Career Advice, Watercooler

How To Honor Your Administrative Professionals

It’s Administrative Professionals Week, and this year, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) is encouraging employers to celebrate all office professionals. “The recession has hit everyone in the office,” according to an IAAP statement. “Downsizing has forced all of us to pull together and work harder, not just the administrative professionals in the workplace.”

So whether someone in the cubicle next to you needs an encouraging word or your admin assistant deserves an extra bit of attention, this week is the week to do it. In 1952, IAAP began sponsoring Administrative Professionals Week as a way to honor office workers, and today, it is one of the largest workplace observances outside of employee birthdays and major holidays.

Administrative Professionals Week is always held during the last full week in April, and the event is celebrated worldwide, bringing together millions of people for community events, educational seminars and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff. According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support roles. More than 475,000 administrative professionals are employed in Canada. Millions more administrative professionals work in offices all over the world.

Here are a few out-of-the-box options for recognizing the support staff that help keep your office running smoothly.

  • Wipe on, wipe off. Springtime pollen is in the air and covering the paint job on your assistant’s car. Spend a little time hand-washing his or her car in the workplace parking lot. If you can’t spare the time away from your desk, call in a car washing company that provides on-site service (and foot the bill).
  • Fire up the grill (or the oven). There may be no better way to show someone that you value them than to cook them a meal. Whether it’s grilled hot dogs in the parking lot, an office potluck, or a gourmet meal served up in the office kitchen (or your own home kitchen), your assistant is sure to appreciate your efforts — and realize how much you appreciate hers all year long.
  • Create a soundtrack. Are there certain songs that reflect your assistant’s work ethic, attitude, or personality? (“She Works Hard for the Money,” anyone?) Join with others in the office to select the songs that bring to mind your assistant, then burn a CD of songs that create his or her own personal playlist.

How will you honor the workers in your office this week?