Category Archives: Administrative Skills

What are the major Administrative Soft Skills?

Administrative soft skills are needed to run a business or keep an office organized. Administrative soft skills include a variety of jobs, as you will learn from the following eGuides. Employees with strong administrative soft skills are needed in almost all businesses today..



Ö The eGuides were adapted from my professional Corporate Library

Ö Workshops and online courses are available for these topics.  However, they are only available for the area surrounding Prince Albert.  For further information you may contact me at the following email address:

Administrative Office Procedures

This eGuide will show you how an Administrative Office Procedure binder demonstrates professionalism and efficiency in an organization or office setting.  It is also a marvelous instrument for quick reference and utilization. 

Administrative Support

This eGuide will show the core skills needed to help you use your resources efficiently, manage your time wisely, communicate effectively, and collaborate with others skillfully. The practices presented in this eGuide may take time to be a part of your daily work routine. However, making the commitment to consistently apply the concepts every day is the key to changing and adopting new behaviors in a short amount of time.

Archiving and Records Management

This eGuide will show you the basic elements of records management programs and different ways to manage records.



Basic Bookkeeping

This eGuide will show you the Basic Bookkeeping skills needed to be successful in an organization.



Business Writing

This eGuide will provide a refresher on basic writing concepts (such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation), and an overview of the most common business documents. These basic skills will provide you with that extra benefit in the business world that a lot of people are losing.


Collaborative Business Writing

This eGuide will show the knowledge and skills needed to collaborate with others and create that important document. You will touch on the types of collaboration, and ways to improve them through certain tools and processes. These basic skills will provide you with that extra benefit in the business world that a lot of people are losing.

Executive and Personal Assistants

This eGuide will show what it takes to be a successful assistant. You will learn what it takes to effectively manage a schedule, organize a meeting, and even how to be a successful gatekeeper. Being an Executive or Personal Assistant takes a special skill set and this eGuide will provide you with the necessary tools.

Meeting Management

This eGuide will explore how to reduce waste and make meetings more efficient.

Organizational Skills

This eGuide will show you that every day people waste numerous amounts of time looking for items. So stop looking for those important items, and start knowing where they are by getting organized.

Supply Chain Management

This eGuide will you show you how to lower costs, improve efficiency, and increase customer satisfaction. This eGuide will provide you with the understanding of how Supply Chain Management can improve and help almost any type of business.




The Cloud and Business

By reading this eGuide you will discover the specifics of how the cloud can be a successful business tool.

How Assistants Can Be More Effective

It is impossible to be an effective assistant if you do not use the tools of the trade. The tools of the trade for an assistant go beyond simply printing, filing, and taking messages. You need to become familiar with machines, computer programs, and etiquette to become a successful assistant. If you are unsure about any job-related tools, you should take the time to educate yourself.

Email Protocol
Today, email is a necessary form of communication. Emails allow people to respond when convenient, and it is easy to save emails to servers and prevent the loss of valuable information. Understanding basic email protocol is essential, considering that it is a main method of communication in the business world. An email is similar to a business letter, but it does not require a heading with a date and address. When sending or replying to emails, there are a few basic guidelines to follow.
• Double-check the address: Make sure that the wrong address was not accidentally used. Not double-checking could cause problems.
• CC carefully: Do not carbon copy your entire address book. Only copy people on emails when the issue concerns them. You may also blind carbon copy to protect the privacy of your recipients.
• Subject: Choose a subject heading that is professional and pertains to the topic.
• Salutation: Use standard greetings, like a letter. Introduce yourself if you have not met the individual.
• Body: Maintain a professional tone, and proofread for mistakes. Do not use all caps because that is considered yelling.
• Formatting: Do not over think formatting. It is a message, not a webpage, and a basic paragraph format is typically all that is required. Additionally, you should avoid distracting fonts and emoticons.
• Sign off: Sign off like you would a business letter.

Office Machinery
Being an assistant requires a basic understanding of office machinery. The company that you work for determines the machinery that you will use. Each organization has different needs and purchases equipment accordingly. However, some devices are more common than others. Common office machinery includes faxes, scanners, copiers, printers, postage machines, shredders, and telephones. It is not enough to simply know how to use a piece of equipment; you should familiarize yourself with ways to troubleshoot problems. If you do not have the manuals for a faulty machine, you can always look up the item online.

