Doing administrative work is generally not considered to be the most exciting role of a manager unless by chance you receive some great satisfaction from dealing with routine details. The claim that there’s not much room for creativity depends on whether you accept the status quo or decide that there must be a better way to accomplish those routine tasks. The objective is to move the paperwork through the paper mill, which has become a combination of paper and some form of electronic communication. This is the grunt work: the work that most professionals and managers despise, but doing it is not a choice. The paperwork essential for running an effective organization must flow efficiently through the system: policies and procedures and certain requirements must be met. Reports must be written but you must ask if they really serve a purpose. Expense vouchers need to be approved. The paperwork involved in hiring, evaluating, promoting, reassigning, and possibly dismissing personnel must be processed. Meetings need agendas. All administrative processes must be updated. Interfacing with other functions becomes imperative. In addition, certain organizational mandates require compliance. If as an example the organization decides to install flexible scheduling, you probably will comply whether or not you favor the policy.

Managers do have an opportunity to be innovative and eliminate many of the administrative details that not only do not add value but also consume resources that could be used more effectively for other work. However, managers must avoid becoming totally consumed by these activities. They are important but there are people who can perform many of these functions with far greater efficiency than the manager and they should be given the opportunity to do so.

Source : Gerard H Gaynor. What Every New Manager Needs To Know. 2004

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