Each April, offices across the country (and beyond) mark”Administrative Professionals Day®. According to www.timeanddate.com, “Administrative Professionals Day® highlights the important role of administrative professionals in all sectors of the modern economy worldwide. It is on the Wednesday of Administrative Professionals Week®, which is on the last full week of April.”
In fact, this commemoration isn’t so modern. It began as National Secretaries Week in 1952 with Wednesday designated as Secretaries Day. That morphed into Professional Secretaries Week® and Professional Secretaries Day®, becoming in 2000, “Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day to keep pace with changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of the modern administrative workforce. Many work environments across the world observe this event.”
Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Veterans Day and Earth Day (also an April celebration), some observances are relegated to one day a year, when remembering their significance on a daily basis truly is what they deserve.
Think of the administrative people you work with – or that you are! What do their duties encompass that you could do without? I suspect that “none” is the universal answer to that question. From data entry to ensuring smooth computer operations to research to continuing education to dealing with clients, customers and vendors to answering phones and addressing questions to ordering lunch and making coffee (yes, that still exists) to trudging into the office on snow days to document creation to taking abruptness and letting it roll off their backs…and the many, many other duties that you could likely add. I know of no business that could operate efficiently without its support staff.
Appreciation is the key. A daily thank you from higher-ups and an occasional lunch out of the office…nothing ensures job satisfaction more than appreciation. Yes, salary and benefits are significant, but they do not operate in a vacuum to assure the happiness of a worker. That occasional lunch also serves as more than a thank you. It allows away-from-the-office time to foster open communications and engage support staff in arriving at decisions that affect them. What a concept – teamwork that includes the boss!
Here’s a quote from Douglas Conant, whose LinkedIn page describes him as “Championing Leadership That Works in the 21st Century. “I strongly believe that you can’t win in the marketplace unless you win first in the workplace. If you don’t have a winning culture inside, it’s hard to compete in the very tough world outside.”
Thank you, Administrative Professionals.