Your office would most likely cease to operate without the work of Administrative Professionals. Show them some love this Administrative Professionals Day, April 22, 2020, with our gift-giving guide of the 25 best gifts for every office personality.
What is an Administrative Professional?
The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) recognizes 520 unique job titles that fall under the category of Administrative Professional. It’s no wonder it can be challenging to determine who does and doesn’t fall into this category.
Typically, Administrative Assistants, Executive Assistants and positions that cover receptionist and secretarial duties are all considered Administrative Professionals.
Here’s where it can get tricky, Executive Assistants are often considered part of the Management Team and not part of the Administrative Division, primarily if they are overseeing staff.
I myself worked as an Administrative Professional, and I can tell you from first-hand experience there is serious confusion about who holds this title. It would always become clear on Administrative Professionals Day who didn’t get it. There was one manager who always had the idea that the other managers should “take all the ladies in the office” to lunch that day. I was included in a few celebrations after a promotion that took me out of that department while other staff filling those roles were not included. This went over like a fart in church.
It is essential to properly classify your Administrative Professionals because these positions are keeping your workplace together. Their knowledge base and skillset are typically incredibly vast as they must know everyone’s positions to function in theirs.
In a study from 2018, 50% of Administrative Professionals surveyed were expected to be available outside of regular business hours. This is likely to be the hardest working, most knowledgeable division in your company or office.
In my case, many of the other “ladies” of the office had never worked in the Admin Department. They held technical positions that were difficult in their own way; neither could do the others job. Second, do not find yourself in the trap of assuming it’s only females who are getting recognition on this day. Male staff members hold somewhere from 5-18% of these job titles, depending on what definition your company uses.
Gifts for Administrative Professionals Day
What originally started as Secretaries Day in 1952, falls on the Wednesday of the last full week of April. The holiday was a way to show appreciation for all the unseen and unrecognized work the Administrative Professional position does and is part of a larger celebration of Secretaries Week.
This year, it shares its day with Earth Day, April 22, 2020.
So why give a gift?
There have been numerous studies completed that show the direct link between workplace satisfaction and overall job performance.
One study found that when employees were happy and satisfied, there was a 31% increase in productivity. A great way to bolster workplace satisfaction? Ensure employees are adequately recognized for their contributions.
We’ve put together a gift guide of the 25 best gifts for Administrative Professionals Day for all the office personality types to help you find a great way to show your appreciation.
The Office Green Thumb
These staff can be easily spotted by the large number of potted plants they are growing at any given time or the regular appearance of dirt under their fingernails. Not only do they hold down their complex list of job duties, they probably travel from cubicle to cubicle once a week, holding up a miniature watering can and asking, “Anyone thirsty?”
When considering gifts for these flora lovers, think outside the window box. The Our Office Would Succ Without You gift box contains a succulent, candle, bath bomb and quartz from Joshua Tree, CA. A fun and quirky way to show you care.
If unique plants are up their alley, a great way to display them would impress. A Framed Growlight Shelf gives plants a little extra light while turning their plants into living masterpieces.
First in, last out, the reason you never remember your alarm code. The Workaholic, seemingly never leaves the office. They are always active in the office chat when you pop on to check your email at midnight, and they are the ones somehow tasked with every action item from the morning meeting without complaint. This member of the team makes everyone’s job easier.
For this staff member, help make their job a little easier and space a little more comfortable.
A pair of blue light blocking glasses can help reduce eye strain and fatigue, and you know they have been staring at that screen all day.
You can bring a little humor to the cubicle with these funny notepads or post-its and watch them show up around the office.
Upgrade their desk chair before they ask with an ergonomic desk chair or get them one for the home office they move to when they leave the actual office.
The passionate tea drinker. Team Tea is serious about their tea. They probably have special cups and routines around the preparation of their favorite beverage. They laugh in the face of Team Coffee when Team Coffee finds the coffee pot empty, as their beverage of choice is not communal. These are essentially the cats of the office beverage world.
Now while you could get them a boring tea sampler, what about something exotic? Maybe some exciting tea accessories to add to their collection?
A bamboo tumbler with tea infuser will let Team Tea take their obsession from home to the office in style. Add a gift card to your local herbal store and let them mix a custom concoction of teas for their new infuser.
The passionate coffee drinker. If Team Tea are the cats of the office beverage world, then Team Coffee are the dogs.
Unless you’re some fancy hipster, you’re most likely drinking out of the break room or kitchen coffee pot with the rest of us. I say, “us” because I was the Captain of Team Coffee. You line up with your teammates, coffee mug that somehow expresses identity in-hand, wagging your tail and waiting for the signal the brew is complete. You’ve never experienced joy unless you’ve experienced the unexpected discovery of the fresh afternoon pot of office coffee.
