By Liz Alton
Your office administrator spends every day helping the workplace run smoothly — odds are, they handle a lot of tasks you aren't even aware of. Administrative Professionals Day (April 25) is your annual opportunity to let those hardworking team members know that the whole office appreciates their work. While simply saying a sincere "thank you" is always a good move, there's a lot more you can do to make your office administrator feel valued and supported.
Here are five ideas to make this Administrative Professionals Day one to remember.
1. Invest in Tools They Need
Now is an opportunity to ask your office manager if you could provide any extra tools that might make their job easier. It could be a device, such as a tablet, to check email on the go or a barcode scanner to make tracking office supply inventory a little simpler. Maybe your administrator could benefit from a project management system, or from having materials to better manage scheduling and organization. Not sure what would help them most? Ask! Not only will your admin appreciate this gift, but you'll also capture ongoing productivity benefits as part of your business.
2. Offer Professional Development Courses
What skills would help your administrator grow? From courses on using Microsoft products to specialized knowledge in managing social media accounts, helping arrange for professional development classes shows you want to support their career. With online training courses, industry conferences and in-person classes covering almost every business subject, it's possible to find an educational gift that fits your admin's interests and learning style.
3. Reverse Roles for Event Planning
There's no doubt that event planning takes up a significant portion of your administrative professional's time. Say thank you by arranging an event this Administrative Professionals Day, without asking them to do the heavy lifting. Plan and organize a themed lunch, team dinner or afternoon coffee with pastries, and let your admin relax and enjoy the experience — instead of playing host.
4. Offer an Afternoon Off
Extend an offer for your office administrator to take off a few hours early or have a long lunch on April 25. It's similar to the informal practice of letting employees leave early the Friday before a long weekend — but this time, it's a privilege extended to just one person. When personal time is in short supply, time off to spend as you'd like is a valued commodity.
5. When in Doubt, Get a Gift Card
There's always the tried-and-true gift card. It's a practical gift, but it can be personalized, too. What restaurants does your administrative pro prefer? What retail outlets do they frequently rave about? Ask other staff members for ideas if you're uncertain.
However you choose to celebrate the day, make sure you pair your gift with a heartfelt note, signed by the staff, that mentions some of this person's unique contributions to your workplace. Your office administrator works hard — make sure they know how much you appreciate them.