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Honoring Administrative Professionalsí Day All Year Long

- Posted by Matt Nagler, Managing Partner  

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Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

 

If you do admin work, thank you. Being the support that makes organizations and executives function smoothly is challenging work that you make look easy. Sometimes too easy.

           

If you’re the person who is planning on honoring your support staff today, you know this is true. And you know that publically honoring someone’s work once a year is not enough (just ask your mother.)

 

A few months ago, I heard two executives talking about an executive assistant:

 

“Do you think she’ll want to stay in the job?”

 

“Yes. It’s a lot of work, but I think she knows that without her, nothing would ever get done.”

 

Here’s the thing – they were whispering despite the fact that what they were saying was flattering: they were praising her hard work and the fact that she made the office run, while recognizing that she may have been frustrated by the job at times.

 

Administrative Professionals Day is a great day to stop whispering and start shouting. A day to publically saying thank you, to sing the praises of the people who support you, and to recognize the achievements and contributions that too often are overlooked. 

 

It’s also just a start. Honoring staff members once a year is fantastic, but this year let it be a jumping off point. So what are some ways to take today’s celebrations and have them be felt throughout the year?

 

Ask the people you’re honoring what they need

 

Everyone does better work when they feel supported by the people around us. So ask your administrative staff what they need to do their jobs better. And listen to what they say. Acknowledging that they need support is an important first step, acting on it will let them know that you truly honor their work.

 

Invest in professional development

 

Companies rely on their administrative staff to know so many things – how systems work, to know who’s who, to keep and pass on institutional knowledge, to use all sorts of specialty computer programs, to be gatekeepers and more. Professional development is important for all employees – as we know, investing in individuals not only helps them, but the entire company. Ask your staff what kind of training would be helpful, or what they would be interested in; let them know that you recognize and honor their career aspirations.

 

Recognize administrative staff as part of your team

 

In most businesses, admins are the first people clients speak to and see. They’re the literal face of your office and most often doing the behind the scenes work as well. They know how to make sure you’re best supported and are making sure that it’s happening as seamlessly as possible. So when you’re recognizing a team for their achievements, thanking a department for what they contribute to a company or accepting an award or honor, be sure to include your administrative staff as equals in your thanks.

 

So bring on the gifts and lunches and time off, but this year make Administrative Professionals Day one to remember every day.