How to Organize an Administrative Department
The importance of administration in an organization cannot be underestimated. Office administration is an essential part of any company’s ability to operate smoothly. Office administration departments in large companies consist of many people in open communication, and office administrators comprise the bulk of an administration department’s workforce.
Your administrative department is the information superhighway of your business. They interface within their own department, contextualize administrative needs and then bring that information to the larger company for discussion.
Departmental administrators work to ensure that the needs of other departments are met while also ensuring that the greater company operates smoothly. Functions of an administrative department can be as mundane as ordering paper towels or as critical as budget talks. When outside departments need to forge a relationship with a given department, an administrator is the person who facilitates the meetings.
If you’re building a new administrative department or are tasked with updating and streamlining their processes, it’s likely you will need to deal with much more than merely one department. In a way, working with the administrative department is like dealing with an entire corporation at one time. Regardless of the kind of work you are doing, some general tips, like removing clutter, level setting and organizing, will prove useful.
Clutter in an office can be both physical and digital. The quickest way to make people happy and secure in the workplace, thus enhancing job performance, is to give them a clean slate.
Go through all of the files that your department has and remove any nonrelevant ones. In many offices, this means getting rid of excess paper. While you are cleaning up, ensure that you are keeping everything that you are legally obligated to keep and storing it in an appropriate manner.
Meet with your direct reports and talk to them about their jobs. Find out what they think could be working better and what they believe is going correctly within the department. Your administrators are the people who will have the most knowledge of the goings on within their job scope, so it is valuable to hear their perspectives.
Finally, organize your department in a manner that will help it run efficiently. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your staff and take their opinions into account as you move forward. In addition, implement a filing system for physical and digital copies of forms to remove any confusion, lost files or duplicates.
The best way to improve employees’ efficiency is to give them the space and tools they require to do their jobs. If your staff states that they would like to change the way they report at the end of every month, look into ways that you could make it easier for them. While some industries, such as the medical industry, have rules that cannot be avoided, showing your staff that you are willing to do the best that you can to assist them will build the trust necessary to ensure smooth operations.
Managing workload is another way that you can improve your administrative department’s efficiency. Look at your employees' workloads and figure out where improvements might be made.
Perhaps one department (A) takes up much more billable time than others (B, C or D). That means that the administrator who is working in departments A and B cannot complete work at the same pace as the individual working with C and D, which might mean that some of department A’s needs would be overlooked. Reallocating workloads can go a long way toward alleviating this sort of problem.
Treat all of your employees and their needs as essential and with compassion. Ensure that they have all the tools you can give them to do their jobs correctly. Finally, make sure you adjust performance metrics in accordance with the time that is truly needed to do a given job correctly.