Plan your recognition now for Administrative Professionals Day — next Wednesday, April 22 — and send a clear message to your admin staff that their work is not only crucial to your operation, but appreciated.
They deserve your recognition now more than ever.
Administrative professionals in today’s workplace are swamped with responsibilities, according to a recent Staples survey.
According to the New York Times article “Assistants, Yes, But They Can Do It All,” the digital era puts administrative professionals at the front-line of new technology adoption and synthesizing large amounts of information.
Read on to learn more about the rapidly-changing role of support staff and the best ways to communicate your gratitude on Administrative Professionals Day.
‘Admins Are The Backbone’
The notion of a traditional “steno-typist-receptionist” is as dated as AMC’s hit show Mad Men.
It’s likely that your administrative staff is no longer on the periphery of your daily business operation, but at its heart.
With expanded duties and tech skills, assistants these days are, “expected to perform as managers,” Melba J. Duncan of The Duncan Group tells The New York Times.
They also provide more support to more people, according to the Beyond blog post “The Changing World of Administrative Assistants.” The one-manager, one-secretary model is a relic: “Instead, administrative assistants will now support entire departments. Those who can multitask and leverage the capabilities of increasingly sophisticated automated office tools will be in demand.”
A recent Staples survey found admins are handling increased workloads. It also found that admins generally thrive in a pressurized environment and are excellent employees. In the survey, admins rated better than even their bosses at creative problem-solving, having a sense of humor, and being tech-savvy team players.
“Admins are the backbone of businesses everywhere,” says Mike Edwards, executive vice president for Staples merchandising.
Why Plan Your ‘Thanks’ Ahead of Time?
Administrative professionals spend their days coordinating and planning for everyone else. Now’s your chance to invest some planning into thanking them for Administrative Professionals Day.
A dashed-off note or verbal thanks won’t go unappreciated, but it will be significantly more meaningful when you put thought and time into your “thank you!”
5 Ideas for Sharing gratitude for Administrative Professionals Day:
1. Take 20 minutes to hand-write a thank-you note. Don’t worry, there’s no need to compose a novel. In fact, it might be a good idea to spend 15 minutes thinking and 5 minutes writing. The thought and care you put into it are more important than length.
2. Accompany your notes with a small token of your appreciation, like a cheerful spring bouquet or a gift certificate. There’s something special about sharing gifts that can’t be communicated in a note or word of praise — maybe it’s in that magical moment when you hand someone a gift and watch their eyes light up. You know they feel appreciated.
3. Bring in breakfast for the whole staff on Wednesday. Sharing a meal together starts the day off on a positive, communal note. Make sure to tell employees beforehand of your plans so they come to work hungry!
4. This year, Administrative Professionals Day coincides with Earth Day! Why not take your administrative staff out for a celebration with nature? Visit your local plant conservatory or botanical gardens, or go on a “Happy Hour” guided nature hike together. Distribute small plants to plant at home as a gift of thanks.
5. Coordinate with other managers for a show of gratitude. Less than a week is left until Administrative Professionals Day, but that’s enough time to coordinate your “thank you” with other managers in your division or office. Put your minds together and have fun with it. Your administrative staff will appreciate the combined effort and coordination.
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement, respect and appreciation, be sure to download our free e-book, “The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should be Reading”.
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