Appreciate the people who keep your office running smoothly.

They're a vital part of nearly every office. They're the glue that holds the whole ship together. The translate terrible writing in to fluent communications. They keep up with industry trends and make your company look good. They predict problems and find solutions.

They're your administrative professionals — and this year, April 22nd is a day set aside to honor administrative professionals for all they do: Administrative Professionals Day!

Admit it. Your office would fall apart without these unsung heroes. On April 22nd, Administrative Professionals Day, it's time to finally sing their praises. Here are a few ideas how you can show them how much you appreciate them in ways that they'll truly enjoy.

Give an extra day off.

Who wouldn't like an extra day for a long weekend? If your company allows a little flexibility in these things, there are very few things your hard-working AP would like more on Administrative Professionals Day. Vacation days are closely guarded and judiciously used throughout the year. To get one, extra, guilt-free day off is a treasure.

Not only that, science has shown that three-day weekends are good for you. By giving your AP that extra day off, you're actually showing how much you care and saying, “Hey, take a day and take care of yourself.”

Best. Boss. Ever.

Improve their work space.

Just about everyone has something they don't like about their work space — and that can apply doubly so if you work at home. For AP's, it's crucial, because they do the bulk of their work at their desk. Let them know that you'd like to improve their space to make it more comfortable to show you care on Administrative Professionals Day. Adding a standing desk option, new ergonomic chair, or even an extra monitor for the computer could make a big difference.

Don't take this one for granted. Ask first. They'll really appreciate you taking the time to ask and your willingness to invest in their job happiness.

Upgrade technology.

If the space they inhabit affects  their day significantly, the equipment they use on a regular basis is an even bigger factor.

How old is their computer? Are there any programs that would make their job a little (or a lot) easier? Is the copier always on the fritz? It's 2020 and technology rules the office. Trying to make do with old, outdated software or equipment can make an AP's job insufferable. If you don't want to ask your AP directly, talk to your IT team. Chances are they'll know what could use an upgrade.

While upgrading technology can be a bit of an investment, remember, it's also an investment in keeping one of your most important employees happy. That's worth it–on Administrative Professionals Day and every other day of the year, too!

Give thank you cards from the staff.

A good AP doesn't just help out the boss. The whole office benefits. For a simple, inexpensive way to say thanks, buy a box of thank you cards. Then, hand deliver one to each person who is in direct contact with the AP. Ask them to write a thank you note and mention, specifically, one thing they really appreciate.

In a remote working situation, you can do the exact same thing, but with e-cards. 

Some of our favorite services for sending cards online are:

  • GroupGreeting, which allows everyone from the office to sign a group card and annotate it with notes, stickers and pictures.  

  • Paperless Post, a flexible e-card and invitations service which has hundreds of stylish and beautiful designs. 

  • Smilebox, a highly customizable option that has fun features like music. 

Getting a few to a few dozen hand-written thank you notes from you coworkers would brighten anyone's day.

Take them out for lunch.

Is there a new restaurant in town that everyone is talking about? Or, maybe there's a great place nearby that's a little expensive for the everyday lunch. Administrative Professionals Day is the perfect excuse to treat them (and yourself) to a nice lunch out. Don't toss money on the desk and say, “It's on me today.” Make it a time to chat and show interest in their personal life.

Give this one a day's notice so your AP doesn't pack a good lunch that goes to waste.

For remote workers, you can set up a remote lunch date! Send a gift certificate to your AP from their favorite restaurant or to a delivery service like Grubhub or DoorDash, and set up time to connect over video conferencing.

Get treats for the office.

Make your AP the star of the Administrative Professionals Day by getting some treats for the office. The key here is to make sure everyone knows why those treats are there. If you can set aside an hour or even half an hour to gather the gang together and salute your AP before digging into the cake, donuts, ice cream, or whatever you brought, all the better.

Everyone likes a treat now and then. Your AP is probably a people-pleaser. It goes with the job landscape. Providing treats that make the whole office happy but handing over the credit is a nice win.

A little luxury.

Tickets to something fun like a concert or a ball game are a luxury that we often pass up to save a little money. Even just a night out at the movies adds up fast when you factor in tickets, popcorn, and beverages.

Ask around the office or work it into conversation. Is there a band coming that you're AP would like to see? Is the coolest football team ever coming to town? Tickets to something specific is only a really nice gesture, it shows that you paid attention to them and what they like. If you can't dig up anything great, gift certificates to a local theater or even a ticketing website can be excellent substitutes.

Some other ideas for little luxuries that show your AP you care:

  • A bouquet of flowers

  • Fancy hand soap or lotion

  • Unique or unusual treats from Goldbelly

  • A pretty scented candle 
  • A gift card for framed art from Framebridge

Just say, “Thank you.”

Sometimes it's hard to think of a personally touching way to really show your gratitude. That's okay. At the very least, take a few moments to think about how your AP has helped you and your staff over the last year. Then, set aside a few moments to personally thank them, mentioning some highlights in detail. Gifts and grand gestures are nice, but in the end, Administrative Professionals Day is all about letting your AP know just how much they mean to your office and to you, personally.

It's a small thing and it costs you nothing, but it could help to solidify your relationship with your AP. You can't afford not to make at least that much investment.

If you don't know if Administrative Professionals day is something you want to bother celebrating, imagine this.

It's Monday morning and your office phone rings. It's your AP. Something has happened and they can't come into work for two weeks.

Two weeks!

What would your work life be like without that maestro of efficiency in the office for two unplanned weeks? You don't want to know.

Treat your administrative professionals today, and start thinking how you can turn the tables and make their life a little better, a little easier, and a lot more enjoyable, even if just for one day. You know they'd do it for you.

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