Administrative professionals’ oil the wheels of every business: from administrative and executive assistants, receptionists, client service specialists, and others. Regardless of the role, they all do the vital work that keeps the wheels of progress efficiently moving forward.
This is especially true for admin professionals working in high-pressure environments requiring intensive admin and paperwork. Every industry segment from manufacturing to agribusiness and food to healthcare requiring aggressive timelines or rigid regulatory compliance standards that require the attention to detail and commitment of high performing admin talent to meet objectives.
In the US, the concept of showing appreciation to admin professionals began in 1952 with the creation of National Secretaries Day. As it became obvious that the functional area of administration could not be adequately attributed to secretaries alone, this day of recognition was subsequently changed to Administrative Professionals Day. Despite a name change and other changes over the past several decades, the purpose of recognizing admin professionals remains to celebrate the diverse and valued work of admin professionals everywhere.
In my role as a member of the recruitment profession, I’ve become acutely aware that remote work teams supported by remote admin staff is part of the post-pandemic normal. Admin team members remain more important than ever in that they literally serve as the glue for the organizations and teams they support helping them to remain connected, engaged, efficient and productive. As a frontline recruiting facilitator, I know how important optimal admin professionals are to my clients.
Perhaps you have employees or team members you’d like to show appreciation to? Bear in mind that the date varies from country to country. Here in the United States, we celebrate National Administrative Professionals Day on April 21st. Employers in Canada celebrate their admin professionals on April 28th while employers in Mexico honor their admins on July 21st and our partner in Sao Paulo, Brazil celebrates on September 9th. Regardless of where you’re located, the concept of honoring your admin support team is universal. Since we celebrate this week, I’d like to share some ideas on honoring your admin team. Of course, who says you have to wait until a formal day of celebration to extend your appreication?
If you have some creative ideas for valuing your amazing staff, please feel free to share them with me via my email at the bottom of this post.
Inspired by Gary Chapman’s concept of the five love languages, Dr. Paul White extended the applications of the love languages in showing appreciation in the workplace. Here are some ideas on how to show gratitude towards your admin staff (and all your employees for that matter) using the same concepts:
1. Commending them for their work
As simple as verbally saying “Thank you for your hard work” or “You’re doing a great job” can greatly help in boosting an employee’s morale, and more so for unsung heroes like the admin staff. For those whose work is done remotely, a thank-you email may also suffice.
Our St Louis-based Javier Iglesias knows a bit about extending gratitude in diverse locales. In his previous HR leadership role for Ingersoll Rand, he held responsibility for supporting employees across the US, Mexico and Brazil. Javier states that the human touch is simply irreplaceable, and he encourages managers to make their expressions of gratitude personal whenever possible.
2. Improving their workspace, upgrading their tools or team building
This is especially helpful for admin staff working in the industrial/manufacturing industry and those in professional services and eCommerce where the right tools and technology can make all the difference in making their jobs easier. You may ask for feedback beforehand to see what aspects of their workspace need improvement or check whether certain hardware and software they use are already outdated.
Our Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Fabiana Zanini and our Javier Iglesias both mention that small team building exercises are especially effective in Latin American culture. Both indicate that a very effective exercise that shows appreciation while also promoting solidarity and engagement is to have team member’s individually approach admin support staff with a handwritten note with a single key word that represents what that person means to the team along with a handshake or hug.
3. Giving concrete gifts
Gifts like flowers and food are simple yet good ideas that show your appreciation. Make your gift all the more special by including a personalized note or giving them something that they need (e.g., a new ergonomic chair, laptop stands, etc).
4. Giving an extra day-off or break from work
For busy admin staff, there’s nothing more refreshing than granting them an extra day-off for them to spend with their family. Chapman’s reference to the value of quality time is echoed by our Javier Iglesias. Javier states that he would regularly honor his admin staff on Administrative Professionals Day in the US, Mexico and Brazil with either a team lunch or arrange to take specific individuals to lunch outside of the office. If a team lunch or lunch appointment isn’t possible, consider giving them a break from work, such as taking a day or an afternoon off to spend time with their family.
Appreciating the people who work for you starts even before they become officially your employees—that is, it begins at the recruitment stage. Hiring managers must have the requisite skills and intuition to see the value of a candidate’s talents and capabilities during the hiring process, as well as contributing to the leadership needed to provide the engagement and motivation that will drive greater productivity as well as retention rates.
While Administrative Professionals Day is upon us here in the US, we believe that the concept of mutual respect and appreciation is a mindset that every manager should have both as fellow humans but also as effective managers. Employees that are valued and appreciated are engaged employees which typically translate into greater productivity and rates of retention.
Here at The QualiFind Group, we’ve had more than two decades of experience working with various industries for their professional headhunting and recruitment needs. Sometimes those needs are predicated on recruiting to fill a position vacancy left open by someone seeking a better fit elsewhere. We find there is no one-size-fits-all recruitment solution which is why we employ a customized recruitment approach for each and every client. Our mission is to always make our client’s next hire their best hire.
Contact us at https://www.qualifindgroup.com/en/contact/ to learn more!
Carlos Acosta is the practice leader of The QualiFind Group specializing in providing an array of direct hire recruitment as well as project recruitment, also known as Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). Carlos leads our recruiting practice comprised of recruiters, researchers and support staff strategically located across the Americas from Canada, the USA, Mexico to Brazil. Carlos can be reached at 619-240-2638 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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