10 ways great office managers stand out
The role of an office manager involves a vast set of responsibilities. They answer phones, coordinate travel, onboard new employees, and help cultivate a culture that helps an organization stay productive and poised for growth.
One of the tricks of their trade is having a full toolkit of office management solutions at their disposal. Great office managers can strategically offload time-consuming tasks using apps, services, and outside vendors to get back to the business of running an office.
It’s a lot, to say the least. But if you’re wondering how to be a great office manager without losing one’s mind in the midst of it all, you’re not on your own. Here are 10 qualities that make every office manager good at what they do.
The best office managers:
1. Get organized and stay that way
Top administrative professionals have everything under control—from managing schedules and projects to keeping a tidy office. They’re expert jugglers. But this skill doesn’t appear overnight. They develop their own organizational systems over time and use task-specific apps that fit their workflow, such as the cross-platform note-taker Evernote or the real-time expense tracking service Expensify.
2. Communicate clearly across all mediums
Great office managers need to be active listeners, thoughtful writers, and professional communicators. They must translate messages from the highest perches of the company down, yet be willing to listen to employee input. Although nothing replaces the in-person exchange, they can look to facilitative tools like Slack to make company-wide announcements or Basecamp to keep track of all project-related communication.
3. Promote employee engagement
With their finger constantly on the company’s pulse, successful administrative managers are privy to all kinds of employee details, like dietary restrictions, personal preferences, and birthdays. What’s their secret weapon? By using a companywide survey tool, such as FormAssembly or Culture Amp, they can quickly generate surveys that garner feedback from everyone in the organization.
4. Approach to-do lists like a project manager
Office managers are essentially project managers for the office. They oversee and execute projects and initiatives with superior organizational and communication skills. But just like a project manager needs tools to support them in the office or on their tablet or smartphone, an office manager can create to-do lists and track projects using apps like Dapulse or Asana to improve office-wide productivity.
5. Excel at efficiency
Top administrative managers make running the place look like a breeze, handling C-suite and workforce requests without flinching. How do they do it? Resourceful and savvy, great office managers use apps that save them time. From weekly snack orders to last-minute catering, they’ve got it covered. On-demand delivery services like Instacart or AmazonFresh become reliable go-tos for keeping the office stocked and ready for anything.
6. Go with the flow with flexibility and grace
The best administrative managers are prepared for the unexpected. Despite the unpredictability of their workdays, they balance priorities and daily challenges with composure. This adaptability is paramount to keeping a level head, but it can be near-impossible on your own. To support their ever-changing workflows, they use integrated tools like Slack and Google Hangouts for seamless communication or Dropbox Business and Microsoft 365 for easier project management.
7. Cultivate company culture
Company culture doesn’t just happen; it’s carefully refined. Great office managers keep an ear out for employee satisfaction and engagement, with a deep base of tools to turn to for help. They ask for new ideas, provide opportunities to give accolades, and look for ways to make employees feel connected and heard. They do this by energizing employees using engagement tools like YouEarnedIt or assessing strengths to help everyone reach their potential with a web-based assessment tool like StrengthsFinder.
8. Understand the power of company swag
From gifting a spiffy welcome kit to a new hire to rewarding employees with branded swag, skilled office managers understand the morale-boosting potential of giving promo products to employees. They keep the office stocked with mugs, t-shirts, magnets and more using one web-to-print solution for all their custom print needs.
9. Keep company paperwork up to date
Great office managers are your company’s document gatekeeper. From employee handbooks to office policies, they ensure all corporate documents are current and secure. And when employees have a question, office managers can point them to the exact files they need. For this reason, a service like Dropbox Business is a powerful go-to for storing, accessing, and sharing company files.
10. Never stop learning
Administrative managers constantly look for ways to be better in their role and more knowledgeable about their industry. Professional development is part of their career. How do they approach it? By taking courses at General Assembly or seeking out professional development, training, and resources as a member of the American Society of Administrative Professionals.