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Author Topic: Week of January 27th- Disparities in Competencies  (Read 7239 times)
andream
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« on: January 25, 2004, 12:10:57 pm »

In an American Management Association Survey  in April 2003 Managers were asked to rate their most necessary job competencies by number with one being highest.  

At the same time,  Administrative professionals were asked to rank the same list in the same manner.  

It should be noted for reference, that this list of items was arrived at collectively by the two groups so there was agreement that these were the things most important professionally to both office professionals and those who manage office professionals. They were specifically asked to rank those items where they needed the most competence not just those they felt were most important.

After you've had a look at the results of their list in  the graphic below, let's talk about why there is such a difference.  

It's amazing that while there IS agreement on some items, (take a look at numbers 4 and 12,) there seems to be a general mix up among the others.  Why would a manager rate document and report design higher than an office professional? Or why do Office professionals rate Problem solving and decision making midway down the list?

Is this list indicative of differing views of the profession or differing self views of what our jobs are compared to managers?
 


Edited by andream on 25/01/04 11:16 AM.

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supergirl
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2004, 01:18:02 pm »

This is thought-provoking insight into what our supervisors really want from us.  Here is my interpretation:  the bossies care about the aspects of our jobs that impact them.  (1) They don't want to be bothered with questions about things they think we should be able to decide ourselves or in their absence--as long as we don't do it too assertively or with initiative.  Perhaps this is where mind-reading skills come into play.   Wink  

(2) and (5) They want their schedules managed glitch-free.  (3) They want us to be able to do whatever they need, whenever they need it, focused on their needs rather than our own priorities.  (6) When we make their reports and correspondence look good, *they* look good.  

The one that stumps me is #11.  I would have expected literacy/communications to be more important to them.  As for #12--thank goodness!  Mathwhizchick may disagree with this one, but since I can't add worth a lick, I'm breathing a sigh of relief here!  

Seriously though, this is really helpful. I'm going to print it and keep it handy so I can remind myself how my job looks from the other side of the desk.

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elkiedee
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2004, 12:17:57 pm »

But isn't initiative (1/7) the thing which is required for problem solving and decision making (6/1)? Or aren't they the same thing? Can you have one without the other? On a more general note, perhaps part of it is about justifying not paying us more on management's part? Luci

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gee4
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2004, 03:23:37 pm »

This is not clear cut for example I would associate initiative with problem-solving.  Managers want PAs to solve their problems - yes we need to be diplomatic and have a good demeanour but that to them is not important in doing every day tasks.  Being resourceful and being pro-active is really what they look for.

G

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mathwhizchick
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2004, 03:41:58 pm »

Nope, supergirl, I don't disagree at all.  In most general areas, it's not what I would consider a crucial competency.  If you're in accounting, it's another ball game.

Besides, I don't much care for it.  I'm good at it, but I don't really like it.  I'm just able to get it done FAST.
Smiley

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andream
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2004, 03:43:34 pm »

and remember that both office professionals and managers were asked to rank the areas where they themselves thought they needed the most competence. Not where each perceived the other to be competent. Interesting....verrry interesting....

Edited by andream on 26/01/04 02:44 PM.

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countrigal
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2004, 09:05:47 pm »

So if I understand this correctly, Administratives rate Initiative highest for their compentencies while Managers rate Problem Solving as their highest competency, and so on and so forth.  If so, then this is definitely interesting and is an interesting look at how Admins see themselves, and how Management see themselves too.  I wonder how I would have rated these without knowing how others were rating them.  I do agree that Initiative and Problem Solving are basically interchangable and therefore rated highest on both sides, but the wordage is probably more a reflection on which position you hold.  Managers see themselves having to solve problems that are brought to them, while Admins see themselves as having the initiative to solve problems as they come across them.  I think that the one on reports shows a change in the Admin role, where we do less and less typing and creating of documents and more along the lines of cleaning up what Bossie (aka, the Manager) has done themselves.  With computers, managers are doing more of their own report generation and leaving it up to Admins to clean it up and make it look better, which is why they (managers) would need more comptencies at it.

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JessW
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2004, 12:28:14 pm »

I had a thought as I read the list and the one thing that sprung to mind was that, generally speaking admins start out in their chosen field of expertise and specialise depending upon the type of organisation they work for during their career whereas most (if not all) managers / directors start out at a lower rung in the chain of command.  This would make a distinct difference in how they were themselves managed which would account for at least some of the disparity in how both groups categorise their priorities.  Interesting thought, eh?

Jess

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movinonup
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2004, 02:13:36 am »

At first I thought these ratings would be very useful as goals for my annual performance review, or even points to add to my resume...but re-reading the background for the ratings leaves me wondering.

I'm just not too clear on the basis for this survey.  Why not ask the managers what competencies they really required in an office professional and leave it at that?  Or perhaps you could compare that to the list of where the admins felt they either excelled or felt lacking.

I find it amazing that these two sets of groups were able to come to an agreement on their strong and weak points, since everyone is so different.

But, since we have the two lists, and they were compiled based on the competencies that each group found in themselves, I guess what you'd have to do is work toward complementing the manager in those cases where he felt most weak.  I hate to say it, but this would mean we would have to improve on our analytical skills and math ability...an area where I've also got to plead "NOT ME!"



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