Administrative Professionals Week
About this time every year since I've started writing this editorial, I've made a point of explaining how important key office personnel are to the success of every small business. Sometimes I tell stories about phone conversations I have with receptionists that remind me how critical it is to have a friendly, competent person on the receiving end of the initial call made to a business. But I've found over the past few weeks that this upcoming week of recognizing Administrative Professionals seems to be an after-thought to some people.
Other than national holidays, I consider the annual Administrative Professionals Week to be one of the most important events on the business calendar. There is nobody in the office who has the ability to make or break the mood, pace and productivity of a work environment like the person in charge - second only to the administrative professional who knows more about what happens in the office than anyone.
I remember when I worked my first real job more than 20 years ago in the Chippewa Valley. I was a part-time news reporter for a small group of radio stations and began to see how a real business operated.
The "secretary " was Nancy. She was not only competent and friendly, but was the best multi-tasker I had ever met. Nancy was responsible for not only answering the five phone lines to the two radio stations, but she had to sort the mail, prepare daily afternoon pick-ups for FedEx and UPS and type correspondence for manager and sales staff with tight deadlines. On top of it all, Nancy was constantly interrupted by those of us in the news and on-air staff who wanted to take a break and converse.
The term "secretary " is passe' now. But Administrative Professional is probably a title that doesn't fit the job description either. Yet, just about every successful business has that key individual who helps make things run smoothly on a daily basis. It's important that those types of workers are acknowledged during the week of April 23-27.
For some reason, there are calendars in the workplace that don't indicate that the upcoming week is an important time when everyone in the office should take time out to thank those who do more and know more than anyone else. And because many of those key people probably don't receive the true value of their worth monetarily, it's important that we all make sure they're remembered properly.
So here's a tip: Flowers, a plant or a card will probably be well-received. Otherwise, I'm sure a simple "thank you " will mean just as much.