Computer and Software Skills
Every assistant needs to have basic computer and software skills. Do not expect anyone in your organization to teach you how to use a computer. The computer and software that you use will depend on the organization. You should be familiar with basic computer skills such as keyboard and mouse use, external devices, and retrieving files. Most companies require an understanding of Microsoft Office, which includes Word for documents, Excel for spreadsheets, and PowerPoint for presentations. You should be familiar with databases and the Internet. You may need to use financial software such as Quicken. Some positions also require a basic knowledge of graphic design. Online training, books, and classes are available in computer and software skills.

Communication Skills
The ability to communicate is necessary for a successful career. You need to brush up on both your verbal and written communication skills if you want to make a good impression.
While it is true that writing is not the main aspect of your job, you will have writing tasks. Remember that people will judge your abilities based on your writing style. Emails, reports, memos, and proofreading may fall under the assistant’s domain.
Improve Writing:
• Spell check: Run a spelling and grammar check on everything that you write.
• Proofread: Typos occur after a spell check. Proofread for grammar and spelling.
• Be professional: Use a professional tone in your writing. Avoid slang and informal terms.
• Use mistakes: Do not become offended if someone points out a mistake in your writing. Learn from the mistake and do not repeat it.
Writing is a skill that you can easily improve. Take a class from time to time to hone your writing and improve your communication technique.
Assistants also need excellent verbal skills. You will need to demonstrate proper phone etiquette, plan events, and inform your manager about important topics. You may also have opportunities for public speaking.

Improve Verbal Communication:
• Think: Consider everything you say. Do not simply respond.
• Speak clearly: Annunciate and speak slowly to be understood. Do not rattle off as fast as you type.
• Be confident: Make eye contact and monitor your body language.
• Get to the point: Do not ramble; speak concisely.
• Be sociable: Remain professional while making others feel at ease.
• Share the conversation: Dominating the conversation will make people feel uncomfortable.
• Listen: Practice active listening skills.
We are not always aware of how we communicate verbally. You can ask friends and family for feedback and model your verbal communication on others.

Phone and Voicemail Etiquette
You are the voice of the company when you answer the phone and make calls. It is necessary to follow basic phone etiquette so that you represent yourself, your, manager, and your company well.

• Identify yourself when someone calls.
• Ask before placing someone on hold.
• Answer the phone within three rings.
• Be friendly
• Do not eat or chew gum on the phone.
• Know what you are going to say before you call someone.
• Limit personal calls.
• Do not call people before or after business hours unless prior permission is given.

Voicemail is a useful tool. However, in a fast-paced work environment, many people do not check their voicemail as often as their email. You need to decide when a voicemail is necessary. If you have a great deal of information to impart, voicemail may not be the best option. When you do use a voicemail, follow the basic etiquette.
• Prepare: Know what you are going to say ahead of time. Do not ramble, or the listener might not finish listening to your message.
• Be concise: Leave a brief message with your name, number, and the purpose of the call.
• Speak clearly: Speak into the phone, turn off background noise, and annunciate.
When setting up your own voicemail, avoid cute or silly outgoing messages. Be professional, and keep your outgoing messages up-to-date.

Word Processing
Word processing is an essential part of any business position. The word processor has replaced the typewriter for creating documents. Common business documents include reports, memos, letters, and legal documents. While most companies use Microsoft Word as the main word processing program, other options are available. For example, AbiWord is an open source application, and Google Docs is web-based.
The word processor that you use will depend on your organization. Do not panic if you find yourself working with an unfamiliar word processor. They all have similar operations, and most offer tutorials. Word processors are more than glorified typewriters. They provide a number of tools including: spell check, grammar check, Thesaurus, Dictionary, editing, word counts, formatting, and alignment to make creating documents easier. Taking advantage of the tools available will improve your documents, making them more professional.

Business Writing
Business writing includes emails, memos, reports, and business letters. Each one has its own formatting, but there are a few basic guidelines you can follow with all of your business writing to ensure that the message is clear and effective.

