Posts Tagged ‘National Administrative Professionals Week’

Your Right Hand

April 24, 2013

I spent the first half of my working career as an administrative professional.  Of course, we were known as “secretaries” in those days.  No matter what you call them, they are often the unsung heroes of a business.

While they may not be a direct member of our sales force, PresentationMaterialsthey likely are the ones who prepare professional looking presentation materials used in the sales process.  They follow up with vendors to insure critical elements of a project are on time and track shipments.  They generate the invoices that get us paid and review invoices we receive for errors.  They are also our eyes and ears throughout the organization, often aware of problems or concerns before they are obvious to us.

In many cases, they speak to our customers and our vendors more often than we do!

FilingThis is the week designated as “National Administrative Professionals Week”.  They had to give us a week rather than simply a day (which is today, Wednesday) because they knew without our “right hand” nudging us, we’d forget.  This way we have 5 days to do something in recognition and still have it count!

What should you do?  At the very least, a card or FloralArrangementhandwritten note of appreciation.  Other popular choices are flowers, chocolates and taking them out to lunch.    For your own standing in the office, it should be something visible.  Flowers on their desk are seen by coworkers as a sign that you are a caring supervisor.  Same for being seen taking your assistant out to lunch.

OliveGardenIf you are not one who is comfortable socializing with others over lunch, consider flowers and a lunch or dinner gift card.  I actually like this idea because it offers what I call “quality of life enhancements”.    Simply put, your “right hand” makes your work life better by all the little things they do for you so it’s only fitting you do something to make their life a little better too.  An evening out with their loved ones on you (dinner gift card) is a great way.

BillEngvallSame goes for concert or theater tickets if you know there is something they have been wanting to see.  I just got our assistant tickets to see Bill Engvall this summer at the Snoqualmie Casino’s outdoor concert venue.  The additional benefit to you is that the “home team” also enjoys the quality of life enhancement.  This can encourage the support necessary to reduce turnover – think about it – do you have time to recruit, hire and train a new right hand???

shutterstock_46764385There are countless good reasons to embrace Administrative Professional’s Week.  Your coworkers are watching and evaluating your leadership, you have an opportunity to cement employee loyalty and of course, your “right hand” deserves it!

The Right Hand of “god”

April 21, 2010

I started my career as a secretary long before they became known as Administrative Professionals.  For many years, I was proud and happy to be the “right hand of god” and was fortunate enough to have great bosses.  It only seems fitting today to focus on these often unsung heroes of our businesses.

Most executives readily admit they would be lost without their assistants yet many don’t realize it’s National Administrative Professionals Week.  You count on your “right hand” to remind you of important dates, but this would be akin to your spouse reminding you of your anniversary or their birthday – it loses a lot of the luster if they have to tell you – so they won’t.

Consider this your “reminder” so you don’t spend the next couple of weeks in the “office doghouse”.

Flowers, cards, chocolates, lunch are all fine.  Want to do a little more?  A gift card for a massage from a local spa, a dinner gift card in an amount to cover dinner for 2 or gift card at a bookstore for a reader, iTunes for a music lover or coffee card for a caffeine junkie.  Most can be purchased on line or from an expansive display at your neighborhood Safeway store.

These are people who know your personal preferences in everything from restaurants to airline seats; show them you have noticed something about them with your thank you gift.

Beyond acknowledgement of their hard work and dedication during this national recognition week, consider some ways to add fulfillment to this important job all year long. IAAP is the International Association of Administrative Professionals.  They have Chapters all over the world, including several in most major cities.  The group is focused on continuing to build skills and the investment of a membership for your assistant could be money well spent.

Does your assistant have skills and talents beyond the requirements of their job?  If so, is there a way to tap into them in a business capacity? I’ve always been a bit of a hobby photographer.  One of my bosses gave me the opportunity to serve as photographer for the company’s customer golf tournament.  This day out of the office allowed me to make a contribution to the overall success of the event and meet face-to-face clients I had always spoken to on the phone.  Decades later, I still have fond memories and appreciate my boss who saw me as “more than a secretary”.

Take the time to give appropriate recognition and genuine gratitude for your own “right hand” person today.

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