Text? Call? Email?

Ponder this.

If an admin successfully completes a task using a completely different approach than yours, is it wrong?

If an employee brand new to the workforce delivers a message to a senior executive via text rather than email, is it wrong? Why is it wrong? The message is delivered, right?  How would the new employee know that it is or isn’t acceptable to text instead of emailing co-workers unless it was pointed out to them their first day? Perhaps the executive prefers text? No way for you to know unless you have worked for this executive or have first-hand knowledge of his or her preferred method of communication.

Customer service taught me (and my many years in this career) that others just might not see things from the same perspective that I do. They may not have learned how to respond to events in the same way.  This employee perceived it as the fastest way to get a message to another staff member. This person thought they were awesome! to be so speedy to get the message out. It did not occur to this employee to actually call the executive because that is not the primary means of communication for this person. They text their family. They text their friends. Why wouldn’t they text their coworkers, too?

The staff member receiving the message was taken aback because the complete content and intent of the message did not get conveyed in that format. Miscommunications ensued. Disdain made a grand entrance.

I suspect this exact kind of scenario is why communication and business writing are two major segments of the Certified Administrative Professional® certification exam offered through the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

I encourage more experienced workforce peers to keep this in mind and to try to remember how long it took you to learn something so well, you did not have to think about how you did it. It comes to you automatically, almost as if you are on auto-pilot.  Think how much the workplace has changed. When I joined the workforce I had a lengthy orientation, not just about the organization but also on how to do my job!

These new-to-the-workforce employees are not only learning their job, they are learning what it means to work in an office culture, one that may be far more formal than they understand. Do not let them make awful get-shown-the-door mistakes if you can see it coming.  Do not demean these coworkers over their lack of experience.  Share the stories of mistakes you have made. In my opinion, empathy is the best way to engage and teach the newest members of the administrative professional workforce.

 

 

 

Getting Feedback From Your Staff About New Employee Orientation

coffee

Employee orientations are important to me. I’m not an HR professional. I don’t portray one on TV.

I am, however, a very observant administrative professional– often the person that new staff come to ask questions they don’t want to ask anyone else.

What do I do if I lose my security card?
The staff calendar says we have a half-day – what time is that?
How do I send a package?
Do we have a courier service?
Do I get reimbursed for my cellphone usage?
Am I really supposed to check my email over the holiday?

These are simple examples. But I was thinking about this today ..are there companies that do a survey of their employees to ask — What do you wish we had included in new employee orientation? What information do you think should be included in new employee orientation?

I’ve been at companies that had superb new employee orientations or ‘on-boarding’– an actual human being was assigned to be your go-to resource for your first 90 days. Saves a lot of hassle. And I think staff that offered to be an on-boarding resource were able to add that to their annual review as well as include that person in their 360 review at the end of the year.

I’ve also worked for a company that handed you a 3-ring binder – with tabs and was told to ‘read this, sign the last page and turn it in with your W-4.

I just have to think that building that working relationship would be so much easier/stronger/better — if the on-boarding process was evaluated annually– and adjustments were made as new staff provide feedback. Or, as current/veteran staff provided feedback on the type of questions they received frequently.

Just one of those random thoughts that popped into my head today.. and I’d love to get your thoughts on it.

Happy Weekend to all.