A blog about reputation, marketing and employee morale.

How to celebrate Administrative Professionals Week

Posted by Janet Smith on April 21, 2008

This is Administrative Professionals Week. And in this country there are (according to the U.S. Department of Labor) 13 million secretaries, administrative assistants, and office support personnel who would all appreciate knowing just how much they are appreciated.

This annual event is the real deal—not some celebration conceived by the greeting card, candy, or floral industries as a way to boost sales. It was started and is still sponsored by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) to recognize the significant contributions of administrative professionals, and to encourage the professional growth of those who have chosen this career.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I would never discourage anyone from giving flowers, cards, and chocolate to demonstrate appreciation! If you have an administrative professional in your life, and you believe that person enjoys flowers, cards, and/or chocolate—then by all means, give beautiful flowers, a lovely card, and delicious chocolates! But there’s something else that you must do.

The IAAP asked many of its 40,000 members how they would prefer to be recognized during Administrative Professionals Week. The most common response? Opportunities for learning and growth. Administrative assistants (and office managers, secretaries, and the many others whose titles or job descriptions fall into the administrative professional category) say they would love to be rewarded with professional development opportunities including:

  • Membership and support for participating in professional organizations such as IAAP.
  • Reimbursement for online training programs in technology, administrative, and management skills.
  • Registration for pertinent conferences, seminars, and continuing education workshops.
  • Payment of and support for attaining professional certification such as IAAP’s Certified Administration Professional or Certified Professional Secretary programs.

This week, sit down with the administrative person that you can’t live without, and together, develop a plan for his or her professional growth. When you combine that vitally important conversation with a card, flowers and chocolates…your administrative assistant will have serious bragging rights, and will feel honored in the most important ways.

Employees who are given opportunities to learn and grow professionally on the job are happier and more engaged at work. They are more loyal to their employers. They are much more likely to be true ambassadors of the organization. This is good for everyone…and it’s great for your organization’s reputation.

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