Imagine you didn’t have Your Administrative Assistant. We’ll give you a moment … How many hours in a day would you need to be able to finish your work? Administrative Assistants may be some of the most underappreciated members of the workforce and we think that should change. If you didn’t have an administrative assistant YOU would be responsible for doing everything. Yes, that suck. But it’s more than that. Your administrative assistant is your support in every way. S/he is your sounding board, your brainstorming buddy, your facilitator, the hero that pays attention to the smallest details and makes sure nothing falls thru the cracks. Int short, they allow you to shine brighter than you would have had you been running around doing everything they do. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t be able to concentrate on the “big things” had your Admin Assistant not prepared the “small” things for you. Had your Admin not worried about the small potatoes and researched, compiled, prepared and presented all the data you need while screening your calls, making your coffee, ordering your flowers and remembering employee birthdays, you wouldn’t be the superstar you are. Those are facts. You would be stretched in a thousand different directions that you would lose that “big idea” thinking mind.
Now we ask you, on this one week/day that we celebrate the unsung heroes of the corporate world, do you think that we are asking for too much when we suggest you do something to show your appreciation for their talent, skills and capable ways of keeping your sanity intact, is asking for too much? It the “they are doing what I pay them/they are paid to do” the attitude you need to have. We think not. These are people that support you. and we don’t use the word support lightly; they are your backbone, the cane you walk on, the ones that polish your shine, the ones that fall back and allow you to do what you do best and sparkle and lead. Don’t you think some token of your appreciation is warranted? Deserved? The answer you are looking for is YES! We, for sure, absolutely do!
So be the hero you are and do what’s right. Show your Administrative Assistant you appreciation and gratitude.
There you are sitting at your desk thinking, contemplating your next world take over when your calendar reminder pops up to tell you that you have a meeting tomorrow at 10am that you set up months ago while playing golf and rubbing elbows with who’s who of the industry and had forgotten all about. And your eyes go wide open and bug out and you think “Yawza! Forgot about that!” Well guess who didn’t forget. That’s right! Your Administrative Assistant. Your fabulous AA set up you calendar reminder and confirmed your appointment, prepared your PowerPoint presentation, pulled all the data and pertinent information, prepared your report, printed it collated, made copies arranged it perfectly and professionally in presentation folders. All while s/he ordered your office supplies, made your traveling arrangements, arranged catering for your lunch meetings, sent flowers to the employee who just had a baby AND remembered your mother’s birthday and sent her flowers too, arranged pickup and delivery of those important time sensitive documents, and made sure that you did what you did best without having to worry about all the other details. So you tell us, does your Admin deserve a thank you? We think a resounding big fat YES is the answer you are looking for. Your administrative Assistants are your soldiers and you are their general. Their success is your success and vice versa. Their reward is your reward. So tell us big boss, what are you rewarding yourself….er we mean you super-duper assistant with? We have some suggestions.
- Flowers. Yes, yes, we know we are a florist and surprise surprise we would suggest flowers. Shocking! We know. But seriously, what’s more perfect? You tell us what would say “thank you” better than flowers. Nothing, that’s what. Unless you want to hand your AA handful of raw cash but that’s not classy, and we know you are one classy human. The beauty, colors, and ability to cheer even the grumpiest of humans that flowers possess is the best way to say “thank you, you are as delightful to have around as a bouquet of these blooms”. We honestly think that they are the easiest yet the perfect most excellent way to express your gratitude. Flowers are a gift that keep on giving. Win-win we think.
- Gift baskets. We understand that not everyone is into flowers. We think that’s just coo-coo, but we won’t judge. And for those that don’t get gooey feelings over flowers, we suggest something with gastronomic appeal. A basket laden with fresh, juicy and refreshing fruit with yummy gourmet cheeses, chocolates nuts and other delectable hand-picked and arranged to make the perfect gift that will make your Admin Assistant feel appreciated. In fact they will feel so appreciated and valued they may even want to share what’s in the basket with you.We told you a reward for them is a reward for you, didn’t we? You can actually throw in a bottle of wine or bubbly in there too!
- Now you are thinking, well flowers are pretty and all but might die and your sentiments of thanks will wilt and evaporate along with the blooms and the water they are in. And Gift baskets are fine but your admin is a picky eater and you don’t want to offend her/him by giving her/him non-gluten free, non-GMO, non-organic product that s/he is trying to avoid or items that are counter productive in her pursuit to maintain her/his figure. Well fine, we can work with that. We present the potted plant. This, as long as maintained well, is a gift that will last for ever and ever and ever or until that month your assistant gets too busy with organizing that conference you will be speaking at on top of his bazillion duties and forgets to water his/her plant. You can choose a fabulous blooming plant like a Phalaenopsis orchid or a melange of small green in an exquisite dish or a lush full plant s/he can put in the corner of her/his office or cubicle. Whatever you choose will send a truly lasting message of thanks for all the s/he does for you and the success of the company.
