In honor of Administrative Professionals week (April 18-24), consider those who support you behind the scenes and maybe even represent you “on the front lines” as well. Although lunch and a gift card once a year is a nice touch, here are some ways to communicate your appreciation throughout the year:
- Ask for her input on important issues. Everyone likes to feel that their opinions are valued.
- Assign tasks that allow for creativity as well as just the routine.
- Demonstrate your trust. Trust her to keep things confidential, to meet deadlines without constant nagging, to protect your time, and to use her time well without constant supervision.
- Compliment her about projects well done. State what she did specifically to get the good rating. Specific praise is believable. General comments can sound insincere.
- Pass on favorable feedback from colleagues, clients, suppliers, or your own boss. She likes to know that others besides you recognize her good work.
- Make her privy to your praise. That is, as you interact with colleagues and clients, comment on her excellent work and how fortunate you are to have her help, and make sure she overhears your phone conversation or receives a copy of your email.
- Tell her when she makes your life easier: The travel plans that went smoothly. The excellent hotel choice. The paperwork filled out correctly. The obnoxious visitor handled discreetly. The event coordinated flawlessly. The luncheon hosted with charm. The report done accurately. The slides created quickly.
- Give a gift: lunch, flowers, movie tickets for 4, gift certificate to a local spa, gift card to a local bookstore, registration to a seminar for professional development.
- Allow time off after completion of a special project.
- Add courtesy words like please and thank you to your requests. Courtesy never goes out of style and never wastes time.
Note: Although many males serve in this valuable role, I’ve used the female pronoun because the largest percentage of administrative professionals are female.