Oct. 22, 2021


Administrative Professionals Day: Appreciation and Celebration

The most common job for American women is that of secretary and administrative assistant, and 96% of administrative assistants are women. Administrative Professionals’ Day (also known as Administrative Assistant Day, Secretaries Day or Admin Day) is Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Since Administrative Professionals Day was created in 1952, administrative titles and responsibilities in the modern workforce have changed, yet the purpose of Administrative Professionals Day remains the same: to celebrate and shed light on administrative professionals’ value in the workplace. This day of recognition represents an opportunity to highlight the important role of assistants, receptionists, and secretaries, i.e., hardworking women, in our organizations.

As we celebrate Administrative Professionals Day, I wanted to focus on the importance of appreciation. Appreciation is defined as recognition of the magnitude, significance, value, or quality of things or people, a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude. People have an inherent need to experience a feeling of competence and belonging in their lives, including their workplaces. The results of recent UNLV surveys and listening tours indicate that some of our employees do not feel that their contributions are valued, recognized, or perceived as instrumental to the success of the organization. 

We all have a role to play in building a climate of positive regard, respect, and appreciation. When others express appreciation for one’s contributions, it reinforces the sense of competence and belonging. When employees experience appreciation though recognition of their performance, it positively affirms that their work is valued and they are perceived as important to the organization. Even small appreciative gestures go a long way to advance productivity, increase performance and improve morale. The simplest and sometimes the most effective form of appreciation is giving positive feedback or acknowledgment. “Thank you for your effort” or “You’re doing a really good job” goes a long way, whether delivered in person, electronically or in a handwritten note.

Administrative roles are incredibly diverse — and these professionals often go above and beyond their regular duties. Administrative professionals provide real benefit to the people they support and the university/community at large, and their work should not go unnoticed. And given the important role many administrative staff play in assisting their teams in today’s environment, they deserve their time in the spotlight more than ever.

Are there team members you’d like to honor? Even with many employees working remotely, there are still ways to celebrate the administrative assistants with whom you regularly work. Support your colleagues; be a force for creating positive institutional change.

Contributed by: Theresa Boucher, Executive Assistant, Lee Business School, Classified Staff Council, Women's Council
*Kurtz, A. (2013).  Why secretary is still the top job for women. CNN Business.



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