Tag Archives: administration

Tips and advise for any new manager and how to succeed from day one

Duties of Management


Regardless if you are a first time manager or possibly a manager commencing a brand new job there are things you need to be aware of and carry out from day one. Management and administration is an extremely complex and difficult role to succeed at and, from time to time, can be extremely stressful. There will always be new things to learn and challenges to overcome to be able to succeed and turn into a well liked and successful manager.


Set a tone of authority but don’t come on too strong

To become a good manager you need learn how to balance between being attentive to others needs and demands, yet still asserting your authority as a manager. Generally, new managers are inclined to be over assertive when they take on an new management position. Having the ability to balance your authority, role, and duties is a great deal more important in the event you climbed the corporate ladder and now need to manage former peers. Don’t allow the position go to your head.


Be aware that managers cannot be friends with everyone

It is natural tendency and desire to be well-liked by everyone as the new manager. However, you cannot act and behave in the same collegial manner if you expect to exert a certain amount of control and take corrective action when needed and expect to have your employees fully respect you.


Create clear and achievable objectives for your employees

Spend some time to interact and engage with your employees and fellow management so that you can make certain you fully grasp precisely what your employee objectives are. Create objectives, targets and goals that are clear, measurable agreed upon with employees. During times of conflict and uncertainty, which there certainly will be, clear objectives will be helpful to overcome these phases. Clear objectives will prevent any misunderstanding between both you and your employees with regards to their roles, duties and job descriptions.


Act Like A Manager

The most crucial task of a manager is to get to know your employees and in addition they need to know you. The simplest way to accomplish this is to convene daily morning meeting from day one to discuss the goals and objectives of the day and discuss any issues that have arisen and get feedback from employees. A good manager has the ability to create and setup an ethical climate in the workplace which everybody understands and adheres to. Find a a balance between reprimanding and providing negative feedback to employees , while motivating them with positive feedback when it is called for. While you don’t want to go mad with power, you do need to become comfortable with the power you now have.


Get to know your employees individually

Take time to meet with employees individually to discuss their positions, roles, duties and what is expected of them. Also ask employees what they expect from you. Talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the department and find out what they need from you to enhance their productivity. Get to know individual employee strengths and weaknesses. Take advantage of and feed on the strengths of each employee to maximize their performance, while at the same time assist each employee to improve upon their pitfalls and weak points.


Be clear about your management role and duties

Any new management positions comes with a new boss. Consult with your boss and find out precisely what is expected of you, your role and duties. Understand what the goals and objectives are associated with the management position. Have an understanding of precisely what decision powers you have and when it is advisable to consult with your boss. Identify the most important goals of the department.


Discuss and compare leadership styles with your predecessor and employees

Every person and manager has their own unique way of leadership. As time passes, employees become familiar with a managers leadership style and way of doing things. With any new manager, employees need to adapt and understand a different set of expectations and preferences. To overcome this change, new managers need to discuss the changes in an open format and individually to ensure that the team can get accustomed to the changes in management.


Create an open communication environment in the workplace

The majority of us who have been working for a while can concur that not all working environments and places have good quality open communication system in place. Open communication really helps to bring about trust between managers and employees, as well as amongst employees and as a group. Open communication is not a license or permission to create chaos. Rather it creates a workplace and environment where employees feel valued and respected for their thoughts and opinions. But bear in mind, in the end of the day, the manager is till the boss. Good communication in the workplaces helps to foster ideas and innovation.


Understand the corporate cultures, rules and environment

Be clear about the existing corporate culture and norms. Managers, particularly those who are new to a company, can destroy their careers if they fail to adapt to the corporate culture and norms. When you interview for the job and position, ask questions about the corporate culture. Speak the outgoing manager to get some hints and tips about the norms and culture of the company.


Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help

Management is an extremely complex and stressful function to master. All management positions are challenging and there are invariably problems and issues that will arise every now and then. Fortunately, there are a variety of resources where one can turn to in an effort to seek help and advise. You can turn to your own manager, a mentor whom you trust, or other veteran managers with years of knowledge and experience.


Look Like A Manager

With any management positions there is always an amount of authority that comes with the position. You can reinforce this by the way you dress. We all know that depending on the industry, location, company culture, etc; the dress code will differ. The one constant is that a manager is expected to dress “better” than those he or she manages. If you are new to a company make sure you understand the company culture, dress code and rules prior to your arrival.