- Perhaps your AA just about kills every plant s/he so much as looks at and flowers are just not her/his thing and a gift basket will just ruin his/her healthy living road s/he’s on. Now what? Remember this is a day of celebration of a true professional. A party in a way. And no party is a happening party without balloons. You can embarrass (in a good way) the living staples out of your AA with happy, floating, mass of your herald of your thanks in the form of mylar balloons. Just imagine them hovering over his/her desk saying to every on looker and passerby that your AA is the BEST Admin Assistant EVER! Your AA will be the envy of the office, and rightly so! S/he works for a boss that recognizes and appreciates her contribution to her/his success. That’s you champ.
- This last suggestion may not feel like an actual gift, but it may be the most honest and probably the one that will truly speak the most. Literally. Either in the notes being delivered with your gifts or in person or both, tell your assistant that s/he is a truly valued member of your team. That what s/he does for you has not gone unnoticed, unappreciated and undervalued. Your AA may simply find reward and satisfaction in a job well done or may not expect or need an atta’a boy or a pat on the back for nailing that report for you. But how cool is it to just shock them with a heartfelt thank you. We promise you that it will give your AA an extra boost to do even better for you and work with a ginormous smile on his/her face and feel like what s/he does actually makes a difference (s/he may already know this but it is good to be reminded sometimes). THANK YOU is a very powerful sentence. People take it for granted. Don’t give a passive meh-thanks-meh, but look your AA in the eyes and give him/her an honest, heartfelt, meaningful “THANK YOU”!
Be Happy Bouquet
As we sit at our desk, our fingers flying over the keyboard, replying emails, updating our calendars, checking off to-do lists, pivoting tables and all that good stuff that pays our bills and make us feel like we contributed something to the success of the team we work with and company we work for, we forget that our workspace could be less stuffy and more warm and personal. The in and out boxes for our files, the pen holder, the cabby with the clippers, staples thumbtacks and other office supply compartments shouldn’t be the one things on our desk. Yes, we are there to work, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have something beautiful to look at between our expense reports and the weekly team progress meetings or during that teleconference.
Think about it, you spend an average of 8 hours of your awake time in a day at work (mostly working). Shouldn’t this be a pleasant place to be? There are enough stressors at work without adding the sterile “strictly work and no fun” atmosphere to it. This is why we suggest you bring in some of our favorite workplace essentials that liven your day a little and are scientifically proven to relax you.
- Keep pictures of your loved ones (even your pet) at your desk. This will help to center you, keep you motivated and remind you that your fight with that copy machine just a few minutes ago was so that you and your family (including fido) have what they need and deserve.
- Keep your life affirmations at eye level. That quote or message from someone special, or your mantra that keeps you positive, energized and at peace should be where you can easily locate. so that you can easily access it when unpleasant events occur during your work day.
- Keep simple knickknacks that put a smile on your face on your desk. Mementos that remind you of a happy moment or something funny that will make you giggle will help in giving you a break from routine and/or when having a mental block. This doesn’t mean you should clutter your desk with personal “feel happy” paraphernalia. Just simple pieces strategically placed, is all.
- Keep a small bouquet of flowers in bright beautiful colors at the corner of your desk, away from all the papers and away from high traffic area so you don’t accidentally spill some sugary water all over your project. And if you call the right florist they will know what would be perfect for your desk….like these. Whether flowers sent from your loved one, friend or a thank you token from that lovely old you helped carry her boxes up three flight of stair when the elevator was out of service, or some that you bought for yourself (yes, you can do that!), flowers will undoubtedly put a big ol’smile on your face even if your day has been filled with deadline and spreadsheet that froze every time you filtered.
- Keep a small living plant in the corner. Keeping something live will make you feel alive. It gives you a reason to take a moment to stop and water your little plant once in awhile, giving you another purpose to be in the office other than filing and crunching numbers. It’ll bring out the nurturing side in you while you try your best not to kill the poor plant (or the lucky plant depending how green your thumb is).
So, yes, flowers are essential to our work place. Nothing says “welcome to our offices” to your clients like a beautiful elaborate arrangement of flowers expertly designed by our talented designers and placed strategically on your reception desk. It says “this is a place where we value our employees and you our client and want you to feel at home just like we do”. AND Administrative Professionals week is coming up in just a few weeks. Start thinking about what to gift your admin and show your appreciation.
