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 have the job and celebration.
This day of recognition has gone through several makeovers to reflect changing administrative titles and responsibilities in the modern workforce. While its moniker has changed, the purpose of Administrative Professionals Day remains the same: to celebrate and shed light on administrative professionals’ devoted, valued work.
With remote and hybrid teams becoming part of the new normal, recognizing the efforts of your support staff is more important than it’s ever been. At most companies, administrative professionals have been the glue for the teams they support, tackling new challenges and exhibiting grace under pressure while helping employees stay connected, engaged and productive during the pandemic.
Are there team members you’d like to honour? Even with many employees working remotely, there are still ways to celebrate the administrative professionals you regularly work with. The International Association of Administrative Professionals, one of the original sponsors of Administrative Professionals Day, offers a listing of events to celebrate your support team. Every year, this day of recognition falls on the Wednesday of the last full week of April. Mark these dates on your calendar:
- 2021: April 21
- 2022: April 27
- 2023: April 26
In some companies, Administrative Professionals Week is devoted to celebrating the office’s treasured administrative staff. Considering the amount of work that they do, it’s no wonder that many managers and employees alike feel these colleagues merit so much recognition.
The value of administrative professionals
Administrative roles are incredibly diverse — and these professionals often go above and beyond their regular duties.
Administrative professionals provide real benefit to the people they support and the organization at large, and their work should not go unnoticed. And given the important role many administrative staff play in assisting their teams in today’s business environment, they deserve their time in the spotlight more than ever.
Sharing appreciation on Administrative Professionals Day and beyond
If you’re looking for ways to honour your support staff, going the traditional route and sending a gift card is still a solid choice. If you’re searching for a more unique way of showing your appreciation while working remotely, try one of these ideas:
A kind word — A thank-you can go a long way, but don’t leave it at that. Let your administrative staff know how their work has helped you or the department. Share praise from happy clients, celebrate achievements and recognize your staff publicly by acknowledging their contributions with peers. An even nicer touch is a verbal commendation followed by a thank-you card or e-card. Administrative professionals can keep these accolades, 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 flexibility to log off early to recharge. Or if extra time off isn’t feasible, consider a gift card so they can treat themselves to something they enjoy.
New opportunities — Show your administrative team members that you’re invested in their future by offering new 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 contributions and career growth and have confidence in their skills and abilities.
Professional development — Offer reimbursement for professional organization memberships or online courses. Administrative professionals are eager to learn and expand their skills, and they need to stay abreast of the latest technologies and best practices in their field. When you encourage employees to grow in their careers, the result benefits the entire team.
Hardworking staff members 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 administrative professional’s day.