Office management is the profession where you are responsible for the design, implementation, evaluation and maintenance of work within an office or an organisation. The aim is to improve productivity and efficiency and people who undertake the roles have gone through an Office Management Course in order to learn the seven major functions of office management.
Planning is the first step in the process, as well as the first step in office management. It is the creation of a well-defined course for future actions and lays out what people within the office need to do. It creates stages or methods for people to follow to ensure consistency and improve productivity.
Staffing is a function of management so in this context, it is about selection, recruitment, compensation and training of staff. It can also include areas such as promotion and retirement of staff and managers to ensure the right balance of staff is maintained.
Creating plans is one thing but you need to implement them and that means directing staff in what is required of them. This involves training as well as continued guidance to ensure that processes are understood and followed. It can also cover any systems in place to handle people who don’t follow the processes.
In order to direct people to follow processes laid out in the plan, communicating with staff is key. It is about building good human relations and understanding what staff need to, therefore, enable them to follow the office management plan. Clarity, integrity and the strategic use of information organisation are three key points that should be mastered within this skill.
Controlling isn’t about micro-managing but ensuring that the high-level plans are followed while allowing room for people to do things as they find best within it. It can apply to the physical processes that are carried out, the computerised processes or even areas such as financial processes to ensure consistency. There should also be a firm basis in the principle of flexibility and the needs and nature of the office that are applied to any controlling actions.
Coordinating can be one of the trickier principles of office management – the need to coordinate within the team but also with other areas of the business to ensure everyone is working harmoniously. There are several key principles used to guide actions in this area including that of direct contact – reducing the red tape involved with processes and ensuring they are clear and easy to follow. Continuity is another principal – ensuring everyone is following the plan laid out.
Motivating staff is definitely the hardest role of the office manager. There is self-motivation and external motivation and these both need to be used to achieve aims and goals.
For self-motivation, employees should maintain a positive and optimistic attitude to work.External motivation generally means that employees can successfully complete tasks to obtain cash incentives, or that the company sends benefits or gifts to employees to boost their morale.
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Keeping morale high while maintaining discipline is important and setting examples of subordinates should also be done – leading by example.
These seven major functions of office manager show that it is about more than simply getting the office to run smoothly. The aim to have a plan, ensure it is applied to consistently and to offer support to staff to help them do this.