Wednesday, April 24th, is Administrative Professionals Day, set aside to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals.

The idea for the day began in 1952 with Mary Barrett, president of the National Secretaries Association, now called IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals), and C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation. Both served on a council addressing a national shortage of skilled office workers.

In 1955, the observance date of National Secretaries Week was moved to the last full week of April. The name was changed to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981, and became Administrative Professionals Week in 2000 to encompass the expanding responsibilities and wide-ranging job titles of administrative support staff.

The IAAP created National Secretaries Week (now Administrative Professionals Week) with two objectives in mind: to recognize “the secretary, upon whose skills, loyalty, and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend,” and to call attention “through favorable publicity, to the tremendous potential of the secretarial career.” Today, it is one of the largest workplace observances and is celebrated worldwide through community events, social gatherings, and individual corporate activities.

For the people who enhance your workplace and provide valuable support and expertise, here are three ways to show your appreciation:

1. Take them out to a nice restaurant for lunch

2. Let them take off half the day or leave in the early afternoon

3. Give them a gift they will love, such as an American Express gift card or another or a gift card to their favorite store.

It’s important to recognize those people who help you and your business in countless ways. Don’t forget about these valuable personnel during Administrative Professionals Day on April 24.

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