It’s natural that we recognize the people sitting in the big chairs behind the intimidating big tables with their names on the signature part of our paycheck. Yes they are hard working people and deserve all the recognition they get. However, have we stopped to think about the many many many administrative professional that work just as hard behind the scenes? the many bricks that make up the great wall? The ones that take care of the miniscule details to present the finish product. The ones that make sure the ‘i’s are doted and the ‘t’s are crossed. the ones that coming before the boss comes and leave after s/he leaves. the ones that keep the boss on schedule and make her or him look good. the real backbones of the company. Yes, the administrative assistants are usually the unsung heroes that, it you’re lucky enough to have chosen them right, will make you and your company a well oiled machine that runs properly towards prosperity.
This is why we believe that every year, we need to remind you to never ever forget your Admins. At the matter of fact we believe they should be thanked, appreciated, encouraged, rewarded for their hard work every day. However, as everything else, we had to have a week specifically intended to celebrate these magnificent people. We like reminding you of this day every chance we get, because, trust us, you don’t want to forget. We don’t want you to have an unappreciated or under appreciated Admin.
Nine to Five
There are many ways to make sure that you Admin’s thank you tank if full. Make sure that s/he knows that her or his great work has not gone unnoticed. Say a genuine “thank you” when s/he hands you a finished work that will make your work a thousand more easier. Every so often call her/him in your office to say that you are grateful and appreciative of the extra effort s/he puts in he/his work. Your admin may work hard simply because it is in her/his nature to work hard and go the extra mile and may not expect a “thank you” or even a recognition for the work, because s/he will do it because it is his/her job. But hearing that the boss has noticed his or her toil will give him/her the extra fuel to do even more.
Classic Fruit and Gourmet
So, we encourage you to go the extra mile this coming week to make sure that you admin know just how much you value his/her hard work. We can help you. If you are on a budget and you have a ton of admins you want to send a gift or flowers to? We’ve got you back. You have superduper admins that you know you couldn’t accomplish your daily task without their help? We know exactly what you should send.
Studies show that saying thank you does actually have some health benefits by reducing stress related issues and depression. For some, however, saying “thank you” might feel awkward or might even be difficult, be it because of pride or the simple belief that the person is doing what s/he is supposed to do. Now think back to that time someone sincerely thanked you for a deed that you thought was not a big deal or ordinary or just simply your duty. Felt good, didn’t it? Wouldn’t you want someone to feel the same? Or think about that time that you did something extraordinary for someone, and the person never thanked you (not that you would do something to be recognized or thanked), it might have made you feel unappreciated.
This doesn’t mean that you should overdo it with the “thank you”s by handing them out like (insert a clever analogy here). That might actually make your gratitude lose meaning and value. Don’t be passive either when you thank someone. Show the person that you truly appreciate what s/he’s done. Don’t be vague about it; make sure the person knows what exactly you are thankful for. Don’t treat it as a chore or something you have to do, it should be something that you are happy and want to do. Thanking someone is more than just a transference of ooey-gooey warm and fuzzy feelings from one person to another. It is a way for you to show the other person that you respect them and their time and effort for the good things s/he did for you.
We, at MyFlorist, are in the business of helping companies show just how thankful they are of their Administrative Professionals. Next week, in particular, we are sending out vases and baskets full of “you are awesome”, “thank you!!!”, “couldn’t do it without you”, “you are a valuable member of our staff” and more all week-long to the fabulous APs and show them how appreciated they are for what they do all year-long for their bosses and their company. You can buy them lunch, give them gift cards or postcards, but nothing says it better than flowers. You might think we are biased, but studies have shown repeatedly that, like thank yous, flowers have health benefits…we’ll save that for another day.
Wednesday, April 24, is Administrative Professionals Day, and the entire week of April 22 through April 26 is Admin Pro week. This is the time of year to thank those who keep our offices running smoothly. While these professionals usually have a fairly long, detailed job description, there’s a lot that they do that’s not outlined. Here are some things they do that we might never notice.
They’re your gatekeepers. You might have dozens of people trying to see you every day, but you only meet or talk with the most important ones. Your assistant handles the others.
They’re often in charge of office parties, and that’s more work than you might think. Next time a cake and punch magically appears for someone’s birthday, make sure to thank your admin pro for making it happen (if he or she did, of course—find out).
They always make sure there are plenty of office supplies available. Most people don’t question this unless there aren’t any extra pens or sticky notes. A good admin pro will make sure you never notice the lack of office supplies because there won’t be a lack.
They pick up the slack. If anyone in your office has too much on their plate, it’s the administrative professional who often ends up handling some of those tasks, especially the more time-consuming ones. It’s rare that a major event or project happens without an admin pro’s involvement.
These are just a few things your administrative professionals do that you might not realize. Be sure to thank them on April 24 with a bouquet of amazing administrative professionals day flowers and gifts in Washington, DC.