Administrative professionals are often organizational maestros, quietly but prominently ensuring colleagues hit their marks and come together at the right time. At the executive level, great executive assistants (EAs) lessen the task load of the business leaders they support while advancing the company’s mission.
To recognize and celebrate the contributions these professionals bring to their organizations, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) established National Secretaries Week in 1952, which was renamed Administrative Professionals Week in 2000.
In the U.S., Administrative Professionals Week is the last full week of April, and Administrative Professionals Day (some people might shorthand it as “admin day”) is observed on the Wednesday of that week. In 2023, Administrative Professionals Day falls on April 26.
Gift Ideas for Administrative Professionals Day
There are many ways for you to recognize your executive assistant on Administrative Professionals Day 2023. Taking the time to get to know your executive assistant and their interests outside of the office will help guide you toward the right gift ideas that acknowledge and celebrate the contributions they bring to your organization.
A few gift ideas for your executive assistant include:
- Lunch at an upscale restaurant
- An afternoon off of work to enjoy a spa treatment
- A personally curated gift basket
- A monetary bonus
- Enrollment in a career-development workshop or course
See our full list of Gift Ideas for Your Executive Assistant.
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What Exactly Is an Executive Assistant or Administrative Professional? What Do Executive Assistants Do?
There are more than 3.4 million administrative assistants and secretaries employed in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Professional titles vary: administrative assistant, office manager, executive assistant, personal assistant, secretary, and even chief of staff.
The work of administrative professionals largely prioritizes interpersonal and written communication skills, as well as organizational abilities. Their responsibilities may include fielding calls and emails, coordinating travel and meetings, crafting presentations, and managing a wide variety of day-to-day office needs. The work they do is often what holds a business’s operations together — and in the case of executive assistants, what keeps their executives focused on the bigger picture.
The worth of executive assistants is substantial. In a Harvard Business Review article, Melba J. Duncan, president of executive search firm The Duncan Group and a former executive assistant, explains the return on investment in a great executive assistant: “Consider a senior executive whose total compensation package is $1 million annually, who works with an assistant who earns $80,000. For the organization to break even, the assistant must make the executive 8% more productive than he or she would be working solo — for instance, the assistant needs to save the executive roughly five hours in a 60-hour workweek. In reality, good assistants save their bosses much more than that.”
An executive assistant who’s well-matched with an executive is able to pivot and adapt appropriately, taking certain tasks off of the executive’s plate and acting as not just an assistant but a strategic partner. This working relationship propels an executive’s productivity, building on the company’s success.
Executive assistants and administrative professionals have been indispensable resources in companies for decades. While their work should be acknowledged and appreciated regularly, one day each year offers the opportunity to shine a spotlight on their excellence. So, be sure to celebrate your administrative and executive assistants and wish them a happy Administrative Professionals Day 2023!