals need to know how to effectively support more bosses. The American Management Association is offering a two-day seminar on supporting multiple bosses for administrative professionals on December 6-7, 2010 at the AMA Atlanta Center on 1170 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 300, in Atlanta, GA 30309. “This two-day seminar is designed for administrative professionals who want to learn valuable skills for not only dealing effectively with two or three bosses-but enjoying and advancing their careers in the process.”
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