While a coffee mug would be acceptable, we caution against the obviousness of one that reads, “World’s Best Administrative Professional.” Why not something a little more exciting? This Coffee Dictionary is full of facts; even the most avid coffee drinker doesn’t know.
The One Who Works to Support Their Travel Habit
You can spot The One Who Works to Support Their Travel Habit by the incredible adventure photos around their cubicle.
They are always finding new ways to maximize their vacation time, and they have the most amazing stories of places you have never even heard of. They most likely bring a backpack to the office and know every trick for booking last minute flights. They are passionate about their careers as it allows them to do the thing they love most.
This may be one of the more difficult staff to give a gift. When experiences are your currency, stuff and things, don’t hold as much value.
A multi-tool comes in handy when you least expect it and is perfect for tucking away in your travel bag.
Help them keep their eyes on the prize with this Desktop Adventure Set. Tiny wooden figures don’t take up much desk space but will hold a silent vigil for their next adventure.
Help them find inspiration with a fun travel book. Then slip in a note that they also get an extra day off for their next travel adventure.
The “Who brought the cookies?” Culprit
You’ll find this staff member sheepishly(or proudly) admitting they were, in fact, the one that put all those fresh baked cookies in the breakroom. You look forward to their Christmas cookie tray every year, and somehow on top of everything they do for the office, they make a birthday treat for each staff member. You love them and secretly blame them for that pesky 5lbs you can’t lose.
The Cookie Culprit is never going to be sad about some fun baking accessories, or some interesting ingredients.
Give them the gift of unique flavors with a dessert & baking salt set. Any good baker knows it’s not only about the sugar.
The One With their Pet on Their Mousepad
This one is not so hard to spot because the name is basically your first clue.
The One With Their Pet on Their Mousepad is over the moon about their pet. They bring their dog into the office whenever possible, and you’ve seen more pictures of their cats than you have of your new baby niece.
Show them your appreciation with a special something for their pet. The Fiesta Pet Collection has all the accessories to make their pet feel like a prince.
What about a custom pet portrait? Grab a photo of their beloved and turn it into a classic masterpiece or a custom painted work of art. I have personally seen the tears that can come along with gifting one of these, it’s pretty amazing.
No Shame in Playing It Safe
While a gift tailored to your Administrative Assistant’s personality is a great way to show you are paying attention and that you care, it may not be feasible or appropriate for every circumstance.
A gift card to a store you know they love or a local spa can be a lovely and safe way to let them know you appreciate them. A bouquet of flowers can also be a lovely gesture.
A guaranteed winner, and one of the safest options? Additional paid days off. One or two extra vacation days for all of their efforts is a great way to say, “I see all you do for this office, and we appreciate you.”
Isn’t Any Gift Better than Nothing?
You know the saying, it’s the thought that counts? While that is true, be mindful of what your gift selection is saying about you. The thing you never want your gift to say is I was too lazy to pay attention.
Also, never undervalue the power of a heartfelt handwritten note, not an email. But honestly, would it kill you to pop a gift card in there?
Gifts You Should Never Give Your Admin Professional
There are some gifts, no matter what industry you work in, that are generally off-limits as gifts for other people you work with or are a terrible idea for Administrative Professionals Day:
- Undergarments of any kind
- Overtly expensive or luxurious items (this may depend on your industry)
- A lunch out they have to plan themselves (I’ve actually seen this happen)
- Flowers when they are allergic (big complaint in my former office)
In the end, everyone just wants to feel valued and appreciated. It is especially important to connect with our professional teams and let them know how important they are to us during times of social distancing. Many Administrative Professionals are now working from home, balancing a new normal with their hectic work life.
Thankfully the power of technology makes it easy to order a gift from the comfort of your laptop and have it shipped directly to them. Administrative Professionals hold a lot of power in the office.
Take our advice, and don’t piss off the gatekeeper.
The Best Gifts for Administrative Professionals:
- Our Office Would Succ Without You gift box
- 3 Piece Garden Hand Tool Set
- 6 Piece Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Garden Tools Set
- Framed Growlight Shelf
- Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Funny Notepads
- Ergonomic Desk Chair
- Tea Drops
- Honey Flight
- Bamboo Tumbler with Tea Infuser
- Coffee Dictionary
- Copper Pour-Over Dripper
- Death Wish Coffee
- Multi-Tool Box of Wonders
- Desktop Adventure Set
- Travel Book
- Dog Cookie Cutters
- Cat Cookie Cutters
- Dessert & Baking Salt Set
- Fiesta Pet Collection
- Pet Renaissance Masterpiece
- Custom Painterly Pet Portraits
- Gift Card