It is Administrative Professionals Week and on Wednesday it is Administrative Professionals Day. Make sure you do something special to acknowledge these hardworking professionals who make your work run smoothly and keep you organized.
Following are eight ways to consider on how to appreciate these special people even virtually in this time of remote working because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Review the recognition profile of your assistant. If you know your administrative assistant well enough, as you should, you will already know exactly how they like to be recognized and what their personal interests, likes and dislikes are. Now it is just a matter of fitting those needs and interests into options that are currently available to you and giving the way they like to be recognized.
- Send your administrative assistants a personalized video. Create a video greeting “card” either as a stand-alone video link or through a video messaging card on your online recognition platform to acknowledge your administrative staff for all they do for you. Pass along the video opportunity to as many staff as possible to participate, along with guidelines on best ways to express meaningful recognition and tips on how to use proper lighting and sound quality for the video.
- Make any ecard messaging stand out. Invest in some exceptionally well-designed ecards by subscribing to special ecard sites beyond the free ecard versions, and send a meaningful message expressing your appreciation for who they are and for all that they do for you and the team. Share a recent example of their great work and be specific on how their action impacted you and others.
- Send anything tangible with safeguards. Unless you have prepared a week or two ago it may not be easy to show appreciation with tangible gifts like you normally do. However, if you are still able to find and deliver gifts such as flowers, a gift card, or chocolates, make sure you accompany them with disinfectant wipes to prevent concerns with spreading virus through touched items delivered to them.
- Don’t forget to give them a call on Administrative Assistant’s Day. With most assistants having to work remotely right now, make sure to pick up the phone or FaceTime them to personally thank them. Sometimes you can be so thoughtful in doing advanced planning of sending gifts and greetings you might neglect to actually give them a quick personal call to thank them as well
- Strengthen their skills in the downtime. Help your assistants professionally and personally develop their skills and interests especially if there are some downtime moments or even for after work hours. Provide them available competency skills training through online courses via LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and those from your professional associations. But also consider investing in MasterClass, Skillshare, or Udacity, as a rare gift to develop themselves in subjects of a more personal benefit.
- Take some time off from work. There may not be too many places to go and visit with lock downs and stay at home orders going on. But encourage your assistant to remove themselves from where they usually work for a half-day or a full day off. Encourage them to do something for themselves, or for someone else. Set the expectation for them to share with you afterward what they did and how they felt removing themselves from work for the given time period.
- Deliver great recipes and menu ingredients. This is for assistants who love to cook or bake. Perhaps you can’t get a gift certificate to them in time, but you live close enough to do a drop by delivery. Find a delicious meal and/or dessert and write up the recipes for them. Now go and purchase all the ingredients and deliver your own do-it-yourself dinner and/or treat in a box for them to make up and leave on their doorstep and call them up to open the door and greet and thank them, from a distance of 6 feet, of course. Remember to include wipes.
Never forget that it is the little things that make a big difference in people’s lives if you find you can’t do any of the suggestions listed above. And it will always be not remembering them that will be the biggest let down.
Recognition Reflection: How will you show appreciation to your administrative assistants in these challenging times of remote working from home?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.