There are so many fun and creative ideas to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day to express your gratitude and show you care.
According to the latest U.S. census, there are 2.78 administrative professionals within the country, many of whom are women and primarily in the medical or legal field.
Organizations like Belay, a virtual staffing solution for leaders who need virtual assistants or bookkeepers, understand the power and need for engaged, motivated employees.
Tricia Sciortino, CEO at Belay, stopped by The Great Retention podcast to discuss the importance of team culture and employee engagement at Belay.
“We feel like relationships and connection at work breed great culture, and great culture breeds great engagement,” shared Tricia. “And great engagement breeds awesome results for the organization.”
While admin roles vary depending on your work and the size of your office or team, we can all agree that administrative assistants bring hard work, strong communication skills, and a great attitude to our teams. And celebrating your admin team is a meaningful way to create connection and breed positive results for your entire company.
Read on for ten ways to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day with your team!
When is Administrative Professionals Day?
Administrative Professionals Day, also called National Secretaries Day, is held annually on the last Wednesday in April.
So be sure to mark these dates for the future:
- Administrative Professionals Day 2023 - April 26
- Administrative Professionals Day 2024 - April 24
- Administrative Professionals Day 2025 - April 23
- Administrative Professionals Day 2026 - April 22
Note that the week of Admin Day (April 23, 2023 - April 29, 2023) is also known as Administrative Professionals Week. It’s up to you and your team whether to spread out the celebration over seven versus one full day. It might depend on the size of your organization or the number of executive assistants.
Remember, the focus is to highlight support staff and to make them feel noticed and special!
Why celebrate Administrative Professionals Day?
Real talk time: we understand there are holidays for everything from Pancakes (February 21st) to Pets (April 11th), but these holidays serve as an important reminder to enjoy our day-to-day lives, pancakes and pups included.
So why should you take a moment to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day if you’re already investing in recognitions or fun team-building activities?
- First, employee recognition is always a good thing. According to Gallup, employee recognition can boost productivity by 14 percent, increase profit by 18 percent, and grow customer satisfaction by 10 percent. More employee appreciation supports your company culture and your business.
- Second, specific reasons to celebrate, like Administrative Professionals Week or Admin Day, keep holidays top of mind every year, enocuraging you and your managers to plan in advance.
- Most importantly, your assistant, receptionists, or administrative staff does more than many in your organization might realize.
Depending on your line of work, they’re often the frontline for general customer service inquiries and the main points of contact for employees. They manage office inventory, create work schedules, organize holiday fun or team outings, and make your day-to-day easier.
Celebrating admin day shows your appreciation for your admins' hard work and attention to detail while highlighting their impact so that the entire organization can get involved.
If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day read on!
1. Rest & Relaxation
Keeping your office running smoothly is hard work, so why not give the gift of R&R?
This can be anything from offering flexible options like a wellness day or an opportunity to log off early. Just be sure to tell your admin to put on their away messages and focus on a mini health day for themselves.
Alternatively, surprise office managers with a gift certificate on something they might enjoy, such as travel or spa passes for a mini staycation.
Incorporate health and wellness into your team celebration with Cooleaf's free wellbeing checklist!
2. Professional Development
According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals, this appreciation day is a time to encourage both managers and their administrative support to sit down and discuss the future.
As a manager, give your admin support the opportunity to talk about their professional development. This shows that your organization values their contributions and is willing to invest in their success.
“People are really looking for work with great purpose, work they enjoy. They don’t just want a paycheck. We’re super intentional about how that work shows up and that requires a different type of leadership. It requires a lot of intentionality and a lot of care,” said Tricia from Belay.
“Creating a place where people like to work, creates excellent performance. People who love their jobs are happy to show up on Monday morning, and give their best at work.”
Look at offering financial support for additional classes they might be interested in or match them with relevant mentors within the organization in different departments, depending on their goals.
Saying your appreciation is one thing, but supporting an individual’s goals shows that you're taking notice of their skills and interests, not to mention their potential.
3. Time With Executives
In addition to discussing their goals, provide admin team members an opportunity to sit down with different department heads. Providing time with execs or leads in other areas of the organization provides an additional learning and development resource. It also gives the tools to help admins feel empowered.
Getting time on the calendar with different job titles and leaders allows admins to share their ideas for the organization or their specific roles.
