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Five Quick & Easy Ways to Celebrate Administrative Professionals Week

Filing paperwork, maintaining schedules, stocking office supplies, handling phone calls and e-mails… Administrative professionals do a lot of work for us, and Administrative Professionals Week is the perfect time to pay it back.

Administrative Professionals Week, the last week of April, was started by the National Secretaries Association in 1952 as National Secretaries Week. As the job title of secretary has fallen out of favor, the name has changed to reflect newer titles, and the founding organization is now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). According to the IAAP, the week was created to “recognize the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend," and to call attention "through favorable publicity, to the tremendous potential of the secretarial career." .

Since many businesses no longer use secretary as a job title, it’s important to consider who should be recognized during Administrative Professionals Week. The IAAP defines administrative professionals as employees responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in an office-related environment. As such, administrative assistants, office coordinators and executive assistants would all fall under this definition. .

Here are five quick ways you can show your administrative professionals some extra appreciation:

  1. PTO certificates or coupons: Some employees may think a certificate is cheesy, but they’ll love getting the actual time off. By creating a coupon, you can clearly define the rules for redeeming it, like getting approval a week ahead of time or heeding certain blackout dates.

  2. Food parties: Whether it’s lunch, breakfast or a special treat, most people love to get free food. You don’t have to go gourmet either; think pizza, bagels, ice cream or candy.

  3. Longer breaks: Just for this week, consider doubling your employee breaks, even if only for one day. If your office is busy, you can stagger the double-time reward throughout the week by department or some other scheduling method.

  4. Thank you cards: The key here is to avoid giving out cards with generic messages. For the greatest impact, the manager of the administrative professional should address and sign the card. Cite specific examples, like, “I really appreciated the hard work you took to update our filing system,” or, “You did a really great job setting up the conferences and reviews during the end of the year.”

  5. Office pets: If any of your administrative employees are animal lovers, allow them to bring in their furry friend for a day. Research has shown having a dog or cat in the office lowers stress levels and boosts morale, too.

Whichever way (or ways) you choose to reward your administrative staff, make sure that you’re the one taking care of it. This should be obvious, but don’t delegate the task of rewarding your administrative staff to your administrative staff. This is the week when you need to coordinate these efforts yourself.