Training voucher to the value of R3,500 from Papillon Training

Papillon Training are giving away ONE Training Voucher to the value of R3,500.00

To enter the Lucky Draw – Click here

Winner to be announced next week.

Papillon Training is a successful international Outcomes Based Education provider offering affordable, effective skills development to office staff.

Our mission is to develop people by providing simple, effective and practical training solutions throughout Africa.


Service SETA SETQAA 2320
BEE Status Level 4  Certified Micro Enterprise.
100% Procurement Recognition

Membership to Professional Associations

SACBW – South African Council for Businesswomen
APICSA  Association of Professional Image Consultants of SA
SAWEN  South African Women’s Entrepreneurs Network
WiBiA  Women in Business in Africa (President)

Managing Member

Natalie Soinè

· CEO, Facilitator and Qualified Assessor
· 18 Years experience as a Corporate Executive Assistant
· 11 Years in the field of Education and Training
· President of WiBiA (Women in Business in Africa)
· Winner of the Businesswomen’s Association Regional Business Achiever Award 2000

Course Information

Secretaries and Administrators Seminar  Bloemfontein        Aug 17 – 19
Project Management                             Johannesburg       Aug 17 – 18
Writing Skills                                        Bloemfontein        Aug 30 – Sep 2
Cape Secretaries Convention                 Cape Town            Sep 6 – 9
Finance for Non Financial Managers        Cape Town           Sep 15 – 16
Finance for Non Financial Managers        Johannesburg        Sep 22 – 23
Event Planning                                     Cape Town            Oct 5
Event Planning                                     Johannesburg       Oct 12
Frontline Excellence                              Cape Town            Oct 6 – 7
Frontline Excellence                              Johannesburg        Oct 13 – 14
Event Planning                                     Durban                 Oct 19
Frontline Excellence                              Durban                 Oct 20 – 21
Cape Secretaries Convention                 Cape Town            Oct 25 – 28
MS Office Skills                                    Cape Town            Nov 1 – 4
Business Accounting                             Johannesburg        Nov 7 – 8
Business Accounting                             Cape Town            Nov 10 – 11
Secretaries Skills Development Conference        Midrand            Nov 15 – 18
Secretaries Skills Development Conference        Cape Town        Nov 22 – 25
Secretaries Skills Development Conference        Bloemfontein    Nov 29 – Dec 2

All training courses are available as in-company training at your office for your staff. You may also custom-design your own seminar/conference.

To view Company Profile and CoursesCLICK HERE


Less is more for South African schooling

Teaching and learning is set to become simpler and more effective in South Africa’s state schools from 2010, as the government introduces a number of changes to reduce the administrative burden on teachers while providing them with more support.

The changes follow a report by a task team appointed by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga to investigate the obstacles to implementing the curriculum in South Africa’s classrooms.

“Our focus is to strengthen curriculum delivery, and thus we have identified those steps that can be taken immediately to streamline delivery, and others that will take slightly longer to implement,” Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga said in Cape Town this week.

Changes that will come into effect in January 2010 include:

•    Discontinuing the use of student portfolios.
•    Requiring teachers to keep only one administrative file.
•    Reducing the number of subjects in the intermediate phase from eight to six.
•    Giving priority to English as a first additional language in the lower grades.

Changes welcomed across the board

Development Bank of Southern Africa education policy analyst Graeme Bloch has welcomed the moves, saying that teachers’ administrative burden “has been one of the major teacher complaints, as it keeps them from their primary job of teaching.

“It also enhances unnecessary control by junior officials over experienced teachers. Rather, officials need to think how they can more effectively support teachers in the classroom.”

National Professional Teachers’ Organisation of South Africa president Ezrah Ramasehla said the task team’s recommendations were about making improvements to education in the country without making compromises.

“They are about making the lives of teachers easier so that they have more time to do that which they are already doing better.”

Ramasehla praised the government for embarking on a process of listening to classroom teachers. “The findings and recommendations are based on evidence presented by teachers themselves about the kinds of problems they are experiencing, and there has been remarkable consensus about what these problems are.”

South African Democratic Teachers Union spokesperson Nomusa Cembi said the discontinuation of learner portfolios would give learners and teachers more time to focus on more beneficial day-to-day classroom activities.

