Gifts for Administrative Professionals

If your desk doesn't look like this, perhaps your Administrative Professional deserves some thanks!

Every year, the fourth week of April is designated as Administrative Professionals’ Week and this year April 25th specifically is Administrative Professionals’ Day. So who is it in your business who takes care of all the stuff you don’t have time for? You know, the organizing of files (so your office doesn’t look like this), booking flights, scheduling appointments, handling all the details so nothing falls through the cracks and you get to do what you’re so good at.

I guarantee your Admin knows all about this day and if you don’t acknowledge, well, let’s just say you may want to handle your own travel plans next trip, lest you be put on a schedule with 3 connecting flights and tight connection times. Ha Ha!

You may be tempted to wait to the last minute and then pick up a box of chocolates. Oh, but wait. I said Administrative Professionals’ Day, not Valentine’s Day! Don’t go there.

A nice lunch out? Sure, that could work

  1. If you work in the same office. Many people have virtual assistants or don’t work in the same geographic location. And
  2. If your admin considers lunch with the boss a delightful treat.

If you really want to send the right message, a message of appreciation and gratitude for what she or he does for you day in and day out, here’s a better Administrative Professionals Day gift idea. Gratitude Cookies from Zen Rabbit. Or maybe Gratitude Cookies and Zen Crunch, together – they do make a nice combo package.

Money Trees bring good luck & prosperity to those who keep them in their offices

Or perhaps a very cool Money Tree?

Since taking care of a gift for your Administrative Professional is NOT something you can delegate to your Administrative Professional (please!), you need to take action NOW while it’s fresh in your mind. April 25th is approaching faster than you think and you do NOT want to be caught short.

Check out the gift packages at and get free shipping on orders placed by April 18, 2012.

Tis The Season To Spread A Little Joy Among Retail Clerks

The elves and I have been super busy packing holiday orders, so when I saw this article by my associate Ross Reck on his blog, I thought it was so very kind of Ross to write something that would save me from having to write my own post today. 🙂 Remember, my friends, show a little kindness and gratitude for the clerks!

This is the time of the year when retail clerks catch a lot of undeserved verbal abuse from the people they’re trying to serve.  Stores are crowded, people are in a hurry, check-out lines are long and tempers are short.  Under these circumstances, a kind word or gesture from you can brighten a retail clerk’s day.

I read where one person carried small packets of M&M’s in his pocket to give to clerks as he was going through the check-out process.  He would simply put it in their hand and say, “I hope your day is going well.”  Showing an interest in their welfare can also brighten their day.  During last year’s holiday season, I was checking out in a grocery store and I asked the clerk how her day was going.

She responded with, “Wow!  Somebody asking me how my day is going; now there’s a switch!”  We then proceeded to have a very pleasant conversation.  Several days later, I was back at that same grocery store and the check-out lines were long.  That same clerk spotted me and said, “I’ll open my register for you. Come with me.”  I then let her know how much I appreciated her kindness.  She looked at me and said, “We always remember the nice ones.”  So, take the time to spread a little joy among retail clerks this holiday season.  It will brighten their day and yours as well.

Dr. Ross Reck is the coauthor of Instant Turnaround!, REVVED! and the best selling The Win-Win Negotiator.  He is also the author of Turning Your Customers into Your Sales Force, The X-Factor and his very popular newsletter:  Ross Reck’s Weekly Reminder.

It’s Customer Service Week

This is Customer Service Week. Now you might think that every week, or every day, is about providing excellent customer service. That’s what I would say too. But this week is actually more about recognizing the people on your team who work with your customers and help ensure that they are properly taken care of.

If you have people who service your customers, this week is a great time to:

  • Boost morale, motivation and teamwork.
  • Reward frontline reps.
  • Increase company-wide awareness of the importance of delivering super customer service.
  • Thank colleagues in other departments for their support.
  • Remind customers of your team’s commitment to creating raving fans.

There are a million ways to show your appreciation for your fantastic team members. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Throw a party and provide breakfast, lunch or afternoon treats.
  • Hand out certificates of appreciation.
  • Bring in a massage therapist to provide seated or chair massages.
  • Play games or other fun activities and award prizes.
  • Give away special gifts (Gratitude Cookies or Zen Crunch make an especially nice gesture).

It’s not so much about what you choose to do, as much as that you do something to recognize the efforts of your customer service team.

Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation

The solution is not to do more of the WRONG things, like threatening people with a sharper stick.

Friend and colleague John Geraghty posted a link to this TED video on his Facebook page a few days ago. It’s Dan Pink talking about businesses’ misunderstanding of how to motivate people. He presents evidence that the way most do business today is outdated and their failure to update is costing them tons of money, directly and in lost productivity. The solution is not to “entice people with a sweeter carrot.” The solution is to build an entirely new operating system around intrinsic motivation. Good stuff. Watch it, learn something, implement!

Since I can’t figure out how to get the actual video to show up in this blog post, Click Here to See Dan Pink’s Ted Talk

Administrative Professionals Day / Week

Heads up ~ The week of April 18-24th is Administrative Professionals Week and April 21st is Administrative Professionals Day. Started in 1952, as National Secretaries Week / Day, it was organized to call attention to the value and contributions of administrative professionals in the workplace. Over the years, this has become one of the largest workplace observances and is celebrated worldwide during the last full week of April.

Today, there are more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, and 8.9 million people working in various administrative support roles. More than 475,000 administrative professionals are employed in Canada. Millions more administrative professionals work in offices all over the world. (this info comes from the International Association of Administrative Professionals.)

Think about it, how much more difficult would your job be if not for your fantastic administrative support people? Since gifts are by far the most common way of giving recognition to these most important people on your staff, check out these gift ideas:

Afternoon Indulgence package

Afternoon Indulgence=Cookies & Tea

Zen Crunch

Zen Crunch in Velvet Box

Gratitude Cookies & Chocolate sauce

Gratitude Cookies & Chocolate Sauce

Rewarding Your MVP

Last night after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, game MVP quarterback Eli Manning was awarded a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid as a gesture of recognition for a job well done. Who are the MVPs on your team and what are you doing to reward their efforts? I’m not saying you need to give away cars to show your thanks. But your business will benefit when you give some kind of recognition to the people who work with and for you.The other day someone was telling me about an article he read that explained how different generations of employees need different levels of recognition. It said that people over 55 think they’re doing a good job as long as they’re not being yelled at. People ages 35-55 like an occasional pat on the back and acknowledgement of their contribution. And workers in their twenties and early thirties need consistent encouragement and to continually be told how well they’re doing. I don’t know how true or valid these “findings” are, but the bottom line is everyone needs to know they are on the right track.

So whether it’s verbal praise, a box of cookies or a new car, the important thing is to make sure your team players know how valuable they are to the team’s success.