Help! My Office Manager Is Going And I Haven’t A Clue What To Do

Help! My Office Manager Is Going And I Haven’t A Clue What To Do

Perhaps you know this situation; perhaps you have even lived through it and can recall the confusion, pain and angst that descended upon you when you heard those dreaded words: I'm leaving, I'm retiring, I'm pregnant, etc.

Sure you were happy. I mean when someone leaves your company to retire after a productive and robust career, or to move forward on their career path to another position, or to have a baby (!) well, you are happy for him or her and respect their decision.

But be honest now, you're scared too. Scared because well, you haven't a clue on what they do! 

In many organizations the office manager holds the keys to the kingdom (also known as the way, why and how things get done in the office).

They've often been with the company for what seems like eons, and even when the years don't span eternity (!) they somehow know the inner workings of just about everything.

And therein lies the problem.

This knowledge is all, yes all, in their head. The operational details, business processes and tasks, job descriptions and the myriad minutiae that comprise a business are evident well, nowhere.

You've heard this:  

  • I don't know how she/he does all that she/he does
  • I don't know how she/he remembers it all
  • If it weren't for NAME we'd be out of business
  • I'm not sure who does what around here but NAME sure does 

Yes, you've heard it all before.

The very foundation of your business rests upon the knowledge accumulated by this person and yes, they're going to leave, if not forever, then for an extended period of time (i.e. maternity / paternity leave, illness, etc.)

And while it may seem to be an awfully painful and stressful experience there is a solution.

Document.  It's worth saying again: document. Document what and how your employees DO their work.  

  • Document the processes
  • Document the tasks
  • Document the workflow 

Document so that your office can and will run smoothly if and when someone leaves or retires! When you hire new staff! When someone goes out on maternity leave and you bring in a temporary employee! When you are concerned that "things" aren't running as smoothly as they should (or did in the past!).

This mission critical information should not reside in someone's brain. Frankly, it's too risky and makes you inefficient and potentially vulnerable and can negatively impact your Bottom Line!

Start now. No really, start now before your office manager leaves and it is too late.

By admin December 4, 2013