Dominique Rodgers is a new member of Reputation Capital Media’s team! She joins us as our office manager. Dominique specializes in a little bit of this and a little bit of that — organization, details and haranguing all the other people around here when necessary. Before joining Reputation Capital, she worked for several years at Louisiana Fish Fry Products and Benny’s Car Wash, two of Baton Rouge’s best-loved family businesses, specializing in payroll and human resources. She is currently finishing up her final undergraduate year at Louisiana State University after testing out nearly every possible major on campus and then landing back on general studies. If the planets align correctly, she’ll get her masters in HR by 2016.
What kind of detail and organization should an office manager bring to a business?
When you start off with good organization, the detail work is easy. Something as simple as naming files correctly on your computer (using a system that a regular person would find intuitive later) or clearing papers off your desk to give yourself some free, blank space can do wonders for allowing your mind to remember small details. Clutter in a workspace sucks up ideas. Plus, what if you get hit by a bus and someone else has to take over for a few weeks? You may know where everything is in your pile of junk, but no one else will.
What kind of leadership skills are most important to you in the workplace?
My most important leadership skill is sharing my opinion when I know it will either be A: correct but unpopular, or B: possibly way off base. Never being willing to be wrong or to make the hard choices and just playing things safe all the time — or worse, not sharing your ideas and opinions at all — does no one any good. In this particular environment, at Reputation Capital, I’ll be sort of Mission Control. I will assist everyone, keep everyone in the loop, research and provide information, handle organization in our headquarters and I might have to wrangle some people now and then to keep things running smoothly.
In your experience, what is the best way to handle a difficult situation with an employee in the workplace?
The best way to handle a difficult situation is to avoid it in the first place. There should be regular communication between managers and employees to address small problems before they become big problems. When performance review time rolls around, every employee should be able to tell exactly what their manager will say before the meeting even begins. No one should be surprised at a poor performance review or a great one. Even difficult personal situations can be handled more effectively the sooner they’re disclosed. An employee that needs assistance with domestic violence, elder care or applying for food stamps should be comfortable enough to go to their manager or to HR to ask for help. That being said, you can’t plan for every workplace situation and things do come up that would be considered difficult. Outside of actual violence, the best way to handle that is with talking, very calmly. Ask questions. Listen to the answers. Determine the context of the situation and take appropriate action.
What is the best “Dominique advice” you could give someone who is interested in being an office manager?
Make sure the annual budget contains plenty of money for sticky notes. Put everything down on a sticky note and every so often, before you forget what your scribbles mean, type the info into a document or into your phone. But don’t ever be afraid to cover a whole surface with sticky notes if the need is there. It’s much better than losing the information!
Reputation Capital Media Services is a Baton Rouge marketing agency that helps B2B companies and their marketing agencies produce high-quality digital content, including blog posts, e-mail newsletters, white papers and multimedia. Our editors and writers are experts in their fields, which include HR technology, employee benefits, and financial services and accounting. Contact us for a free 30-minute consultation to find out how great content can help you attract and retain your customers.