For administrative professionals, operational inefficiencies are a constant source of frustration. They lead to wasted time, a drop in output and missed deadlines. If you're tired of falling behind or feeling overwhelmed, workplace collaboration is a powerful solution. When each person works together to spot and solve problems, you can increase productivity across the whole team.
Many administrators tackle similar tasks; these points of overlap present valuable opportunities for workplace collaboration. To increase productivity, identify the responsibilities that are the same for each person in the group. Then, find ways to combine tasks to reduce individual workloads. If several administrative assistants each make a daily run to a shipping shop, for instance, consider combining the shipments into one trip, and rotate responsibility for the task. Sharing duties with just one other person results in a 50 percent time savings for the task in question. The more people you involve, the greater the savings.
Establish Clear Responsibilities
Workplace collaboration is only effective when each person understands and accomplishes his duties. To that end, careful planning is crucial to divide the labor fairly and with buy-in from the group. Work together to set deadlines and establish a common understanding about the way each task should be completed. While talking about everything in advance takes time, it reduces conflict and interpersonal clashes down the road. Choose one person, such as the manager or the employee with the most seniority, to act as the leader. This person should keep everyone accountable and ensure that tasks are completed on time.
Take Advantage of Collective Wisdom
Administrators often operate as separate entities, each with different methods and working styles. Use workplace collaboration as a tool to take advantage of the group's collective wisdom to create more efficient practices and help each person prioritize tasks. As a group, discuss your challenges and time-consuming tasks — then, ask for solutions. Chances are good that another employee has experienced the same issue and found a method that saves time. When each person has humility to accept advice and make changes, it can lead to improved productivity for everyone.
Improve Data Sharing
Data sharing plays a key role in workplace collaboration. When an administrator has to go through one or more people to find information, it slows productivity and wastes time. If your company is serious about productivity, it pays to reexamine the current system. Work together to identify the pain points. What information is hardest to get? Are all forms available on the shared server? Can you increase the amount of data that is available to all administrators? Improving access without compromising security saves time and helps each person do his job with minimal frustration.
Workplace collaboration requires a great deal of compromise and humility from each administrator on your team. Done well. however, it can save time and frustration for everyone and lead to a more efficient, productive office.
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