• Identify your goal: Determine if you need to inform, persuade, etc.
• Understand your audience: Create your message around the expectations and interest of your readers. You audience will determine the tone that you use.
• Stay concise: Use short, simple sentences so that you do not lose interest. You should also condense information to keep the message shorter.
• Structure: Make sure that your topics transition easily. Use space to emphasize breaks for different topics.
• Grammar and spelling: Check your grammar and spelling with the word processor and by proofreading.

Internet Research
As an assistant, you will have to do a great deal of research. The Internet makes this task faster and easier. All research, however, is not created equal. Basic search engine results are based on clicks and keywords, and they will not always provide the detailed information you need. You should familiarize yourself with specialized search engines such as A number of databases, such as ABI/Information Research, also allow you to access information. When you find information, always determine if you have a legitimate source. A blog based on opinion with little research cited, for example, would be suspect.


How to Eat that Frog

Procrastination is one of the leading causes of disorganization. As we’ve seen before, we can often make excuses to do it later for find various reasons why something can be put off until later. But once we’ve compiled our giant to do list and have decided what tasks should be done first, our next step, or steps, is to fight against procrastination and just do them. With the right tools and good habits, you’ll be able to say good bye to procrastination sooner, rather than later.

Eat That Frog!
As Mark Twain says, “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
We all have that task we dread doing, whether it’s at home doing the dishes or at work sending our email reports. Our normal plan of action is to put it off while completing various other tasks. Then when it’s time to complete this unpleasant task, we either find a way to put it off or don’t tackle it with full force. But Eat That Frog is a concept that says we should “eat the frog” first, or rather do our least favorite tasks first, and fully complete them before moving onto another project. When this job is out of the way, we spend the rest of our time completing more favorable tasks, and revel in knowing that you don’t have to return to the first one.
Eat That Frog Guideline:
1. The Frog – Identify your most important task first.
2. Complete this task first before you move on to anything else.
3. Eat the Frog – Continue with this task until it is completed.

Remove Distractions
Even after you have set your mind to completing a task and checking it off of your to do list, the smallest distraction can make you lose focus and stop working. They can occur at home or at work, and often times we do not even register them as a distraction. When you are preparing to start a project or task, look around and evaluate what is in the area that could distract you. Turn off personal cell phones or devices or put a sign on your door asking for silence and to not disturb. Ensure everything you will need is organized with your workflow to reduce the need to get up and leave your area. When we eliminate these distractions that can make us lose our focus, we will see an increase and production and spend less time trying to complete the same project.

Give Yourself a Reward
Rewards are a great way to keep ourselves motivated. After all, who doesn’t want to earn a little treat after a job well done? The key is to only reward the good behavior, such as finishing a small task or completing a whole project. If we jump to the reward too soon, we are only rewarding our negative behavior and are not helping to reduce procrastination. Start with small rewards when working on something, such as taking a break or getting something to snack on. We can reward ourselves with a bigger prize when the entire job is finished, such as going out with friends or doing something fun that we enjoy more.
• Only give rewards for work done, not work promised.
• Start with small rewards before working up to bigger ones.
• Keep a visual reminder of what you’ve accomplished.

Source: Organizational Skills Workshop

Business Writing Software Aids

The post will examine some software aids that can help you with your business writing. Probably the two most important aspects of business writing is spelling and the proper use of grammar. If either of these are faulty your organization will appear unprofessional and it could have a drastic effect on your brand.
The use of correctly spelled words is important in all business writing because you are presenting a professional document. A misspelled word can reflect negatively on your image. It may also result in confusion in meaning.
Here are some tips to improve spelling issues when writing:
1. Familiarize yourself with commonly misused words, particularly sets of words often mistaken for each other.

Example: Affect vs. Effect
Affect is to influence or change. (Our income has been affected by the global recession.)
Effect is the impression, result. It can also mean ‘to cause’. (The global recession has a dramatic effect on our income.)
This problem also happens with pronouns or pronoun-linking verb contractions which sound alike. Examples: who’s vs. whose, their vs. they’re and your vs. you’re.
2. Make sure you pronounce words properly. Colloquial pronunciations can cause people to omit certain letters in writing.

