Sent by Maire Hunter
Your office manager represents the face of your business. Customers and employees alike will see your manager when they walk in, and her behavior and demeanor can reinforce or change their impression of you. Accordingly, every office manager requires onboard training to get up to speed on procedure and company culture. Hiring a top candidate and providing thorough training may mean the difference between a manager who works with employees to exceed client needs and one who simply shows up to open the door and turn on the lights. Make sure to hit these basics when training your next hire.
While you may have stated ideal software qualifications in your job posting, there’s no guarantee your chosen candidate will have the exact skills you want. Offer training in every program your office manager will use daily, such as Outlook, Microsoft Publisher, Access or Salesforce.
As the face of your business, your office manager must have excellent oral and written communications skills. While you’ve hopefully used the interview and reference check to evaluate your new manager’s communications skills, you can offer additional training should you think it required. Communications training can include dealing with angry customers or employees, conflict resolution strategies, foreign language skills, research skills and grant writing. Of course, these skills may benefit the office as a whole so you may want to open up training opportunities to all employees.
Chances are, you have a preferred way things are done at your workplace, and your new hire needs to know this as part of onboard training. How are rooms reserved for meetings? How are personal time off requests handled? Where does employee mail go, and who should sign for packages? Have an existing administrative employee train your new hire in workplace procedures or provide a comprehensive employee manual or intranet that explains these procedures. There will be a lot for a new office manager to take in, so it’s important that she have something to refer to if she forgets something.
Every office manager must make sure the workplace has enough supplies, from letterhead and stationery to cleaning supplies like cleaning wipes and dish soap for the office kitchen. Have an existing administrative employee show your new hire where your keep vendor catalogs, account information, workplace supply inventory and other necessities. It can be easy to overlook these small things until you’re down to fifty pieces of letterhead and facing two weeks’ lead time until the next batch arrives.
Your workplace should have emergency plans in place to accommodate power outages, fire drills and other hazards. Since your office manager may need to ensure that the building is safely evacuated and that phone trees are followed in the vent of weather-related emergencies, she will need to become familiar with all workplace safety protocol. This information also belongs in the manual or intranet, for the benefit of all employees.
The right office manager needs a blend of hard and soft skills to make the workplace run successfully day in and day out. The right training leverages these skills for success by providing everything needed for a smooth and successful transition. When the office manager is effective, it’s that much easier for other employees to perform at a higher level.
Thanks, Maire, for this detailed information involving the responsibilities of an office manager. In the safety protocols section, it is important that the company has regularly scheduled safety meetings, and that all employees follow these rules. Many accidents happen in an office, so strategically placed safety posters remind them to be safe at all times. pb