Day 1 | 26 September 2019


08h00 – 08h30   : Registration and tea


08h30 – 09h00   : Welcome & housekeeping matters 



The days of an office professional sitting behind the desk awaiting instructions and directives from the line manager are over. These days, organisations prefer a proactive, innovative, dynamic and bold office professional. This session will show that an office professional should constantly be thinking outside the box. Here are top six modern ways making waves in the office: 

Automating office tasks;
Using the Cloud;
Activity-based working;
Proactively assessing the changing needs of staff and the line;
Having tools for the modern office; and
Integrating working from home and working from the office. 



One of the major responsibilities of an office professional is to make travel arrangements for the line manager. The changes that accompany the Forth Industrial Revolution are already upon us, and travelling is one of the areas where the impact of the Forth Industrial Revolution has already started manifesting themselves. There are wide-ranging areas of travel that require adequate controls to ensure that travel does not become inconvenient, stressful or a headache for the line manager. This session will provide insight on booking travel in a fast-paced world of technological advancement.


09h50 – 10h10   : Managing risks that come with travel 

Travelling, whether for business or pleasure, is always accompanied by risks. The office professional is instrumental in identifying the risks associated with the specific travel they are booking on behalf of their line managers. This will require a significant amount of research and information sourcing on the part of the office professional. This session will outline a number of risks that come with travel and how an office professional could become more forward-looking by finding ways of mitigating these risks. The session will cover risk management issues ranging from a perfect travel insurance and what it should cover, currency fluctuations, management of the travel budget for a particular itinerary, travel emergency procedures, vaccinations and regulations on what the destination country has set for carry-on luggage as well as checked-in luggage. 


10h10 – 10h35   : Modernising the travel plan of the line manager 

This session will look at APPS for travel whereabouts as well as transformation taking place in the travel industry. The session will also empower the office professional to assume an advisory role on basic information such as relevant visas, shuttle services that are online-based, connecting flights and accommodation that adds value to the traveller as well as new payment methods such as PayPal, crypto currency, etc. 


10h35 – 10h50   : TEA BREAK 


10h50 – 12h30   : STEPPING UP TO CHANGE 

Organisations are constantly going through changes. These could be change in management personnel, company strategy or even changes because of external pressures of the industry. However, when these changes happen office professionals, though often thought of as the least affected by change, are usually the ones hit the hardest. As the engines that drive organisations, office administrators live their organisation’s ethos and values through their day-to-day activities. They drive change from behind and give shape to the implementation of the organisation’s strategy.


10h50 -11h40   : From Gatekeeper to Gate opener 

Move away from the notion that office professionals are gatekeepers. Break the boundary between your line manager and his/her stakeholders. Enhance your line manager’s performance by opening the gate to new engagement possibilities. This session will take you through a process of using listening skills to solve problems and take decisions, partnering with stakeholders and diversifying stakeholder engagement. It will help office professionals to drive change by proactively identifying opportunities that would help their line managers engage with stakeholders that enhance the organisation’s strategy. This session will ultimately take you through how you could be your line manager’s right-hand person by solving problems and identifying potential for strategic collaborations with key stakeholders. 


11h40 -12h30   : Dealing with chronically difficult people 

In every organisation, there are stakeholders that bring disorder in the functioning of various offices. There will be stakeholders who bring unnecessary pressure either to the line manager or to the office professional. This session will tackle the best way of dealing with difficult people. It will help you analyse various kinds of personalities within the workplace in order that you are better able to deal with them. From a bully to a negative co-worker, this session will tackle how one can maintain life balance which could help reduce stress and help prevent burnout in the workplace.


12h30 – 13h30   : LUNCH 


13h30 – 15h30   : CAREER ADVANCEMENT 

Being an office professional is career-limiting. The opportunities for growth are slim. However, this does not mean that office professionals must remain hopeless. There are better opportunities out there for upward mobility.


13h30 – 14h10   : Repurposing your skills set 

This session will focus on how office professionals could find relevance in another field; how they could repurpose the experience they have gained as a springboard for another career. 


14h10 – 14h50   : Managing up: Did you know that you can also manage your line manager? 

This session will focus on strategies for leading and enhancing the performance of your superiors. In order for the office professional to master the art of managing up, he/she will need specific competencies in public speaking, understanding the delegation process and executing instructions. 


14h50 – 15h30   : Being at the forefront of customer-centricity

Unlike a few years ago, customers/clients now hold the upper hand more than ever because of developments such as the instant nature of social media, legislation that seems to favour clients/customers than the organisation and the dire need for organisations to protect their brands. A little misdemeanour by office professionals could destroy the reputation of the organisation. Office professionals need to understand that how they engage customers/clients is at the core of customer-retention and brand reputation management. Generally, customers/clients expect organisations to be responsive to their queries or complaints. Customers/clients will judge organisations on their turn-around times, efficiency and effectiveness. 

This session will focus on how office professionals need to conduct themselves in their everyday lives and live by these principles: 

Empathy, ethics and integrity;
No day is the same when dealing with clients/customers;
All needs are different;
All needs are urgent; and 
Every pain a client/customer feels increases the damage to the reputation of the organisation.


