Appreciating your colleagues or sharing feedback is not an activity that should take place only once in a year. It should be a continuous process. However, we often forget to do it while being immersed in our daily tasks. We need special days like Secretary’s Day (currently known as Administrative Professionals’ Day) to appreciate our colleagues.

In this case, shouldn’t we make days like Secretary’s Day more meaningful for the recipients? Here’s are five ways to appreciate your assistant and also, create a positive impact on their work for the rest of the year.

1) Find out how your assistant wants to be appreciated

Everyone has their own ways of understanding and interpreting appreciation. Some like being acknowledged or lauded in front of the entire office. Others prefer monetary benefits or a well-deserved day off. A few others might want to share new ideas with you and just need an hour or more of your time. So, talk to your assistant to understand their preferences. This is the first step towards making Secretary’s Day more meaningful to them.

2) Equip them with the right tools

While handwritten cards and flowers are great gifts, they do not make a long-lasting impact or address the problems your assistant is facing. Get them smart gifts that can make their jobs less stressful not only on that day but also in the long run.

Assistants are constantly juggling between devices and stationery, answering emails and phone calls, taking notes etc. An office software like a Scheduling App or a smart phone system like a Call Centre Software can help them streamline these activities much better. They not only help them organize their day better but also help them scale up and assume more responsibilities.

3) Include them in your activities

Your assistant will be sifting through thousands of emails and phone calls and screening them every day. They will be empowered to take better decisions if they have more context about the way you and your team work. Whenever possible, make your assistant part of your meetings and team activities, formal or informal. This will help them have a better understanding of how things work and what is currently the top priority for you.

Most importantly, it’ll help them understand how other functions in your organization work and also how clients or other third-parties interact with your organization. This will enable them to judiciously handle and filter information coming their way.

4) Make it tangible

Yes, flowers and chocolates are tangible but they’re perishable too. It would be great if the gifts they receive help them in their professional growth. For instance, do you want to give them a hand-written card? Think about writing them a recommendation or endorsing them on a professional network too.

5) Enable your assistant professionally

Your assistant might be interested in attending a conference for administrative professionals or signing up for a skill development course online. They might even be interested in working along with other teams in your office — your Human Resources team for instance. Talk to them and understand what their interests are and how they envision their professional growth in the organization. Figure out ways you can help them achieve it. Proactively make recommendations for events and professional courses they can attend. It’ll go a long way in making your assistant feel appreciated and understood.

These activities can have a great positive influence on your assistant and in turn, the work they do for you. It might be difficult to pull all of these off on a single day. But the upcoming Secretary’s Day is a good day to pick one and get going!

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