This April 26th, 2017 is National Administrative Professionals Day (formerly known as Secretary's Day and Administrative Assistant's’ Day), which began in 1952 as a day allocated to thanking and encouraging professionals in administrative positions. Over the last decade or so, this holiday has fallen by the wayside, mostly due to confusion over who
exactly is considered an administrative professional.
How did it start?
During World War II, the National Secretaries Association was founded to attract workers to the administrative field as low population rates paired with flourishing post-war business had led to a shortage of a skilled workforce. The Association, in tandem with other corporate groups, started National Secretaries Week (the last full week in April), designating Wednesday as the official day of recognition and celebration of the contributions made by administrative personnel.
As years passed and times changed, so did the verbiage used to describe these working professionals, with the holiday and association renamed to "Administrative Professionals Day" and the "International Association of Administrative Professionals." This change was intended to encompass not only the expanding responsibilities of admin professionals, but also the wide spectrum of administrative support positions that had become a necessity in the modern workplace.
|Tina, longtime Sun Valley force majeure|
This change presents a much bigger—and more whole—picture than the original "Administrative Professionals Day." While this is generally positive, the change in name has led to confusion about who should be recognized as an "administrative professional," prompting many to abandon recognizing anyone at all.
Who is an Administrative Professional?
|Kyle of the indispensable IT department|
Think of anyone in your large company or small business who provides the behind-the-scenes, critical work--those who provide services which are essential, challenging, and often without glory. Great administrative professionals make the team look good while keeping daily functions running as smoothly as possible. The name of this holiday was changed for a reason--these are no longer just the traditional "secretaries" of 1952.
|Kristen and Kelly are essential to our sales team|
These professionals can be your IT team, bookkeepers, office managers, production assistants or any number of essential support staff. Their work is incredibly valuable, not to mention necessary, to a company's goals, both in the short and long term, and deserves respect and appreciation all year long. Not to mention, they could probably benefit from a celebratory week of recognition as well. Administrative Professionals Week can provide such an opportunity, and can be a time to give the entire office a boost.
What Can We Do?
We can use Administrative Professionals Week to celebrate our teams and create an environment which fosters teamwork, commitment, and productivity, by recognizing all of the parts which make the whole.
I asked J Schwanke
, renowned floral expert, if he had any tips for those who want to celebrate their administrative professionals. His advice is to "stay away from a card that says “Happy Administrative Professionals day”…and stick to a “THANK YOU For all YOU DO” card… it’s just a good time to say thank you and give someone that helps, and supports you (in your business or career) Flowers! I think we do need to reclaim the holiday and perhaps it needs to become… Professional Thank YOU Week!"
Perhaps use each day of "Professional Thank You" week to recognize a a different administrative department, and celebrate in whatever way you can -- we recommend having lunch delivered or flowers for their desks (or both), and nothing beats a personalized thank you.
What about you? What do you think the Flower Industry can do, and how will you be reclaiming Administrative Professional's Week?