26 September 2019 | Fairmont Zimbali | 18h00 – 20h00



 Day 2 | 27 September 2019


 08h30 – 10h30   : MINUTES IN THE MAKING 

Minute-taking is becoming more and more necessary. It is an accountability tool because minutes make it clear whose duty it was to perform which action. Minutes record meeting decisions, which makes them a useful review document when the time to measure progress comes. No meeting should take place in any department without minutes being taken. This session will introduce delegates to minute-taking, analysing the elements for inclusion in a meeting and explaining which audio devices are resourceful and how they could be utilised. 



A modern office administrator is expected to show leadership and be forward-looking, they have to take initiative and be proactive in their execution of duties.  Their actions should be guided by their intentions to achieve the super goals of the office. 


10h30 – 11h00   : Branding and the office you lead 

As an office professional, your office is your fortress where you need to rule by grace, humility and authority, all derived from the knowledge that you have amassed over time. But this knowledge is never enough, that is why you are here. During this session the presenter will demonstrate to the audience why and how the office professional can first brand the office of the manager by the way they lead, the way they carry themselves on and off the office, and by being the source of knowledge about the organisation. Office professionals need to be reference points about the past, present and the future of the organisation. Branding the office includes the holistic positioning of the manager, who by nature is part of the office. 


11h10 – 11h25   : TEA BREAK


11h25 – 12h00   : Managing a department event as a project 

Events are complex and require extensive planning to execute. The unpredictable nature of events means that anything could go wrong at any moment and it becomes the responsibility of the events planner/coordinator to ensure that there is a plan around all the risks. This session will take you through a detailed event management process. From theme conceptualisation, database enhancement, event planning, execution and managing service providers to project close-out. Learn how to make your events more professional and more memorable. 


12h00 – 12h30   : Negotiation skills 

As an office professional, you are the engine of the organisation. You are what keeps the organisation functioning smoothly. As such, your profession dictates that you frequently negotiate on issues around the office. Not all of these issues will require the attention of the line manager. You are often required to take decisions on issues without consulting your line manager. At the level of office professionals, there is a great deal of experience, insight and academic qualifications that should be used strategically to deal with and manage issues. This session will give you insight into becoming a problem-solver and equip you with foundational negotiation skills of building rapport, searching for smart trade-offs and knowing how to present multiple offers to the affected individuals. 


12h30 – 14h45   : CHANGE MANAGEMENT 

Organisations are undergoing transformation and transitions because of a wide range of factors; such as leadership change, new strategic directions, downsizing; office relocation as well as through mergers and acquisitions, to mention a few. These changes have a lasting impact on employees. The sessions under this topic are behavioural-oriented in order to focus on the imperative of the office professional during this transitory and transformative period of their lives.


12h30 – 13h00  : Becoming your line manager’s most valuable asset 

Your line manager, who has been with you for more than five years, is suddenly leaving your organisation. Perhaps; under a cloud or for greener pastures elsewhere. As the new manager moves in, you find yourself still loyal to the old guard. You are still eager to transmit office goings-on to your former line manager. How do you break from this? This session will focus on how you need to build trust with the new line manager and become the most valuable asset. 

Covered under this topic would be areas such as:

What do you need to do to lay the foundation of trust?;
Tools needed to support the manager’s strategic direction;
Stakeholder analysis and their relevance to the office;
Risk assessment within the office; and
Opportunities for growth. 


13h00 – 13h45   : LUNCH 


13h45 – 14h15   : Enhancing your networking skills

Are you a wall flower or social butterfly? Learn the art of networking and draw some skills to move you to your next level position. In this session, you will also learn about how to build rapport and how to search for smart trade-offs. Break boundaries and get noticed. Also learn how to select the appropriate people with the potential to advance your upward mobility. Devise strategies on how to follow-up and follow-through to sustain relations. 


14h15 – 14h45   : Making an impact in a fast-paced environment 

Office professionals are the first port of call. They should become leaders in their fields and perfect their skills so well that the rest of the organisation aspires to emulate them. This session will cover some of the best practices drawn from top office professionals who are well vested in fast-paced work environments.


14h45 – 15h45   : TECHNOLOGY BOOT CAMP

Resisting new technologies will continue to render office professionals irrelevant. An empowered office professional should stay ‘woke’ at all costs. Every office professional needs to be at the forefront of technology.


14h45 -15h05  : Out with the Old: In with the new 

Join us for the MS Office 365 Boot  camp that will leave you being the envy of your organisation in technology advancement. 


15h05 -15h25   : Outlook in detail: Beyond the email

Familiarise yourself with the best features of Outlook. Improve your productivity by not using Outlook for the obvious. Think big and let the coach take you beyond communications and calendaring. Use Outlook for multiple Outlook windows, alerts, travel packages, etc. Learn new tips and tricks on how you could save time on Outlook and be the most productive employee. 


15h25 -15h45  : Automate your work environment

This session will take delegates through the online integration and collaboration processes. Sessions covered will focus on:

Automate the Office Suite with One Note for ultimate productivity;
Online collaboration using Google Docs, Hangouts, slides, sheets; and
Setting rules for online collaborations – WhatsApp, Google Docs, Synchronised emails.




Please may one delegate from each organisation collect all the certificates on behalf of everyone in that organisation. They may be collected later the following week from that person.