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Administrative Office Procedures and Work Ethics in Today’s World – Part 2

E-mail is very important in today world because it is a quick way to communicate. It is good, that each e-mail message be proof read for correct and proper grammar, correct spelling and word usage. An e-mail message must show a subject line that tells what is in the message. Each e-mail message should only contain information about one item. The message should be short but complete. The message should be written in complete sentences. Use correct spelling, punctuation and correct information. When the message is longer than half of a page, usually a memorandum is used. Letters communicate with client and customers may take more time to prepare and write.

The purpose or goal of the document should be determined before the writer begins. The writer must investigate and gather the necessary information. The writer should also consider the reader of the letter when the document is for a company in the country or for international deliveries. A letter should first be written as a draft, edited, proof read, and then a final copy made.

There are several kinds of reports that the office holder may be involved in creating. The report may include some necessary research either in a library or through the internet. Be sure to carefully document the sources of any information that you use. Remember to handle all information carefully, especially, when it is classified or personal in nature. Be completely clear, accurate, prompt, concise, and courteous in your response to another e-mail, memorandum, or letter.

Also as an administrative professional, you will be talking with customers, clients and co-workers daily. It is important to have good verbal communication skills so that the information is delivered successfully. With all the diversity in our country today, communicating with others is not always easy. Plan your work carefully, thinking about what you need to communicate before you speak. Listening carefully to what is said to you is very important. In fact listening is probably the most important part of communicating with others. You don’t want to be doing something else when someone is talking with you, even if it is by phone. You want to give your full attention to that person so that you will listen to what they are saying.

Sometime communication will also involve conflict. You may be criticized for something that you were not at fault, and you want to clear out the problem in a non judgmental way. There will always be differing opinions when you work with others. Be sure that you think before you speak so that the words used would convey the appropriate response and answer. Be sure to use the appropriate tone in your voice as well. This can be difficult especially with different people or situation, or when you do not feel well. How you manage incoming and outgoing telephone calls could be a big part of your job. Be sure that you are using a smile when you answer the phone. You should also be sure to take good notes so that your messages are accurate if you are not familiar with the phone system and be sure to ask for help so that calls are answered and transferred effectively.

Non-verbal communication is another important part of communication as already being noted. Let me re-emphasized that your facial expression, eyes, posture, hands, and gestures, all tell something about how you are feeling and what you are saying.  Answer the phone as soon as you can and after the first and second ring. If possible, always answer the phone with smile on your face and speak clearly and distinctly so that you are well understood. You should always identify yourself and the company/institution.

When you need to place a caller on hold on, be sure that you have the person’s permission and if the call is not answered quickly, get back to the caller and take a message. If you need to transfer a call, be sure to transfer it to the correct person and always tell the caller the phone number and the name of the person who will answer. When you are taking message be sure to write legibly the name and phone number as well as the message itself showing the date and time.


Note:  your employer may involve you in order to complete his/her job; it will be your responsibility to help set up the appropriate travel plans. Some companies will need a travel agent to determine the flight for the employers. There will be some that say this will be your responsibility to know your needs and wants and the time frame needed for the travel is important for setting up itinerary.

Remember that airlines restrictions and rates change almost daily and some of the information may be out dated in the text, because of these; research will help you become successful in this task. Obviously there will be differing need if the travel is international or for a long period of time and an itinerary will show when, where, what is needed and who is meeting with the employer. Your employer may have other items that need to be included to help him or her have a successful trip. Remember too, that there will be responsibilities that are different for you at the office while your employer is traveling. Be ready to do what is necessary.


In conclusion, it is my ardent hope that as you read this article (as an administrator or office worker) there will be a tremendous change in your deportment, conduct, attitude and the way you conduct yourself in interacting with people of diverse backgrounds and social standing; whether in office, at home, at school or dealing with customers at your business center.

It is generally noted that most Liberian office workers lack office ethics and procedures. Maybe the negative attitude being exhibited is due to mere ignorance. We must learn to respect people, listen attentively and address people properly. And as an office worker, you must be properly attire at all times.

Also it is disturbing and annoying to enter an office or business center and come across office workers with ear-piece hanging in his or her ear, or reading newspaper and or cloud burst conversation and won’t pay any attention at all and would later ask, What are you saying after a minute when you expect an answer. As soon as he/she sees money in your hands, then they are ready to show you white teeth and a smile; not to serve you, but pretending to get the money somehow; this is ridiculous.

Another troubling thing noted seriously among some Liberian office staff, is poor handling of documents. The Pseudo missing of document and the subsequent demand for money as an inducement to apply effort in searching for the identical document is so rampant in almost all of the offices in Liberia, both public and private. This corrupt practice is so embarrassing and has become part of our official routine. I hope we will change our attitudes and in the manner in which we do things.

Thank you.

(J. Benedict Lewis is a community development strategist and project management expert. He is also an inspirational and motivational speaker and a researcher.  He can be contacted through phone on: 0886-642-075/0776017204 or through Email:  Jblewis66@ yahoo.com)

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