Hallmark and 1-800-Flowers begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-Flowers end_of_the_skype_highlighting consider it a holiday, and if you’re a small business manager you should too. We’re talking about Administrative Professionals Day, commonly known as Secretary’s Day (the International Association of Administration Professionals (IAAP) formally changed it in 2000). Forgetting to recognize this day is almost as bad as forgetting your spouse’s birthday, your wedding anniversary, or refilling Fido’s food dish. In other words, it’s a big deal!
Administrative Professionals Day is observed on the Wednesday (April 27 this year) of the last full week of April, but to the delight of secretaries, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals it’s celebrated the entire week.
Although the event is celebrated worldwide with gifts, cards, candy, and flowers, the IAAP suggests that employers honor their administrative staff by providing growth, training, and career-related opportunities. Instead of, or better yet, in addition to the traditional gifts, try to put even just one of these unique ideas in place this year:
1) Certification attainment financial support - Both the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) and Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) are broadly recognized standards for administrative support excellence. Exams are held two times a year: in May and November.
2) Seminars, webinars, and podcasts - Find a local motivational speaker seminar, such as those by Brian Tracy or Steven Covey and send your administrative professional. If you can’t afford the seminar price tag, opt for motivational books, CDs, or MP3s. Alternatively, consider allowing time off to attend a free webinar such as this one sponsored by Adecco, which also qualifies for CPS/CAP re-certification credit.
3) Reimbursements for online classes - Not only are administrative skills classes available online, but so are technology and management classes. Why not reimburse your administrative support personnel to upgrade their computer skills, such as with an Excel or advanced PowerPoint class?
4) Professional organization memberships - Consider reimbursing membership fees for professional organizations such as the IAAP, which range from $98 to $195 annually for new members and $83 to $180 for renewals, depending on the membership level.
5) Continuing education - This includes tuition reimbursement for college classes to work toward a degree.
6) Business-related gifts - Additional gift item ideas include business-related tokens of appreciation, such as personalized business cards, ergonomically correct work accessories, a desktop nameplate, portable electronic devices, software upgrades, or computer hardware upgrades.