Administrative Professionals Week (April 25 – 29) is now the most widely observed workplace recognition event. The International Association of Administrative Professionals organized the first Secretaries’ Week in 1952 to recognize secretaries for their contribution in the workplace.
Where would we be without our administrative professionals? On April 25th to 29th remember to honor and acknowledge all those people at work who help make our lives easier – our personal assistants, office managers, secretaries and clerical supervisors, free up our time, leaving us to do what we do best.
Often, we take them and what they do for granted and forget to recognize the fact that our success is often dependant on their being there for us. But how do you maintain a professional relationship with your assistant, and still show your appreciation for their work?
Why not show how much you appreciate them this time of the year. Here are 5 helpful tips, based on the experience of some of our clients:
1. Hand write a thank-you note. Sending an email or texting is of course a lot faster but a handwritten note is a much more personal and warm gesture. Your assistant will appreciate it.
2. Recognize them publicly.
If you are thanking your assistant on behalf of the department or group, then by all means use email. Make sure you copy the relevant members of the department or group on the email. This will show public recognition of your assistant’s contribution and hard work.
3. Be specific. Spell out exactly what your assistant is being thanked for. For example, you can thank her for being proactive; for taking the initiative in doing something without being told; for working long hours under stressful conditions; or simply for just being an invaluable member of the team.
4. Consider sending a small gift, especially if your assistant has performed very well. Your assistant will appreciate it if you consider his/her personal interests when choosing a gift. This will show your thoughtfulness. Homemade food, flowers, gift baskets, a spa visit or gift certificates to your assistant’s favorite restaurant will make great `emotionally neutral’ gifts.
5. Avoid gifts that are too utilitarian. Nobody wants a gift that is directly job related, even if they are state-of-the-art pencil sharpeners or computer monitor screens! Not only are such gifts considered big letdowns, it will imply that you have not bothered getting to know your assistant enough to know their personal interests. If your assistant has always been putting your needs and requirements ahead of his or her own, you can do the same this upcoming appreciation week.
Be creative, and take this opportunity to say `Thank you’ to the people who matter.