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Administrative Network

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Do you have an administrative network at your organization?  If so, how effective is the network, leaders, content material, etc? Are you dealing with drama? Is there cohesiveness and respect among the administrative members?

My reason for asking some of these questions is because I was elected this past December to lead our administrative members and the first thing that came into my mind was....why me? I am a leader but I prefer to lead in the background.  It has been 6 months and it has had its challenges but I am now starting to gain some momentum. The first thing I did was held a meeting with my leadership board and began strategizing on calendar of events, thinking about training and lunch and learn topics based on our organizations messaging, etc. I am very creative and I believe that we now have to think outside the box and step out on faith and be risk-takers. Our first meeting was a "general meeting" where we thought it was important to lay the foundation with our members and make them aware that it is time for create a safe space for us to talk and share information and/or concerns. Embarking on this task has allowed myself and the leadership board to see things more clearly and think smart when it comes to changing up the "norm" of things. One thing I have learned from being in this lead role is that some of the members do not want to change the way things have always been and I get it but it is time to change because as society is changing, organizations are changing, etc. we will have to change or we will get left behind. To sum of everything, I made my administrative members know that I have a passion for what I do and I will do my best to try and lead with respect, open mind, transparency and a listening ear.

Let's talk about this because it is important that we build an effective administrative network within our organizations. What is working? What is not working?

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From my experience, I was noticing that some of the assistants was hesitant with trying something new....basically coming out of their comfort zone, feeling and being included, being asked what they would like for their administrative leadership board to do for them, showing the compassion, empathy, listening, etc.

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  • 10 months later...

We just had our 3-month anniversary for our new internal admin group (YAY), launched at the start of the pandemic. Our business launched office 365 less than a year ago so there are a lot of growing pains when it comes to using Teams and SharePoint as a means to exchange information. However, I too feel that there is not only resistance to learning this new platform but that it somehow gets in the way of their day to day activities, which is really confusing to me. It is my opinion that as Admins, we need to be the pros at this stuff so there should be a willingness to learn at a faster pace and not wait for the training train to come in. Be proactive vs reactive should be the approach. What strategies have you implemented or considered to tackle resistance?

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  • 6 months later...

I was new to the organization and all of the Administrative Staff have been here for years.  I was told that I am the leader of the group.  Therefore, I set up bi-monthly meetings.  The first meeting was to express expectations for future meetings.  Until COVID hit, it was working great.  Each Admin chose a topic for the meeting and invited someone to come in and train on that topic.  We all received the same training so that our processes and procedures throughout the Department would be the same.  Yes, some were/are very resistant to change and absolutely refuse to make changes in their processes.  Most of those have decided to move on or retire.  I have been told this works well and that the Admins are thankful for the additional clarification.  However, we have a long way to go and getting everyone on the same page.  We are not all in the same area and has other responsibilities specific to our areas.  Since COVID, we have been unable to meet and I am finding more and more mistakes.  We do not have the technology to have zoom meetings for all of us.  I was hoping that providing specific training opportunities for individuals, it will motivate them to continue to grow in their areas.  Any assistance in this area is greatly appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I work in a division that has 6 different departments.  At the start of last fiscal year we moved from department dedicated admins to an administrative pool concept.  Half were unsure and resistant, the other half supportive.  One of those parties has since moved on, finding work elsewhere.  The other still says a year later that she's unsure of how the pool works despite twice weekly meetings.  There will always be someone not willing to join the team at the place where they are.  I focus on team organization with Trello and emphasize cross-training on every task we perform, small or large.  My goal is to operate as a help desk and with lots of hard work and continuing conversations, we seem to have reached that point finally.  Are there others that utilize this work concept?  What, if any, strategies for success have you employed?

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