Administrative Professionals’ Day (also known as Administrative Assistant Day, Secretaries Day or Admin Day) is a day to highlight the important role of secretaries, assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support, which is observed in several countries.
During World War II, there was an increased need for skilled administrative personnel, particularly in the United States. Mary Barrett and C. King Woodbridge launched the holiday while serving on a council addressing a national shortage of skilled office workers to recognize “the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend,” and to call attention “through favorable publicity, to the tremendous potential of the secretarial career.” Account executives at Young & Rubicam originated the idea for a National Secretaries Week.
The official period of celebration was held June 1–7 in 1952, with Wednesday, June 4, 1952 and designated as National Secretaries Day. In 1955, the observance date of National Secretaries Week was moved to the last full week of April. The name was changed to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981, and became Administrative Professionals Week in 2000 to encompass the expanding responsibilities and job titles of administrative support staff.
3 Ways To Celebrate
Administrative Professionals’ Day has become one of the largest workplace holidays celebrated through community events, social gatherings, and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff with gifts. Many US companies celebrate through giving flowers, candy, trinkets, lunch at a restaurant, gift cards, or time off. However, the IAAP suggests that employers provide training opportunities for their administrative staff.
Over time, many more employers and supervisors have started arranging events to show their appreciation of the work carried out by administrative professionals, to highlight their importance to the organization and to enhance their work-related skills. Show your administrative professional staff how much you appreciate their contributions this year.
1. Invest in work.
One of the best ways to make someone feel like their job is important is to invest in their role or department, especially in ways that make work more fun, efficient or easier. Your team will be more energized, have more time for other tasks and feel recognized.
If you’re managing a marketing department, ask your team to help identify opportunities for more data and automation. If you’re managing an accounting team, explore tools and training for programs like Salesforce. Do you lead a project management team? Check out tools like Trello. (bonus: it’s free!)
2. Invest in play.
Having fun at work doesn’t just lead to great company culture, it also boosts productivity. Over 80% of the United States’ workforce is stressed over work. Gamified apps for offices (like Officevibe) are newest tools for employees to get work done in an efficient manner while allowing them to enjoy themselves.
Team building activities, events, and ice breakers also help the members of your team create bonds that are as authentic as they are deep. Opportunities for play are a great way to celebrate and create a culture of teamwork. TeamBonding events are a perfect fit for Administrative Professionals’ Day.
Everyone loves a delicious treat. The Ice Cream Making Challenge provides a little competition with some hands-on learning and a lot of fun. When the liquid nitrogen is poured out of its special container it creates a very dramatic cloud of smoke and evokes oohs and aahs from your group. Watch your staff become children again as they wave their hands, arms and bodies through the cloud.
Picture Perfect provides an opportunity to literally see the “bigger picture” come together through communication and collaboration. The final masterpiece is huge, and proves to be a remarkable piece of art that illustrates your staff’s contributions to a greater whole, which can be hung at work as a permanent reminder.
Does everyone know about how your administrative staff supports the company as a whole? Well, put them to the test. Survey Says can be customized to cover the unique traits of your organization.
3. Invest in learning.
Professional training programs delivered by industry experts like Michael Miller are designed to energize your organization. Based on your specific need, each team building and professional development program combines work and play led by passionate, experienced and often local trainers. Through programs like TEAMProv and Drumming Up A Team, your administrative staff will learn by doing and have still have fun in the process.
Is your team spread throughout the country or around the world? Programs like Virtual TeamBonding can still help you celebrate and learn.
What are some of the unique ways that you celebrate Administrative Professionals’ Day?