Office Management: Secretary's Day Activity And Appreciation Ideas

Go all out for Secretary's Day. Let your secretary know just how much you appreciate her efforts.

Old time movies portray secretaries as doormats. They existed only to perform the relentless commands of their bosses. They were unappreciated, not respected, and more than likely underpaid. Enter the real world. Secretaries do perform a plethora of tasks for their bosses, ranging from technical business operations to making coffee and opening the mail. Regardless of the skill level involved in their jobs, secretaries are noted for their loyalty, discretion, and allegiance--in addition to their business skills. This Secretary's Day, honor the secretaries in your office building with a celebration worthy of their commitments.

Sure, a fresh floral arrangement is appreciated. In fact it's almost a requirement. Every worthy secretary should find one awaiting her arrival at work on Secretary's Day. However, don't stop there. It's time to personalize the "holiday" and show some true respect and appreciation.

Obviously your secretary knows the ins and outs of your business--and most likely your personal--life. What exactly do you know about her life outside the office? Prior to Secretary's Day, it's imperative to ask a few questions, outline a few details, and start the creative process flowing.

Does your secretary have a family? Check with a spouse or children. Ask what hobbies and other leisure activities your secretary indulges in. Of course, a truly caring boss will already know these things, because he or she will engage in frequent personal conversations with the secretary. The working relationship will of course have taken a turn toward camaraderie and that will include a respectful personal interest. In extreme cases where this transition hasn't transpired, resort to sleuthing. In addition to asking family and friends, check out your secretary's surroundings. Look for photos, mementos, reading material and accessories. Note her (or his!) personal fashion style. These are all good clues to what's important to your secretary.

Once determining what personal slant your gift will take, be sure to keep the following guidelines in mind. The gift must be tasteful. It must be generous enough to reflect your genuine appreciation. It shouldn't be ridiculously indulgent. For example, lingerie would be totally inappropriate. A gift to the secretary's favorite clothing shop would be lovely. A $20 token of appreciation is rather mundane. A $5000 cruise is a bit over the top. Using these sensible guidelines, select an appropriate gift. Now, let's move on to the celebration.

Depending on the type of office you inhabit, decide whether your Secretary's Day celebration and activities will be held in house or outside at a restaurant or other meeting place. If your business employs just one or two secretaries, your options are wider. If the celebration is to include a vast assortment of secretaries, an outside venue is a better option.

In addition to each secretary starting the day with a fresh floral arrangement on the desk, begin by tastefully decorating the office in honor of the day. A few deliberately placed signs alert visitors to the honors bestowed for the day. If the secretaries make the coffee, surprise them by arriving early and making the coffee yourself. In fact, serve your secretary a hot cup of coffee. Why not top it off with a delectable pastry or some fresh fruit, too?

When it's time for mundane tasks to be performed, do the jobs yourself and indulge your secretary in a few minutes of relaxation. Consider using the services of a temporary agency for part of the day to give your secretary a break from some of the more tedious duties.

Make it clear that lunch is on the house today. Either arrange for a spectacular catered event at the office, or a personal elegant feast in a fine restaurant. During this meal, mention several of the things you most appreciate about your secretary.

When presenting a gift at the end of the day, include a card or letter that conveys your true appreciation. Some bosses like to present the gift publicly, and invite other office staff and sometimes even the secretary's family in for the event. Public praise often boosts morale. If your secretary needs or deserves such a boost, present the gift as an award, accompanied by accolades and applause.

Certainly in order to celebrate Secretary's Day, your secretary has to come to work. But end the day on an even more positive note. Suggest that your secretary leave early. Whether you can spare him or her for an hour or an afternoon--the extra time off with pay--is certain to be well accepted.

Involve the entire office in your celebration by having sporadic times throughout the day when the staff members slip notes or cards to the secretaries expressing their gratitude or something special they noticed about their work. Ask staff members to contribute to an office gift. Bring a large decorative basket and announce the theme. Ask employees to contribute something that fits in with the basket's theme. Present the basket--along with the personal gift--before the secretary leaves for the day.

If these efforts sound extravagant, take heed. Simply reflect on how smooth your business runs thanks to the efforts of your secretary or secretaries. Now imagine it running in their absence. Your efforts will seem miniscule in comparison to the performance you've observed throughout the year.

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