Today there are about four million administrative professionals in the workplace. Admins handle everything from correspondence and scheduling to website maintenance and arranging office meals and celebrations. Their jobs are difficult and vital to the success of an organization, and they deserve to be recognized.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to thank the administrative professionals in your office, you’re in luck. The Wednesday during the last full week in April marks Administrative Professionals Day, an unofficial national holiday, declared in 1952, to celebrate the people who keep offices running smoothly 24/7.
What’s the best way to honor your hard-working team? Follow these dos and don’ts to make sure your celebration makes everyone feel respected and appreciated all year long.
Recognize Admins All Year
A single day can’t stand in for regular feedback and fair compensation and benefits. The most meaningful employee feedback is timely, specific, and sincere. Unfortunately, many professionals don’t feel they get enough recognition at work. In one survey, only 29 percent of employees said they always know whether they’re doing a good job. And in another survey 65 percent of employees said they want more meaningful and honest feedback on the job. It’s important to recognize admins for the large role they play in short term and long term projects that benefit the entire company, such as moving, updating systems, office gatherings, and holiday parties.
In general, employee recognition backfires when some employees feel left out. When it comes to Administrative Professionals Day, there are a few special pitfalls to look out for. You may not consider certain employees to be administrative professionals, but they may see themselves that way and feel left out during your celebration. Be sure to include office or operations managers, HR coordinators, and bookkeepers. How can you avoid offending anyone or leaving anyone out? De-emphasize job titles and celebrate all of the people in your office who do administrative work in the same thoughtful way.
Go Gender Neutral
While flowers and perfume were traditionally given on Administrative Professionals Day, it’s time for an upgrade. Consider more gender-neutral gifts, such as indoor plants or gift cards.
Most people can detect a thoughtful gift from a token gift. If recognition feels fake or phoned in, employees feel the opposite of valued. Take the time to write authentic, personalized cards to let administrative professionals know how important they are to the company. Check the spelling of employees’ names twice. And if you give gifts, make sure they suit the recipients. For instance, it may not be the best idea to give a devout tea drinker a coffee maker.
Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to be engaged with and excited about work. Administrative Professionals Day is a great opportunity to show your employees how much you respect and admire their hard work and dedication to your company. By following these tips, the administrative professionals in your office will feel even more valued on Administrative Professionals Day than they do during the rest of the year.