In a well-run business, there’s always one group (or maybe just one individual) who “makes things happen.” Your office may call them an administrator, coordinator, assistant, business manager—or any number of titles.) No matter how you refer to them, you know they are the backbone of the business. They are the behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes of the office who set schedules, order necessary supplies, field phone calls, and keep presentations polished. Without them, business wouldn’t run as usual.
And, of course, they do it with an attitude that exudes professionalism and hospitality. Great admins have an almost magical ability to anticipate needs and effortlessly move pieces into place without breaking a sweat.
Administrative Professionals’ Day is celebrated every April to recognize the unique and critical role these individuals play in moving business forward. And, as businesses grow and change, more and more professionals are falling under this umbrella term. Since these collaborators play such a significant role in your success, how can you appropriately acknowledge their contributions?
Recognize and encourage growth
Last year was a challenge, and many administrative professionals found themselves working harder than ever to run offices that ceased to exist physically. For those working in frontline professions, like healthcare, “making things happen” became exponentially more complicated and dangerous.
Your admins may have taken on new responsibilities and challenges that would have otherwise been out of reach or years away. But when much of the world had to stop working, it was support staffers who got to work. This is the perfect time to acknowledge and recognize their vital contributions.
With a shift toward more remote work and a greater focus on work-life balance, some executive assistants are worried about their future in a remote world, even after a marathon year. Now would be a great time to check in on your admin team and consider their career paths, goals, and aspirations to see how you can support their growth.
Create an environment of gratitude
Even with the ability to communicate 24/7, we often fall short of consistently recognizing quality work. Studies show that employee recognition results in higher engagement, job satisfaction, and loyalty— factors every company values for employee retention. Administrative assistants are often tasked with the kind of work that rarely gets noticed, despite the fact that their work is vital to an organization’s day-to-day operations. Unfortunately, that usually means their work is underappreciated.
When leadership commits to leading by example and creating an environment that encourages gratitude, everyone feels the effects. Take a few minutes (like right now! As you’re reading this blog) to email or Slack your admin to say, “I genuinely appreciate your hard work,” which is enough to make anyone’s day.
Make your gifts meaningful
Administrative professionals, like any staff member, should be recognized year-round. But Administrative Professionals Day is a good reminder to extend that gratitude here and now. Because admins are usually the people orchestrating the gift-giving, company-wide appreciation initiatives, it’s an excellent opportunity to surprise them with a thoughtful expression of thanks.
- Organize a digital “ card” with messages from the team on why they appreciate your admin team member.
- Have a special surprise delivered to their door that not only pampers and treats them but also gives back to the community in a meaningful way.
- Grant bonus time off, to spend with their friends or family (or however they wish) to acknowledge that your admin’s hard work affords the team the same kind of privilege.
In whatever way you decide to recognize the administrative professional on your team, be sure to be genuine and sincere. Take the time to show them that they are an indispensable and crucial part of your organization’s success. They deserve it.