How to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day in 2021

APW celebration 300x600Administrative professionals keep businesses running. Without them, day-to-day work would be significantly more challenging. Administrative Professionals Day offers the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the work of office assistants, secretaries, and other administrative support professionals. With their vast array of skills and knowledge about the company, they consistently help the organization and its people operate effectively.

The holiday debuted in 1952 as National Secretaries Day. The name switched in 2000 to better reflect the changing job titles and expanded responsibilities of the modern administrative workforce. Administrative Professionals Day is observed annually on the Wednesday of the last full week of April.

Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate and show your administrative staff your appreciation for the value they bring to the organization.

Ways to honor administrative professionals

Like most everything in 2021, businesses may need to rethink how to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day this year. Plenty of good options exist, so don’t let the chaos of the pandemic keep your company from marking the holiday.

Host a virtual luncheon

On-site and restaurant gatherings remain challenging due to safety concerns and team members operating remotely. Consider gathering online.

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“I don’t know what I would do without my administrative team,” says Michael Branson, CEO of All Reverse Mortgage, Inc. “In pre-pandemic times, I would hold a lunch for everyone in the office and give a small gift. While we are still in lockdown, it’s a good idea to send a gift card to your employees from Uber Eats, Grubhub, or DoorDash so they can purchase lunch and still celebrate. Be sure to hold the lunch over Zoom so you can communicate and talk just like old times.”

Spruce up the work environment

Try choosing a gift that makes their surroundings more pleasant or their job easier, either on-site or at their home office. They’ll remember how much you care each time they see that great piece of artwork or cheery floral wreath.

“Administrative professionals do a lot of work for my company, so I’m thinking about making improvements to their workspace to show my appreciation,” says Andriy Bogdanov, CEO of Online Divorce. “We all know that they do a lot of their work at their desks, so I’m planning on getting them a better desk, a new and more ergonomic chair, or anything else they think will help their productivity (within reason). This is a great way to show them that I care and that they can rely on me to improve their working conditions.”

Invest in professional development

Encouraging admins to grow in their careers benefits the entire business. See what skills or subjects they’d like to learn and offer reimbursement for online classes, seminars, or membership in professional organizations.

“We can’t wait to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day,” says Jenna Carson, HR director at Music Grotto. “On the day itself, we are having a job swap. Senior leaders and directors will take on administration roles for the entire day. All admin staff will be given the day off work to go on a professional development course. We hope that giving our staff time out for development will energize them and in turn, energize the organization.”

Companies looking for an opportunity might want to check out the virtual webinar offered that day by the International Association of Administrative Professionals, one of the leading forces behind the creation of Administrative Professionals Day. Slated topics include developing a leadership mindset, improving professional presence, and focusing on personal wellness.

Provide them a break

Whether it’s a whole day to themselves, an extended lunch hour, or the afternoon off, you can’t go wrong with the gift of time.

“I have yet to see a more cost-effective and powerful employee booster! An extra vacation day is best if you’re looking for a foolproof Admin Pro Day gift idea,” says Anjela Mangrum, founder and president of Mangrum Career Solutions.

Act from the heart

Thoughtfulness makes all the difference when marking the occasion. Don’t just hand someone a mug with the company logo, put some effort into choosing a present. Monetary gifts, especially during these tough times, are welcome. Include with it a handwritten thank you card that sincerely expresses appreciation.

Feel clueless about what your admin might like? Make getting to know the person a priority this Administrative Professionals Day. Showing genuine interest in someone can be the best gift ever!