Celebrating Your Administrative Professional

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For many Administrative Professionals, the last year brought a lot of change.  Some moved to a work-at-home environment, with profound changes to their daily tasks.  Others stayed or returned to the front desk, gathering the mail, sending out supplies, watering plants and taking care of an often-remote workforce and customer base.

Celebrating Administrative Professional’s Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the impact of the last year, while also thanking those providing administrative support to the organization.  Here are some factors to consider in celebrating the day:

  • Public or private recognition, or both? Some administrative assistants love full team acknowledgement, while others would prefer a quiet but genuine word of thanks from you.  Some would appreciate both. Gauge preferences, so you are giving thanks in the way that will be most appreciated.
  • Does your administrative professional want to be acknowledged as one? Not all administrative staff like to be characterized as “administrative,” and may not appreciate being called out in that way. Consider how the person views their own role – what you see as celebrating a special day, they may see as undermining their role.
  • Check with other managers. It is always best to calibrate with other managers to see what they are doing with their front desk team. People talk, and it can be embarrassing to have one team do something for an assistant and to have others avoid the event. While it is important to personalize the acknowledgement, fairness and consistency across the organization will avoid unintended problems.
  • Acknowledge the last year. Few workplaces look the same as a year ago — even if operations continued unabated, your administrative professionals have likely experienced — and have even led — some changes in the workplace.  Be sure to highlight any special effort your administrative assistant has invested — marking the uniqueness of the moment is an important way to express appreciation.
  • Consider a context-appropriate gift. Consider a gift that marks this unique moment in time. If many team members are still remote, take a screen shot of the team during a video meeting, with each person holding up a “thank you” sign.  If appropriate for your culture, give the person a set of masks that reflect their favorite colors or the organization’s brand.

It has been a unique year for many administrative professionals – assessing the impact of the year and tailoring your thanks to the situation and the person can help mark the moment in a meaningful way.

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