Example: writing ‘diffrence’ instead of ‘difference’ because one pronounces this word with a silent first e.
3. Note some friendly rules on spelling. Example: i before e, except after c (e.g. receive, belief)
4. If you’re writing for an international audience, note that there are acceptable spelling variations in the different kinds of English. For example, American and British English tend to have many differences in the spelling of the same words. Notable are the use of -ou instead of –o, as in colour vs. color; -re instead of –er, as in centre vs. center; -ise instead of –ize, as in realise vs. realize.
5. Lastly, use spelling resources! These days, spell checking is as easy as running a spell check command on your word processing software. If you’re still uncertain after an electronic spell check, consult a dictionary.

Grammar details rules of language syntax. Like spelling issues, grammar violations in a business document can reflect negatively on a professional or a company. Care should be given that all business documents are grammatically correct.
Here are two grammar issues most business writers have trouble with.
NOTE: All grammatical rules discussed here have exceptions and complex forms.
1. Subject-verb agreement: Singular subjects go with singular verbs, and plural subjects go with plural verbs. The singular form of most subjects contains the suffix –s or –es. The opposite is true for verbs; it’s the singular verbs that end with –s.
Note though that some subjects have unusual plural forms (e.g. medium- media, man-men, etc.)
2. Verb tenses: Modern English has six tenses, each of which has a corresponding continuous tense. The first three: present, past and future are less problematic.
The other three tenses, perfect, past perfect, and future perfect, are formed with the helping verbs have, has, and had.
Perfect tense is used to express an event that happened in the past, but still has an effect on the present.

Example: Mr. Michael Johnson has managed this company for the past 5 years.
Past perfect tense is used to express an event that took place before another action, also in the past.

Example: Mr. Myers had been sitting on a meeting when the client called.
Future perfect tense is used to express an event that will have taken place at some time in the future.

Example: I will have finished by 10pm.
In business writing, there are standard tenses used depending on the type of document you are writing. Business cases (to be discussed in a later module) may be written in past or future tense depending on whether the purpose is to discuss how a project was executed, or propose how it would be executed.
Verb tenses can also vary within the same business document.

The Organization Overview section of a proposal may be written in perfect tense, while the Financial Projection Section written in present tense.

Creating a Cheat Sheet
The number of spelling and grammar rules can feel daunting, but you don’t have to memorize everything. What you can do is create a cheat sheet.
A cheat sheet is a ready reference of rules you need to remember, written in a brief, simple and easy to understand fashion. Tables and bullet points can make a cheat sheet more effective. Some cheat sheets are poems, alliterations, and songs.
For best results, make your cheat sheets personalized, targeted to spelling and grammar issues that you often have problems with.
Your cheat sheet could become quite cumbersome. An alternative software resource can be found at It’s a grammar checker and it’s free.



River Street Consultant

Importunacy of Administrative Procedures

Administrative procedures are more than mundane policies. They are put in place to ensure the survival of the company in any event or situation. From catastrophes, to change, to basic day-to-day activities, administrative office procedures address them all when they are done correctly. Business continuity, succession planning, audit requirements, and recovery planning are all included in administrative procedures.

Business Continuity

Business continuity is also known as business continuance. It is the plan in place to keep a company running in the event of a disaster, both during and after the disaster. Establishing business continuity requires identifying essential tasks first. This includes items and services that are critical for the organization to function. These will vary by organization but they include technology, employee safety, sound structure, etc.

Business Continuity Steps:

  • Determine risks that the company will likely face (weather, IT, sabotage, etc.).
  • Analyze the effects of each risk or hazard that you discover on different aspects of the company (safety, functions, assets, etc.). Determine how long your company could function if one of these risks came to pass and what recovery would require.
  • Develop a team and strategy to address the potential problems.
  • Develop a plan and document each step before sharing it with the rest of the team.
  • Test the plan using different methods such as drills, walkthroughs, and checklists.


Succession Planning

Successful succession planning develops a pool of talent so that there are more than enough qualified candidates to fill vacancies in leadership. This strategy requires recruiting qualified talent, creating a talent pool, and instilling loyalty in employees.


