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You cannot afford to take your eye off the ball when managing people

07 March 2011

Many business owners and managers will often say their personal assistant is invaluable to them yet they often treat them as if they're not.

That's scary isn't it? In my own experiences if it wasn't for the P.A., there would be no way I would do business with the company.

Many of them are so conscientious they won't take time out and will stay at their desk until the work is done. Not only are they integral to the running of any business, their income and the way they are treated may not always reflect the importance of their role.

Jenny's Story

Jenny has worked for her current employer for the past three years and thoroughly enjoys her role. She has a great working relationship.

If she requires the occasional afternoon or morning off to deal with personal matters, all she has to do is ask. Her boss praises her regularly for her contribution and rewards her... sometimes monetarily and other times with a dinner out or movie tickets.

Because of this attitude with her employer, she does her utmost best in her work and never thinks twice about working overtime on the odd occasion. In fact she works twice as hard because she's appreciated and has some flexibility in her working hours.

This is a totally different situation to Jenny's previous employer. Jenny had been working for another organisation where her boss was 'married to the business '. Although he had a wife and family, his behaviour didn't reflect this. He worked all hours of the day and night and couldn't understand why everyone else went home at 5.00 p.m.

Although Jenny did her utmost best to organise him and get the work done on time, he would always ask for tasks to be done just when she was getting ready to leave for the day.

On the many occasions when she worked back or took work home so that her boss would have what he wanted for the next morning, he never thanked her. He just assumed that's what she would do. He never considered her needs. She was a single parent and therefore had major responsibilities. She had a life too. Her boss on the other hand was fortunate to have a wife who didn't work and took care of their personal life.

Prior to Jenny being in this role, there had been three other people who had worked in her position, and each one had lasted less than 3 months.

Jenny had enough; she left after 6 months and found her current position. It wasn't the money that was her main issue. It was the flexibility and appreciation. Although her boss was pleasant enough, he just didn't understand that there is more to working with someone than just paying their wages.

Learn How to Look After Your People

Many business owners are disorganised and therefore time poor. They often lack not only the time, but the skills to manage their people. You cannot afford to take your eye off the ball when it comes to your people.

Recently I received a frantic call from a business owner who said one of his key people resigned in the last week (he only has 5 employees). To keep the business afloat he has to work all hours of the day and night to keep up with the work, until he can resolve this situation.

After questioning him, he knew this wasn't a situation that happened 'out of the blue'. The warning signs had been there for months that this person wasn't going to work out. Because he was 'too busy' and also didn't know how to change the situation, he buried his head and hoped that somehow the situation would rectify itself. He had considered getting coaching months ago but it wasn't until the 's..t had hit the fan' did he decide to contact me.

The Final Word

Even when business is doing well, don't get complacent. In fact this is the ideal time to look at how you can do things even better. Life is a continual cycle of highs and lows. One minute everything can be going well and the next everything can start to crumble. When you're organised, you experience more highs for longer and can overcome the lows quicker and easier.

Lorraine Pirihi is Australia's No. 1 Productivity Coach. She's a dynamic, motivational and powerful presenter, an author and leading business coach. Lorraine specialises in helping small business owners and entrepreneurs have more time, make more money and have a life!

For more information on how to increase your productivity and your profits in your small business, subscribe to Lorraine's widely read ezine 'The Organised Times'.

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© Copyright 2008 The Office Organiser



  • Ann Margulis

    Ann Margulis 7 years ago

    Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Ann and I have become the poster child for the unemployed mature age worker in Sydney. I have taken out a gigantic billboard at the airport and been interviewed on Sunrise, Today Tonight, and the ABC. There were two articles about me in the Sunday Telegraph and I have been on every talk back radio show in Sydney and many across other capital cities. I am looking for an ad min job and it is impossible to get one even with one million dollars of publicity that I have gotten. I have many years of experience in an office and I am strong in organisation. All of my press clippings are on my FB blog (type into the FB search bar: I am 60 and not over the hill) so you can review that I am serious. If any of the readers know of an ad min job in Sydney please call me. Thanks. Ann 0423 392 176