Administrative Professionals’ Day

A brief history…and a few ideas

During and after World War II, American businesses were feeling the effects of Depression-era birthrate decline coupled with a booming post-war economy.

To help fill that void, the National Secretaries Association, now the International Association of Administrative Professionals, began formally recognizing the contributions of administrative personnel to attract skilled women to fill those vacant administrative positions.

Ten years later, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles W. Sawyer declared the first National Secretaries Week from June 1–7, 1952, with Wednesday, June 4 designated as National Secretaries’ Day.

These days, businesses across the United States and Canada celebrate the day – now called Administrative Professionals’ Day – on the Wednesday of the last full week of April. The name change reflects the changing roles, expanding job titles and growing responsibilities of today’s administrative professionals. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, secretaries and administrative assistantsheld nearly 4 million U.S. jobs in 2016, ranking one of the largest occupations in the country.

This year, we celebrate Administrative Professionals’ Day on Wednesday, April 25. Many employers use the day to recognize and reward the work of their administrative staff, which includes job titles ranging from administrative and executive assistant to receptionist and office manager.

Whether or not your office celebrates Administrative Professionals’ Day, it is important to remember that administrative professionals – just like all employees – should feel valued and important all year long.

How do your administrative professionals want to be recognized during Administrative Professionals Week? Ask them. Or scour the Internet to find dos and don’ts from actual administrative professionals. Ideas include:

  • A card with a sincere hand-written note
  • Lunch out or a catered lunch
  • Gift cards to spas or restaurants / cash
  • Flowers
  • Chocolates
  • Time off / afternoon off
  • Professional training opportunities

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