Administrative Professionals Day: An Opportunity to Say Thank You

By Robert Half April 22, 2019 at 7:03am

Before there was an Administrative Professionals Day, there was a National Secretaries Day, created in 1952. We’ve come a long way since then, and so has the role and the celebration.

This day of recognition has gone through several makeovers to reflect changing administrative job titles and responsibilities in the modern economy. While its moniker has changed, the purpose of Administrative Professionals Day has remained the same: to celebrate and shed light on administrative professionals’ devoted, valued work.

Are there admins in your office you’d like to honour? Every year, Administrative Professionals Day falls on the Wednesday of the last full week of April. Mark these dates on your calendar:

  • 2019: April 24
  • 2020: April 22
  • 2021: April 21

In some offices, Administrative Professionals Week — the last week of April — is devoted to celebrating the office’s treasured administrative staff. Considering the amount of work that they do, it’s no wonder.

The real MVPs

According to the latest Canadian census, there are more than 1.8 million office and administrative professionals working in Canada. Their roles are incredibly diverse — and often, these professionals go above and beyond their regular duties.

Administrative professionals provide real benefits to the people they support and the organization at large, and their work doesn’t go unnoticed. Of the senior managers polled in a new OfficeTeam survey, 80 per cent said their company is at least somewhat effective at recognizing employees for good performance.

Sharing appreciation on Administrative Professionals Day and beyond

In the OfficeTeam survey, managers described various ways they show appreciation to administrative staff on Administrative Professionals Day, such as organizing a celebration or lunch at work or providing a handwritten thank-you note.

If you’re looking for ways to honour your support staff, going the traditional route — lunch or even flowers — is a solid choice. But if you’re searching for a more unique way of showing your staff appreciation, try one of these ideas:

  • Professional development — Offer reimbursement for professional conferences, organization memberships or courses. Administrative professionals are eager to learn and expand their skills, and they need to stay abreast of the latest technologies and best practices. When you encourage employees to grow in their careers, the result benefits the entire team.
  • Some extra cash — Money is always a welcome surprise. Consider providing a spot bonus or a salary increase. Monetary rewards are the form of recognition employees value the most.
  • A kind word — A simple thank-you can go a long way. But don’t only say it and leave it at that. Let your admins know how their work has helped you or the department. Share praise from happy clients, celebrate achievements and recognize your staff publicly — in front of peers. An even nicer touch is a verbal commendation followed by a handwritten note. Administrative professionals can display such a card or note on their desk, reminding them of how much they are appreciated.
  • Rest and relaxation — Administrative professionals work hard, and it can be difficult to find personal time to unwind. Give them some extra vacation days to recharge or spend time doing things they enjoy. If extra vacation time isn’t feasible, consider a gift card to a local spa or their favorite restaurant or tickets to a cultural or sporting event.
  • New opportunities — Show your admins that you’re invested in their future by periodically offering professional challenges and opportunities. If they are interested, ask them to oversee a project or encourage them to consider joining a mentorship program. A gesture like this will show that you value a staff member’s work and contributions and have confidence in their skills and abilities.

Hard-working administrative professionals will likely appreciate any act of gratitude, no matter how big or small. Even if you’re working with a limited budget, you can make an admin’s day.

Are you trying to express your deep appreciation for the administrative professionals in your workplace? Download our tip sheet, 20 Easy Recognition Tips to Help Employees Work Happy, for ways to best show your staff the gratitude and recognition they deserve.

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