Unless you are a one-person show, chances are your success is partly due to an administrative assistant who has been there to help you reach your goals. Whether its as simple as answering your phones and taking messages so you can focus on other more important tasks or something more complex like running and analyzing data driven reports, its important to recognize their efforts in a meaningful way. Here are five ways to communicate your appreciation during that week (or really throughout the year).
Free Lunch – treat them to lunch at a place they always talk about wanting to try or somewhere you know they already frequent. Make it mandatory that they leave the office (no eating at their desk or ordering in). If you are so willing and able provide enough for them to invite someone to join them, who knows they might surprise you and want to take you. If they do, make it a point not to talk about business AT ALL. This should not be a working lunch under any circumstances. If the lunch break is only half an hour extend it to one hour if possible for that day without docking their pay.
Office Supplies—now I will preface this by saying this should not be the only gift you give. This is in conjunction with some of the other suggestions. Just like most housewives or househusbands don’t want a vacuum cleaner for their birthday, an admin deserves something more personal. That being said, if you know they have been needing a new office chair or have been asking for some software that will make their job/day at the office easier, now would be a perfect time to cough up the dough and make that happen. This is especially poignant if you are able to gift all of these suggestions.
Personal /Custom Gift—This is where you need to think a bit deeper and gift something specific or unique to that person. If you know they love going to the spa, a gift certificate is a nice idea. If they are big sports fans tickets to a game they’d enjoy would be appreciated. If you’re not sure or you don’t know them that well, order a custom designed gift (ahem, ahem cough, cough) that is more luxurious than a new notebook or stationery.
Hand-written Note—We are old fashioned here at Tinsel & Bow we believe in the beauty of a handwritten note and what that communicates. It tells the recipient you took time out of your day expressly to write them a note that you gave some serious thought to. If resources allow you to do nothing else this is one to focus on.
Unexpected Time off—Few things make an employee happier than being able to leave work early AND get paid for it too! I am not sure of the HR implications or protocol but if its within your power, tell them to take the rest of the day off at least two hours before their day is scheduled to end. I promise you, it will be appreciated!