Administrative Assistant's Update

November 2017

Focuses on the training and development needs of admin professionals and features topics such as hard skills (software competencies, writing, communication, filing) and soft skills (teamwork, time management, leadership).

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NOVEMBER 2017 P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T F O R C A N A D A ' S O F F I C E S U P P O R T S T A F F Administrative Assistant's UPDATE UPDATE PM #40065782 INSIDE Managing your time . . . . . . . . 2 Time-saving habits from highly successful people Curing work overload . . . . . . 3 Rhonda Scharf shares her tips for focusing and energizing Mentoring junior staff . . . . . . 5 Include them in problem solving and decision making Using Excel templates . . . . . . 6 Build an Excel workbook from ready-to-go designs By Jennifer Lewington AAU Associate Editor At Bishop Strachan School in Toronto, staff meetings often include an update from a department about its work. But in 2013 the admin professionals on the 200-person staff at the private girls' school had never made a presen- tation. That changed when the school's 19 admins, who meet every month as a team, shot a video about what they do every day and shared it at a staff meeting. In the video, they counted the number of meetings they book a week – and how many are subsequently can- celled or rescheduled. They described how they assist parents before an interview with a teacher. They also explained what it takes to ensure food ar- rives on time for meetings. "It turned a lot of heads," recalls Ellen Palm- er, executive assistant to the principal of the Junior School until she retired several months ago. "That was the beginning." The video presentation, a collabo- ration of administrative specialists [see New name, new respect, page 1] from all departments, demonstrates the value of teamwork: that pulling together instead of being isolated in silos contributes to an organization's success. New name, new respect In 2013, admins at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto renamed them- selves administrative specialists, a description more accurate than administrative "support." "When we changed our name and rolled it out to describe what we do, we gained more respect," says Debbie Alvarez, Senior School receptionist. "They [senior offi - cials] try to include us and commu- nicate what is going on." The name change is apt, says Mary Anne Van Acker, assistant head of innovation development and technology for the school. "We are all on the same team." Continued on page 4 Bishop Strachan School Collaboration collapses silos © By Alex Oakenman Credit: Ben Gane/BSS Debbie Alvarez is part of the Bishop Strachan School team of 19 administrative specialists.

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