If you think back to the time you made a leap out of your comfort zone, started interviewing for a new job, landed your dream role and then finally your first day was upon you…
On that first day it was a mixture of emotions, I bet. ‘This will be a fresh start’, ‘I am so eager to please and learn everything possible’, ‘This will be the best kick-start to further my career and experience’ as well as probably the nerves and the other side of it ‘Can I actually do the job?, ‘Will they like me?’………..
A first day, week, month(s) is so important, it sets the tone of what is to come. The company has given you the role as you have the experience, you have the capabilities to bring something new and fresh to the team. But this is all only possible if you have the mentoring and training to make it happen.
Along the way, did you have someone who mentored you and helped you develop in your profession? If so, you probably never forgot that relationship and the people who made an impact on your career (and possibly your life!)
I was incredibly lucky to have worked with Hana in a previous firm. This is where I really learned the bread and butter of office management and facilities; to which, I am forever grateful as it really kick-started my career in office management. My background before this was as a receptionist and PA. Being Hana’s assistant, I attended all meetings, site and supplier visits, supported and eventually managed office moves and change projects, arranged and then carried out DSEs. You name it, I was there.
I remember sitting in meetings writing notes after notes, ‘what does PPE mean?’, ‘what is an FCU?’, ‘why is DSE so important?’. In these meetings, I used to sit their quietly confident even though sometimes I didn’t have a clue, then afterwards I used to quiz Hana with my thousands of questions at her desk or in 1:1s. Having that support, a sounding board from someone who has years of experience, makes you feel at ease and in my eyes is a recipe for success in terms of personal development.
There are key building blocks to the success of training and mentoring. With office management, this is not only with yourself and your team, but is also company wide.
1. Don’t be a Hero, success is a team effort
Knowledge transfer is key, whether this be taking over from someone leaving or a new role. Training lists and handovers are useful documents to have to cross reference, this ensures everything is covered and nothing is missed.
This will give the new joiner an all rounded, supported experience that they can refer back to and that the manager can assess also. Then this doesn’t turn into ‘Oh and you must do this’, or ‘They never used to do it like this’. It also allows the new joiner to make suggestions and question ways of working which is great in terms of challenging processes and best ways of working.
Having clear goals set is a great starting point for individuals in 1:1’s, team objectives and also company wide. Goals can be based around your company values, career progression and individual goals.
In office management, training comes in all forms. This can be company wide such as Health & Safety; have a clear overall goal for example ‘To train the whole company to be compliant with H&S’. How will this be achieved?
Piece together a training matrix, which covers frequencies of certain training requirements;, what needs to be covered, when do these need to be reviewed, who or how will you hold these trainings. You may need specialist training which I did, I attended and completed my NEBOSH, you can also get a specialist in to assist, which is quickest. A good place to start is with the policy, then you can scope out the training from there. There are great H&S online trainings for bigger companies and then for smaller ones you may want to make something more interactive such as new joiner H&S inductions in person with them by carrying this out yourself.
3. Be available
Create open, professional relationships… easier said than done, right?
Having regular check ins with your staff on workload, what tasks they are working on, how are they feeling, how is outside of work? All of these help to create a friendly atmosphere in which your staff can come to you, ask questions, ask for advice and openly feedback. You can learn from each other also.
4.Lead by example
Be a role model, lead by example. Model positive relationships with staff and others. Practice what you preach otherwise there is no hope in others following or taking the training seriously.
Be a knowledge sharer, if you hear information that would benefit another person tell them, don’t keep it to yourself. Again don’t be a hero, it will just be seen as the weakest link.
5. Learn from others
You may be the most experienced person to conduct the training but always be open to new ideas, you can learn a lot through feedback of others. There are a number of amazing tools online that can support training needs or even achievable by reading books. Broaden your knowledge!
Training and mentoring is the key to success, you are never too old to learn, but you have to be open and willing to do so. Step outside of the box.
Thank you for reading my blog, please feel free to get in contact through The Office Management Portal if you have any questions.
Emma Martin, Office Manager