Happy Administrative Professionals Week!
From answering the phone and scheduling meetings to managing the office, the role administrators play is key to a business’s organization and success. Though they’re often unsung office heroes, these professionals work hard to keep the day-to-day operations running smoothly and efficiently.
The office wouldn’t be the same without them, and that’s why it’s essential to recognize their hard work and dedication during Administrative Professionals Week.
Once known as National Secretaries Week, Administrative Professionals Week has been around far longer than most realize.
In the early 1950s, the National Secretaries Association (now the International Association of Administrative Professionals) set out to celebrate the hard work of administrative professionals everywhere. It was first officially recognized in June of 1952 by then-Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, and it quickly became a yearly tradition.
Today, Administrative Professionals Week is typically celebrated in April. This year, it will be celebrated from April 18th to April 24th.
It’s important to note that in addition to Administrative Professionals Week, many celebrate Administrative Professionals Day as well. Much like its counterpart, it began as National Secretaries Day. It is celebrated on the Wednesday of the last full week of April – this year, it falls on April 21st.
Once restricted to the title of secretary, hundreds of positions now fall under the category of administrative.
According to the AAP, these positions are “extension[s] of the executive team” who act as “business partners to the executive, executives, departments, and companies they support.”
It’s not uncommon for an administrator to be “one of the few employees in a company who knows the entire business.” Simply put, administrators often understand the business and the way it works better than anyone.
Regularly recognizing your employees has several benefits, including higher engagement and productivity, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and more sales. This is especially important in 2021, with remote and hybrid teams becoming more common.
But if you’re struggling to come up with recognition ideas for Administrative Professionals Week or a creative way to say thank you for Administrative Professionals Day 2021, we’ve come up with a few to get you started.
Set aside some time during Administrative Professionals Week to get to know your administrative staff a little bit better. Ask them to lunch or take them out for coffee. While there, you can easily begin a conversation about their goals, how they’re doing, and any feedback they may have for you.
The IAAP notes that this type of conversation is vital in making an administrator feel as though their voice is heard: Administrators “should use this time to speak up and ask for the things they need to be successful, like commensurate pay and professional development opportunities.”
In allowing them this opportunity, you reinforce the fact that they are valued members of the team.
A simple thank you goes a long way in terms of employee recognition ideas.
Choose a nice card and let them know how much of a difference their work makes. If applicable, include praise from colleagues and clients. Even better, tell them this before following up in a note. Doing so will boost their confidence and remind them of their importance in the office.
Tangible gifts are also a great way to say thank you. Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day gift ideas include small items such as planners, desktop succulents, or even flowers. If you’re not sure what type of gift your administrator is likely to appreciate, give a gift card and allow them to treat themselves to what they truly want.
Your administrators work just as hard as upper-level management. According to the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP), one in three supports ten or more people. Keep this in mind and remember that they, too, could use a chance to unwind.
Consider allowing them to take an extra day off or sign off a little early to recharge. You could even go so far as to provide a gift card so they can use the extra time to do something they enjoy.
If time off isn’t feasible, remember that many employees crave opportunities for career development and growth. Perhaps you could offer reimbursement for a training course, certification, or society membership of their choice, such as the ASAP or IAAP.
According to a recent Gallup poll, employees most want public recognition with a certificate or reward.
At Acrylic Warehouse, we specialize in employee recognition rewards that will make every administrator feel special. Our high-quality, affordable employee recognition gifts and awards include Star awards, Glitter & Glo, and custom acrylic cutout awards. With endless combinations of shapes, sizes, and accent colors, our new FUSE line is an excellent option for custom-made, freestanding awards.
Our dedicated team of Recognition Specialists will help you find the best awards to help you thank your administrative team for the great job they’re doing.