  • Identify goals and objectives: Common goals include profitability, employee loyalty, service, and productivity.
  • Identify needs in the company: Consider changes in the responsibilities of different positions the company develops.
  • Recognize trends in the workforce: Understand the changes occurring in within and without your organization, such as an aging workforce.
  • Develop the employee pool: Determine where to find employees to fill in the gaps (within, recruiting drives, social media, etc.), and develop a plan to engage them once they are chosen.


Internal and External Audit Requirements

Both internal and external audits are important for identifying risks that organizations face. The internal audit addresses how effective and reliable administrative controls are. An internal audit also addresses record accuracy, legal compliance, and management action. Internal audits and external audits are similar, but the internal auditor is an employee of the company that he or she audits. The external auditor is not an employee, and he or she will create a report based on the finances, operations, and compliance of companies. Both internal and external auditors provide recommendations based on their assessments.

The auditor, whether internal or external, is required to be independent and objective, qualified, provide adequate testing, provide adequate documentation and action, offer verification and review, and give a report that will be reviewed by relevant parties, such as the board of directors.

Recovery Planning

Recovery planning goes hand-in-hand with business continuity. Recovery planning or disaster recovery planning is the process that is put in place to recover data, software, hardware, and manpower that the company needs to start back up after a disaster.

Recovery Planning Steps:

  • Identify critical systems and prioritize them, and identify potential risks.
  • Determine strategies for data, technology, suppliers, people, and facilities.
  • Create a plan with step-by-step instructions based on the strategies discovered.

Test the recovery plan and make adjustments as necessary.

Source:  Administrative Skills

River Street Consultant

Collaborative Business Writing

Collaborative writing is often simply defined as a project or piece of work that is created by a multiple of people combined together. It has become especially useful in many companies that prefer employees to work together on a project or require a large assignment to be divided into smaller parts in order to be accomplished on time. After each employee has finished their share, a group leader or editor works to assemble the parts together to create a final work or project.

Clarifying the Objective
Once a collaborative project has been created, it is important to clarify the objective and outline what needs to be completed. Some objectives will outline the necessary components that need to be completed, as well as address which employee should complete it. Collaborative writing can be tough to start, so it’s best when members have some sort of shared goal and are aware of shared responsibility and accountability. Once the objective is established and the members know their role, they can benefit from the shared resources, authority and eventual rewards of working together.
Define the objective:
• What are we doing this project for?
• What do we hope to accomplish?
• What parts/aspects need to be addressed in the project?
• What processes should be done in the project?

Practical Writing Approaches
Collaborative business writing has become a great tool to better design group processes and procedures used in a company. Because of this, collaborative writing has become a practical writing approach that many companies have begun to adapt for their employees. In collaborative business environments, each employee is able to contribute to the project as a whole, while still being able to edit or revise work as needed. Many collaborative groups even allow for coworker’s to make comments on or edit each other’s work, allowing more views and ideas throughout the project. In addition, since the collaborative writing process can be done almost anywhere, it is easier for employees to include work from a variety of areas, such as from across the state, the nation or even the world. 0
• Improves collaborative processes
• Increase member communication
• Edit/peer review project segments
• Increase contributions from multiple parties

Collaborative Writing Strategies
There is a number of different collaboration writing strategies that companies can use to fit the project they need completed. Some strategies rely on a small group of employees working on one piece at the same time. Other strategies involve multiple employees working on projects in individual roles to bring together later. Companies will choose a strategy to use based on a number of factors, including the size of the project, number of employees involved and what sort of deadline the project has.
Some examples of writing strategies:
• Parallel construction
• Sequential writing
• Integrated writing

Collaborative Writing Patterns
A collaborative pattern refers to the ‘pattern’ in which employees will work together to complete the project. These patterns can be used with a set collaborative strategy or they can be used as an independent tool. The collaborative pattern that is used will focus on what members of the team will complete what tasks and how the rest of the team will work to support the main goal. Different patterns require a single person to perform a task, such as creating an outline or editing peer submissions, while other patterns require a group of employees to work on one task together in order to complete it. The collaborative pattern of the team depends on a number of factors, such as the type of project at hand, how many members are available, and the individual talents of each team member.
Common collaborative patterns:
• The team collectively plans and outlines the project, and each employee completes their own part and is later compiled together into a whole piece.
• One individual of the team plans and writes a project draft while the group later revises it
• The team plans and writes the draft as a group while one or more other members revise the draft without any additional input.
• One member will dictate various parts of the project while another member transcribes and edits a final draft.
Source: Collaborative Business Writing Workshop

