On Wednesdays when I was growing up, my grandmother would drop me off at my Dad’s work during his lunch break so that we could eat together. Before we’d go chow down, inevitably on chicken nuggets and French fries, I would sit in the secretary’s office and wait for my dad. Miss Tranquili would phone my dad in a loud and confident voice over the intercom and let me sit on her swivel chair. I’d crank the chair as high as it could go before sitting down and letting it deflate beneath me while Miss Tranquili took phone calls, scribbled messages on post-its and stuck them to a giant calendar on the wall.
Wednesdays with Miss Tranquili inspired a multitude of make-believe games for me in which I’d pin back my hair, organize my desk with a cup of pens and pound senselessly on a calculator. Even without understanding exactly what she was doing, I could sense that Miss Tranquili was colossally important to her workplace. Having since worked alongside many “Tranquilis,” that intuition has been confirmed and strengthened, which is why I’m so glad that Administrative Professionals’ Day exists to honor the men and women who tirelessly keep the workplace chugging ahead from the captain’s seat that is so often a swivel chair.
It’s the Thoughtfulness That Counts
Here at Quill.com, building workplace relationships through respect and communication is at the cornerstone of what we believe. So, while the last week of April is set aside to formally celebrate the administrative professionals you know, remember that nothing makes a person feel more appreciated than practicing common courtesy 365 days a year… and then remember that Administrative Professionals’ Day gifts never ever hurt either.
Put It In Writing!
One really effective way to demonstrate how much you value your administrative professional is by sharing kind words with them, especially written words. Even if you’re consistently mindful of your language and offer praise regularly, there is something particularly special about receiving written validation. It shows that you’ve taken notice of the efforts of the people you work with and found those efforts so important that you took the time to etch them in stone… or at least on a handwritten postcard. If that postcard just happens to be nestled into a box of gourmet baked goods, well, all the better, my friend. All. The. Better.
Make it Personal!
Another thing we believe in strongly at Quill.com is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Giving an administrative professional a gift that encourages this balance says that you appreciate him or her as a whole person, above and beyond a job title. Think about the administrative professional you’re thankful for and get him or her a gift that fits into his or her life. It’s hard to go wrong with a thought-out personalized gift! For instance, if this person has a family, a gift certificate to a family fun center might be a fun way for them to spend a Saturday. Of course, a spa gift certificate and a bottle of fancy booze might be just as appropriate.
Thus concludes my brief register of Administrative Professionals’ Day ideas. What other ways do you see fit to show appreciation for the administrative professionals you know? What makes you feel appreciated by your coworkers in the workplace?