At the same time, the reduction of the number of subjects in the intermediate phase “will enable teachers to focus on developing deeper conceptual understanding than was previously possible,” Cembi said.

South Africa’s Cabinet has also welcomed the changes, saying they would go “a long way towards improving the quality of education across all our schools, as they address concerns from various stakeholders, particularly teachers, parents, learners and academics.”

Source: BuaNews, nytimes.com, sasix.co.za, realgap.com


Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Nature of the Work

As the reliance on technology continues to expand in offices, the role of the office professional has greatly evolved. Office automation and organizational restructuring have led secretaries and administrative assistants to assume responsibilities once reserved for managerial and professional staff. In spite of these changes, however, the core responsibilities for secretaries and administrative assistants have remained much the same: Performing and coordinating an office’s administrative activities and storing, retrieving, and integrating information for dissemination to staff and clients.

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an organization efficiently. They serve as information and communication managers for an office; plan and schedule meetings and appointments; organize and maintain paper and electronic files; manage projects; conduct research; and disseminate information by using the telephone, mail services, Web sites, and e-mail. They also may handle travel and guest arrangements.

Secretaries and administrative assistants use a variety of office equipment, such as fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, and videoconferencing and telephone systems. In addition, secretaries and administrative assistants often use computers to do tasks previously handled by managers and professionals, such as: create spreadsheets; compose correspondence; manage databases; and create presentations, reports, and documents using desktop publishing software and digital graphics. They also may negotiate with vendors, maintain and examine leased equipment, purchase supplies, manage areas such as stockrooms or corporate libraries, and retrieve data from various sources. At the same time, managers and professionals have assumed many tasks traditionally assigned to secretaries and administrative assistants, such as keyboarding and answering the telephone. Because secretaries and administrative assistants do less dictation and word processing, they now have time to support more members of the executive staff. In a number of organizations, secretaries and administrative assistants work in teams to work flexibly and share their expertise.

Many secretaries and administrative assistants now provide training and orientation for new staff, conduct research on the Internet, and operate and troubleshoot new office technologies.
Specific job duties vary with experience and titles. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. Generally, they perform fewer clerical tasks than do secretaries and more information management. In addition to arranging conference calls and supervising other clerical staff, they may handle more complex responsibilities such as reviewing incoming memos, submissions, and reports in order to determine their significance and to plan for their distribution. They also prepare agendas and make arrangements for meetings of committees and executive boards. They also may conduct research and prepare statistical reports.

Some secretaries and administrative assistants, such as legal and medical secretaries, perform highly specialized work requiring knowledge of technical terminology and procedures. For instance, legal secretaries prepare correspondence and legal papers such as summonses, complaints, motions, responses, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also may review legal journals and assist with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs. Additionally, legal secretaries often teach newly minted lawyers how to prepare documents for submission to the courts. Medical secretaries transcribe dictation, prepare correspondence, and assist physicians or medical scientists with reports, speeches, articles, and conference proceedings. They also record simple medical histories, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, and order supplies. Most medical secretaries need to be familiar with insurance rules, billing practices, and hospital or laboratory procedures. Other technical secretaries who assist engineers or scientists may prepare correspondence, maintain their organization’s technical library, and gather and edit materials for scientific papers.

Secretaries employed in elementary schools and high schools perform important administrative functions for the school. They are responsible for handling most of the communications between parents, the community, and teachers and administrators who work at the school. As such, they are required to know details about registering students, immunizations, and bus schedules, for example. They schedule appointments, keep track of students’ academic records, and make room assignments for classes. Those who work directly for principals screen inquiries from parents and handle those matters not needing a principal’s attention. They also may set a principal’s calendar to help set her or his priorities for the day.

Work environment.

Secretaries and administrative assistants usually work in schools, hospitals, corporate settings, government agencies, or legal and medical offices. Their jobs often involve sitting for long periods. If they spend a lot of time keyboarding, particularly at a computer monitor, they may encounter problems of eyestrain, stress, and repetitive motion ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.

Almost one-fifth of secretaries work part time and many others work in temporary positions. A few participate in job-sharing arrangements, in which two people divide responsibility for a single job. The majority of secretaries and administrative assistants, however, are full-time employees who work a standard 40-hour week.