River Street Consultant

Meeting Roles


Roles and Responsibilities

Establishing clear roles and responsibilities in your meeting helps to manage the meeting effectively. When roles are established, the participants have a clear understanding of what is taking place because the person in a specific role has a job to fulfill. Assigning roles also alleviates the task you have to manage. This way you can focus on the role you are to manage within the meeting time. Remember that you do not have to do it all. Get others involved.

The Chairperson

The meeting chairperson is responsible for directing the proceedings of the meeting. They are time managers, referees, and enforcer of the rules when they are broken. The chairperson does not necessarily have to be you all the time, but when you do defer the chairperson’s duty to someone other than you, make sure you are confident the chairperson you choose can handle the role. The chairperson must be able to lead the meeting and be firm throughout the meeting.

Here are additional responsibilities of the chairperson:

  • Be aware of the rules of the meeting if present
  • Keep to the aim or objective of the meeting
  • Remain fair with all participants
  • Start the meeting
  • Transition from agenda topic to the next
  • Introduce the next presenter
  • Handle disruptions

Some of the qualities a chairperson should possess are as follows:

  • They should have some level of authority
  • Demonstrate flexibility
  • Remain impartial
  • Display maturity

The role of the chairperson is essential if the meeting is to have some form of control. If you are the chairperson, make sure you do not take on additional roles. You want to remain focus on the tasks associated with the role of the chairperson. If you select another person to be the chairperson, it is a good practice to meet with him or her in advance of the meeting to coordinate the agenda and set expectations. You want to avoid miscommunication during the meeting, which could hurt the credibility of both your chairperson and yourself.


The Minute Taker

Taking minutes requires some basic skills. For instance, a good minute taker will possess great listening skills, and attention to detail. Furthermore, they should have excellent writing skills and communication skills. The person you select must be able to maintain focus and not be carried away with the meeting, missing crucial meeting information. It is best to select someone who is not directly involved in the meeting, allowing them not to participate. Here is a list of tasks the minute taker should handle:

  • Before the meeting
    • Determine what tool to use for recording the minutes (ex. Laptop, paper, recording)
    • Become familiar with the names of the attendees and who they are
    • Obtain the agenda and become familiar with the topics
  • During the meeting
    • Take attendance
    • Note the time the meeting begins
    • Write the main ideas presented in the meeting and the contributor of that information
    • Write down decisions made and who supported and opposed the decision
    • Note follow up items
    • Note items to be discussed in the next meeting
    • Note the end time of the meeting
  • After the meeting
    • Type up the minutes immediately after the meeting (if manual notes or recordings were taken)
    • Proofread the minutes and correct any errors in grammar and spelling
    • Save or send the document to the meeting owner


Using a template helps to keep the minute taking consistent. Remember to meet with the person you choose to be your minute taker before the meeting to go over the template.


The Attendees

The attendees are not excluded from assuming a role or having a responsibility in the meeting setting. Of course, you cannot force the responsibility on to your attendees, but you can attempt to influence them. The attendees are the biggest success factor of your meeting. If they feel that they accomplished something in the meeting, they will applaud you. However, if they walk away feeling they wasted their time, this could affect your credibility. The following are responsibilities your attendees could assume:

  • Prepare
    • Be prepared to contribute to the meeting
    • Be prepared to arrive early and avoid being late
    • Be prepared for the meeting by jotting down ideas and questions ahead of meeting
    • Be prepared by reading the agenda before the meeting
    • Be prepared for a long meeting by getting enough rest the night before
  • Participate
    • Ask questions
    • Take notes
    • Share ideas
  • Productive
    • Avoid carrying side conversations
    • Remove distractions like cell phones and PDA’s
    • Keep to the allotted time if on the agenda


Setting up expectations is the best way to communicate the role of the attendees. This is accomplished in either the meeting invitation, or separate email to the attendees. In any case, it is worth the time. Remember that all participants play a vital role in the meeting. Your job is to remind them of their role and the responsibility that comes with that role.


