Administrative Professionals' Day (formerly known as National Secretaries' Day) was declared in 1942 as a way to honor the people who keep companies running smoothly behind the scenes. It's a holiday (a day observed yearly, actually) with something in common with Valentine's Day: there shouldn't really need to be a mandated holiday when you're required to show your appreciation, but it sure does feel good to get a little extra love once a year.
Whether they say so or not, everyone wants to be appreciated - and administrative professionals are no exception.
But what do they really want? And how do busy bosses pull it off?
It's enough to make overcommitted managers and executives freeze up and bail on the whole idea, but that's a mistake. Dodging a public opportunity to honor someone who works hard for you won't go over well in the short or long term. It can impede your ability to recruit the best in the business. Turning your employees into your biggest advocates doesn't take a lot. Small tokens of appreciation can pay off in the long run. And it's never been easier to show employees how much you appreciate them.
For these 10 gifts, you don't even have to leave your desk:
- Send a cash gift card using Venmo, Paypal or Square. Bonus points for three digits!
- Send an abundance of modern flowers. Bonus points for making their workstation look like a flower shop!
- Send an email of appreciation copying the entire department - or company. Bonus points for adding animated gifs demonstrating heroic efforts not unlike those of your admin!
- Call in a catered lunch. Bonus points for making sure it's his or her favorite food in the world.
- Call a local spa and have them email you a gift certificate that you can forward. Bonus points for scheduling a service and giving them the day off.
- Make a lunch reservation for Wednesday. Bonus points for sending them home right afterward.
- Order concert tickets. Bonus points for hiring a car service or giving them the show date off - or both!
- Coordinate with HR to give your admin a day or more off. Bonus points for coordinating with other managers or executives and arranging a fun excursion for admins who are friends.
- Send them an Audible or iTunes gift card so they can download something fun to listen to throughout the work day. Bonus points for gifting a pair of good headphones to match.
- Invest in a course or a class you know they're interested in taking - something that would help them advance their career or hone a specific skill. Bonus points for giving them the time off to attend!
[Related: How to Make Your Employees Feel Valued]
And, remember, while it's important that anyone in an administrative role feels appreciated on Wednesday, it's also key to make them feel valued year-round. How leaders at your organization actively support and develop their admins matters and will show up in company reviews. To get involved in the conversation on Glassdoor and start managing and promoting your employer brand reputation, unlock your Free Employer Profile today.