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North State University is comprised of Decision Science Department whose faculty of Business Administration is chaired by Dr. Woodrow Bay. The University has been experiencing difficulties that revolve around administrative support, with the latest predicament involving protests from professors on poor administrative support offered to them.
The decision Science Department in which Dr. Bay has been chairing is composed of four sectors that include; operations management, statistics, information systems and quantitative. Due to its international and national reputation, the faculty has experienced high student enrollment levels that have resulted to increase in the number of full time professors. In relation to the increase in the number of professors, there was an increase in strain on the administrative staff.
The administrative assistants were at the heart of daily operations of the professors and at the same time, they were expected by the faculty to key-in information. Out of the numerous tasks delegated to the administrative assistants, a few of them were not attended to resulting to calls of hiring more assistants. These calls were next to impossibility as the as the University was operating on budget cuts. Dr. Bay hence decided to conduct a case study so as to get to the root of the problem.
Use of the data by Dr. Bay
The data attained by Dr. Bay is useful on determining the right course of action to be taken to resolve the existing predicament. The data indicates the activities that require more concentration as opposed to the activities that require less concentration. In addition to this, Dr. Bay may use the data in the next faculty meeting to explain to the faculty professors about the actual situation on the ground.
Using the data, Dr. Bay may contrast the perception by the faculty that administrative assistants spend approximately the same time to both working and attending to other minor duties like filling. In addition to this, the data attained by Dr. Bay may also be used as a reference point in terms of scheduling the administrative assistants’ future schedule.
Changes to be incorporated in the administrative assistant jobs
Poor planning has been described as one of the main problem of time management. If not put in check, poor planning may result to break down of activities in the workplace. As the chairperson of the Decision Science department, Dr. Bay is supposed to initiate appropriate strategies of dealing with the work plan of the administrative assistants. Using the data attained in the case study, a plan may be initiated, as future important benchmark of activities may be identified (Nigro, 2008, p. 129).
According to Wignall lack of planning can still get the job done but at a very high cost or at very slow pace. According to the claims leveled against the administrative assistance, it was claimed that they had too much in their hands that hindered them from completing their jobs.
In regards to this Wignall suggest that with good planning work can be completed in both the shortest time and economical way. Defects of poor planning like poor attitude towards work and issuance of contradicting instructions should be avoided to avoid slow progression of work (Wignall, 1999, p. 289).
- Unnecessary interruptions
Unnecessary interruptions should be avoided and time at the work place strictly confined to matters pertaining to work. According to the data acquired, talking to others was identified to be the second activity that consumed most of the administrative assistants’ time. In relation to this, time used in talking to others can be reduced by restricting the talk about business issues affecting the faculty.
Faculty’s changes to work habits
The faculty has a major role to play in assisting the burden on administrative assistants. Looking at the data acquired from the case study, talking with the faculty was the third activity that consumed majority of the administrative assistants’ time. In relation to this, the faculty should ensure less time is used in talking and more time directed to working. In doing so, the faculty will be ensuring more work is covered by the administrative assistants.
The faculty can also play a vital role in ensuring that time spent away from the office is minimized, mainly because the activity was recorded as the second ranked activity that consumed administrative assistants time. The faculty can minimize this time by ensuring that unnecessary activities are done away with and eliminated from the office.
In addition, there is need to model the Administrative Assistants to be people with great interpersonal skills, through trainings on fields such as public relations and customer service, thus helping save time spent well speaking on phone, with faculty and other people
Alternatives on reduction of administration assistant’s strain
- Revision priorities list
Priorities should set according to their urgency; if the work at hand is simple, it should be worked upon as quickly as possible to avoid congestion. By prioritizing activities, the administrative assistants will be able to do away with unnecessary activities and the extra time realized directed to the more important activities (Roberts, 1998, p. 6).
- Training of the administrative assistants and embracing new technology
In the business world, training has evolved to be an effective tool in time and activities management. Training has not only managed to incorporate conflicting pressures, but also incorporated new technology. In management of time, efficient techniques and practices are emphasized so that suitable work patterns can be achieved efficiently.
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In the data acquired by Dr. Bay, most of the time used by the administrative assistant is working on the computer. Therefore, embracing this new technology will not only enhance coverage of more work, but also increase efficiency within the faculty (Roberts, p. 4).
Motivating the administrative assistants
According to Bruce and Pepitone, motivation is one of the tools that can be used to extract a greater wok performance from the employees. Motivation being an intrinsic that originates within us is supposed to be used to create an efficient work environment.
The faculty can influence the administrative assistants on their motivational intrinsic. By helping the administrative assistants in indentifying their welfare within the organization, there will be an increase in the urge to work hard by the administrative assistants. According to Bruce and Pepitone, motivation entails drives that direct us on what to do.
These drives emanate from desire to produce. These drives should be identified and used to motivate the administrative assistants in making them believe their working in their best interest (Bruce and Pepitone, 1999, p. 1 & 2). Moreover, through improved interpersonal skills, the institution will become more efficient and productive, and the Administrative Assistants will be socially empowered through better personal relationships with the faculty and community.
Bruce, A. and Pepitone, J. S., (1999). Motivating employees. NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Web.
Nigro, N., (2008). The Everything Coaching & Mentoring Book: Increase Productivity, Foster, Talent, and encourage success. MA: F=W Publications, Inc. Web.
Roberts, J., (1998). Time management. London: Trotman and Company. Web.
Wignall, A., (1999). Roadwork: theory and practice. MA: Elsevier Science. Web.