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Management 101 - Administration

You finally made it to management. You have a title that people can recognize. You finally feel proud passing around your business card. But you did not recognize that the title comes with administrative duties that are not that exciting. If these mundane tasks are not finished, there is no accountability and no substantiatiaton for employment and maybe even the department or organization's existence. 

1). Status Report. Whether mandated or not, always provide a status to your management of what is going on in your area.  Never let upper management be blindsided by an elevator discussion about your direct report's work or something that went awry under your watch.
2). Time sheets. Whether employee or contractor, approve time sheets on time.  If you are going to be out of town, make sure there is a backup.  People get paid based on signed or approved time sheets and the delay should never point back to you.
3). Flex work schedule or comp time for employees.  Never let an employee (normal daytime) work hours on end, nightshift, and 24 hour shifts without rewarding with an additional paid day off or some compensation or a flexible telecommuting schedule.
4). Invoices and purchase orders. Give the right approvals so that invoices can be paid on time. Do not be the hold up for vendors and contractors being paid, especially contractors.  If you want them to continue working hard for you, stay up to date in this area.
5). Performance Metrics.  Create a way to measure deliverables for your team that can be pinpointed to areas of both weaknesses and strengths as well as capacity. This not only helps to grade the work completed holistically through your group but it also allows new employees to easily onboard as they can clearly view objectives or key performance indicators. It further sends a message of the expectation of producing quality vs quantity.
6). Running accomplishments.  Always have a yearly accomplishment presentation that can easily be appended to keep track of wins in your team. Do not wait until the end of the year to scramble for this information. When asked about key initiatives, you can recite contributions and deliverables of which your team was responsible that exceeded expectations.
7). Documented one-on-ones. That's great to go for a latte or afternoon sweet but both you and the employee must have gotten something out of it. If it was just chit-chat and a morning walk, that is a waste of time. As a manager, document both parties' expectations and concerns as it shows genuine interest and sets the stage for actions to take place.

Fun times are ahead but the little things have to be done. It not only makes the day go by faster but your short time in this role before your next promotion.  Make sure it is a role where someone reporting to you has a blast with these administrative tasks.  Until then, shine with excellence.

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