Variations for Large and Small Meetings

Large meetings present very different dynamics than smaller meetings. Managing a larger meeting requires more resources and assigned roles. If you are chairing the meeting yourself, you will need to rely on others to ensure all things are well executed. Here is a list of additional roles you may want to add when managing a large meeting:

  • An extra minutes taker for better accuracy
  • A person to distribute all the materials related to the meeting
  • A person to greet attendees
  • A person to run the audio and visual equipment
  • A person to manage the hospitality aspect of your meeting
  • A co-chairperson
  • A person managing the presentations

On the other hand, in small meetings, you can assume multiple roles. For example, you can be the chairperson, technical person, and the minute taker in a small meeting. Small meetings are less formal and you can leverage the informal environment to multitask. You may need an assistant if the meeting is comprised of important people. In any situation, careful planning and assessing the risk of working with less roles will help you to determine what roles need to be filled. When in doubt, get more help. Err on the side of caution.

Source: Meeting Management workshop


The River Street Consultant

Why is a Social Media Policy Important?

When building a social media policy for the company, there are several aspects and guidelines to consider. In order to prevent situations that can put the company at risk, companies create a policy that outlines what is and is not acceptable us of social media in the workplace. Some basic rules should be established first to give the policy some structure. Determine what the policy wants to accomplish and what can be done to make that happen. Once the basics have been established, you can move toward the specific points of the plan and form a policy that will benefit everyone involved.

It has to be a living document
Static articles, or ‘dead’ articles, are articles that are usually posted somewhere and do not change, such as a single edition dictionary or encyclopedia. In contrast, a living document is defined as a document which may be continually edited, revised, or updated, either by one appointed person or by a selective group. As we’ve reviewed, we know that social media is constantly changing and growing, so a policy that does not change with it will become obsolete. If the policy were a static document, it would have to be discarded and rewritten every time an update or change needed to be added. But having a social media policy classified as a living document allows for the delegated person or group to review the policy and ensure that it is up to date and accurate at all times, without having to start from scratch.

How Often is it Revised?
Finding the exact moment to revise your living document can be difficult to pinpoint. Some companies use a set schedule to update and revise their living documents, while some only base any changes or revisions on an as needed basis and wait until something needs to be changed to update it. However, when maintaining a social media policy, many companies have found it beneficial to use a combined system that uses both techniques to help them stay up to date. The social media policy is updated or revised any time a new update or development arises, but they also schedule a set time to revise the policy to check for anything that may have been missed or recently added. With this method, the company can better maintain their policy and assure its accuracy.
A living document can be revised:
• Daily, weekly, monthly
• Annually or semi-annually
• On a scheduled basis
• On an as-needed basis

Who Will Be in Charge?
Often time the person in charge of changing or revising a social media policy is the information officer, but sometimes it can be another individual or even a team of employees. It is important to make sure the person, or persons, appointed to oversee the policy are someone the company can depend on to complete the task effectively and in a timely manner. They should have some sort of management experience and work well with others, since they will need numerous consultations when it comes to changes being made. Once someone has been chosen, make sure it is known to the department who they can contact with questions or concerns and ensure that they are aware of the proper procedure for submitting suggested changes or revisions.
Things to consider:
• Who will be responsible for the revisions and corrections needed?
• Who will perform these tasks in an effectively?
• Who will be able to stay on top of the changing social media aspects?
• Who is dependable to accomplish the job with little supervision?
• Who work well individually as well as on a team?
Change Management
One of the key factors in making sure your living document has an effective change management process. Change management is a term used for the process or steps needed to manage a living document and the revisions/updates/changes it will need periodically. While one person is normally appointed to make the selected changes or updates, there is normally a team that handles the information requests and the procedure itself for having the living document changed. This team ensures that all requests for updates are received properly and, if carried out, then they are documented in the proper places.
To have a successful form of change management, it is important for everyone to recognize their roles and how they help the teams run smoothly. Since the exact procedures for change management differ for every organization, it is important to recognize what your company will need and what it can do in order to benefit their living documents.

The River Street Consultant

Source: Social Media in the Workplace workshop