Administrative assistants have a different perspective on the ins and outs of their organization since they’re often the point of contact for employees and customers. Dedicating time for them to connect with workspace leaders shows how much you value their opinion and insight.
4. Treat Them to a Celebratory Meal
Organize a day of comestible treats, like coffee and donuts for breakfast, and a catered lunch in the workspace for your admin team. If you open this up to the entire office, spotlight the admins before everyone sits down to eat. This means giving public recognition to your admin, being specific about their contributions, and highlighting some of their wins.
You can also post an employee recognition and tag them under the company LinkedIn to share the news with their connections. This is perfect for remote teams because while you might not be there in person, having a space to share your appreciation for a team member has more value when shared publicly.
While remote teams might have the opportunity to have celebration meals in the office, you could always send gift cards to Grubhub or a local restaurant with an e-card expressing your gratitude.
5. Recognize Their Great Work
Public recognition shows an individual that you truly appreciate their work and notice their efforts.
On Administrative Professional’s Day, give a shoutout to your administrative team through your company’s communication channels, at the top of a meeting, or even on employee engagement apps like Cooleaf. Cooleaf has the benefit of tying in workplace incentives so recipients can select their preferred gift cards to retailers.
If you’re a large organization, be sure their direct manager or department recognizes their administrative assistant too. This list has a range of ideas of course, but hearing from their direct managers or peers offers more meaning and specificity from their work together.
If you’re looking for a resource to send out, here are 10 Employee Recognition Ideas and Example Templates they can utilize as a jumping-off point.
6. Get the Office Involved
“Our HR team and our executive team have conversations about culture all the time and how we plan our culture,” Tricia said. The Belay team, a fully remote organization, intentionally plans their get-togethers to ensure they’re nurturing their culture the right way.
“We look at that as an opportunity for [employees] to leave motivated, connected, inspired, and just thrilled to work with a great team of people, re-energized within a team of great people.”
As you plan your celebration for your admin team, get the whole team involved with a thank you card from the office and add to it:
- Get volunteers to bring in dishes for an office potluck celebration.
- Record an appreciation video where team members tape their own “thank you” videos and compile them together.
- Work together to surprise your admin team by decorating the office.
- If you’re remote, send out a personalized Zoom background that says, “Happy Administrative Professional’s Day!” when they hop on calls with everyone.
You should also ask for ideas from everyone. It’s not only a great way to get the organization involved, but it supports team bonding and will feel more personalized for your admins.
7. Send Gifts or Surprise Kits of Favorite Items
Perfect for remote or in-person teams, send along a gift that your admin might appreciate. If they’re into yoga, you can create a wellness box complete with a yoga mat, meditation seat, and succulent. If they’re a foodie, look into their favorite local restaurants and see if they sell spices or sauces made in-house.
To make it even more special, ask your team for suggestions so you can add unique, personalized gifts into one special box. The more unique and creative, the more meaningful your team gift will be.
8. Create a Special Happy Hour
Go beyond a standard happy hour for your administrative team, and offer a cocktail-making course at a local bar or with a mixologist. You can host these in-person or online too— if you’re doing it online, be sure to send along the necessary bitters or kits so team members can follow along.
You could always scrap the booze and go for an afternoon happy hour with a tea service and snacks instead. You could also add activities, like a morning happy hour with yoga and meditation first and a juice bar or coffee right after.
Hoping to keep track of important holidays for your team to celebrate this year? Download Cooleaf's DEI Calendar!
9. Support Causes Important to Them
Thank your administrative team by donating in their name to a local nonprofit or cause important to your admin team. Work together to find a cause or ask for their input directly.
This is a great way to get to know your team members more and support good work within their community.
10. Take an Item Off Their To-Do’s
If your admin or admin teams usually organize large get-togethers like your happy hours, team bonding days, or meetings, why not take it off their plate and plan one?
It’s a fun way to swap roles on a project— better to show you truly understand their hard work— and enables them to enjoy or participate in the event more fully.
Ready to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day?
Administrative Professionals Day (or week!) is your reminder to pull out all the stops to recognize the team thats making your company’s day-to-day easier. This day is the chance to highlight the team members that connect your entire organization with their hard work. The team that tracks minutes, plans out schedules, and so much more.
So, whatever you decide to do to share your appreciation, remember to keep it personal, specific, and fun with your administrative crew in mind.