Your support team are a vital component of your firm’s productivity: it’s important to show you value them throughout the year, however consider making a special effort this week because Wednesday 22nd April is Administrative Professional’s Day.
Celebrating great work and showing gratitude in the time of a pandemic definitely needs a bit of creative thought. You’re not physically in the office to walk up to that person’s desk to deliver an in-person “thank you”, a bunch of flowers or bottle of wine.
Here are just a few tips on how to show your team you have appreciated their support, especially during the last few tough weeks. We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments:
RECOGNISE GOOD SUPPORT PUBLICLY
If your EA or Assistant is part of LinkedIn, how about writing and posting a recommendation on their profile this week? If you’re communicating with internal colleagues or externally, be sure to give praise where it’s due. This could be thanking your Assistant in emails exchanged with a client or internal contact if a meeting has been executed seamlessly or a presentation has packed a punch.
ORGANISE A TEAM SOCIAL
Make sure engagement and office culture is kept up with virtual social events on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts or WebEx. This could be a quiz, company-themed bingo or charades – all of which have an added entertainment factor when combined with the joys and technical quirks of being remote. Set a time, get teams organised (we love the personal touch of seeing and interacting with our teams’ friends and family as things get competitive), and enjoy some relaxed time together.
SEND AN ELECTRONIC GIFT CARD TO ARRIVE TODAY
Whilst stores are closed, so many businesses can provide a same day gift card electronically for online purchases. Whilst Amazon is a ‘safe’ choice, it doesn’t feel very personal somehow. Favourites from the ISE team include SpaceNK, Lululemon (via CashStar), Zara Home and Patch Plants. You can cater to the beauty-obsessed, the fitness lover, the home bod, and the green-fingered respectively with that selection!
SCHEDULE A SURPRISE FOOD OR LUNCH DELIVERY
What will your team be really missing from their Central London lunch haunts? Sushi? Bao buns? Burritos? Surprise your Administrators with a meal at home using a delivery service such as Deliveroo (who are offering contact-free delivery to help fight the spread of the virus).
We’ve also loved the service from Pasta Evangelists, who will deliver handmade artisan pasta and pot ready sauces, through the letterbox. Five minute high-end cuisine!
EXTEND AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SOME FREE TIME
Offer your Assistant or admin team a “free day off” to enjoy some downtime from their daily tasks. With everybody working from home, this is often coupled with juggling childcare or making deliveries for elderly relatives. Show that you understand the need for flexibility right now by encouraging them to take a full or half-day off, without using holiday entitlement.
Nothing makes a support staff team feel more valued than training and learning opportunities. Demonstrate how much their efforts mean to you and the rest of the professional team by investigating in learning opportunities that they can pursue remotely.
Do they want to be able to better communicate with the Paris office? Duolingo, Rosetta Stone and Babbel are all highly rated platforms by Forbes. If they’ve always wanted to improve their PowerPoint skills or become a whiz in building lists in SalesForce – now’s the perfect time to get onto the e-learning platforms. If you don’t know what your PA has been dying to skill-up on – ask them!
Finally, in any thank you, be clear about the value your PA or admin team adds to your business or division. What do you appreciate? Is it what they bring to keeping the team connected? Their willingness to go the extra mile? Their attention to detail that spots when you’ve made an oversight in the schedule or in that key pitchbook?
A thank you feels much more thoughtful and heartfelt when it is specific.