This week is Administrative Professionals Week. It’s a time when we recognize our administrative staff and show our appreciation for the fact that—let’s face it—we’d be dead in the water without them. Consider all that they handle. They’re the first line of defense with clients. They manage the flow of projects, make sure that invoices are sent, bills are forwarded, office supplies are stocked and calendars are current. They also play a big role in company culture. Administrative staff ensure that office parties are festive, and that the other employees are appreciated on their special days (birthdays, holidays, anniversaries). And that’s just the short list for Monday mornings.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas on how you can show them that they’re valued and very much appreciated.
Feed Them. Well.
Nobody balks at good food or a long lunch at a nice place. If you’re going to go the food route, consider something above-and-beyond. Find a really nice restaurant nearby, get a good table, and let them go to town on the company’s dime. After all, the partners probably get to do things like this all the time.
Alternatively, you could do a nice dinner out and invite their spouses along. You could even throw in tickets for everyone to go to a great event or show. Going above and beyond here can create a fun, memorable experience.
Flip the Script
One thing that can be a lot of fun—and make for a lot of funny stories later—is tossing the boss into the admin desk for an afternoon. Watching the president of the company try to figure out the reception desk phone or the coffee maker can be pretty funny. Heck, toss up a video on your corporate Facebook page and get your followers and clients in on the action. It’s time for a little payback, right?
Another approach is to have one of the executive team members volunteer to cover the admin duties while the staff go out for their long lunch or enjoy a spa day. Either way, the administrative staff will enjoy themselves and appreciate you walking in their shoes.
Half Day on Friday
An afternoon off can be a great gift to give your admin staff. It offers them a long weekend to relax or knock out some to-do items at home It’s even better if it’s paid time off.
Bring in Some Goodies
Bring in some fresh flowers to liven up the place! You can also bring in some gourmet coffee, donuts, and pastries specifically for the administrative staff. For the healthier folks, you can also get great fruit baskets (e.g., Edible Arrangements).
Some people love to receive public recognition and a great way to do this is to hold an awards ceremony. Awards can include titles such as Clients’ Best Friend, Biggest Cheerleader, and so forth. They can, of course, be funny, too–Biggest Coffee Snob or Office Supply Hoarder, for example. Have fun and tailor it to your corporate culture.
Regardless of what specific thing you choose to do, take the time on a personal level to directly thank your administrative staff. Tell them how much they mean to you and how important they are to the team. Building relationships with your staff is a huge aspect of good leadership and this week provides a great opportunity to make important connections with those who support you every day.