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What Is the History of Administrative Professionals Day?

If you work at a business, you probably have administrative professionals who help your company run smoothly. Administrative Professionals Day, on the Wednesday of the last full week of April, is a time to celebrate these professionals who work as the glue keeping a business together. Admin Professionals Day has been celebrated since 1952, when Secretary's Day was part of National Secretaries Week, promoted by the National Secretaries Association that was founded in 1942. Since 2000, the celebration has been called Administrative Professionals Day, and is part of Administrative Professionals Week the last full week of every April.

Let's take a look at the history of Administrative Professionals Day, how the role of administrative professionals has evolved, and why showing administrative professionals appreciation is vital for organizations of all types

How Admin Professionals Day Evolved

The noted work of secretaries dates back to the 15th century and earlier. In the 1880s, more clerical roles emerged in various types of workplaces, as the prominence of typewriters in offices helped support more secretarial positions. In the 1950s, after World War II, Time reports that the number of post-war businesses were increasing, which also led to an increased demand for secretarial help.

This also led to more women entering the workforce than ever before. While secretary positions during the 50s and 60s were overwhelmingly filled by female professionals, women's liberation groups fought for equal rights for women in the 1970s. This related to increased numbers of women demanding that secretaries be respected in the workplace. Encouragingly, the National Secretaries Association at the time reported that half of its members aspired to work toward management positions, and more training courses covered advanced topics like accounting. As computers became commonplace in the workplace, secretaries' roles evolved even more, moving from beyond taking notes with shorthand writing to including much more diverse duties.

Today, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP, formerly the National Secretaries Association) serves as a nonprofit professional association that enables members to network and learn from each other and from news and trainings from the organization. The goal of the organization is to advocate for administrative professionals to become leaders within their organizations. Considering the integral roles they play and various stakeholders they work with, it's no wonder admin professionals are some of the most well-respected positions in an organization. Today's admin professionals are increasingly diverse in terms of demographics and professional backgrounds, and many move into leadership positions at their companies and beyond.

The IAAP reports there are more than 22 million office support and admin professionals working in the United States today. Businesses that are interested in partnering with IAAP to promote Admin Professionals Week can contact the organization.

What Is the Typical Work of Admin Professionals?

The work of administrative professionals is as varied as the employers they work for. In addition to titles such as secretary or administrative assistant, these professionals may have titles like office coordinator, executive assistant, office manager, or administrative specialist. Administrative professionals as defined by the IAAP are typically responsible for administrative tasks and information coordination to support an office environment.

Some of the typical duties of administrative professionals may include:

  • Calendar management
  • Communications management
  • Project management
  • Report coordination
  • Equipment management
  • Expense report processing
  • Inventory management
  • Billing processing
  • Travel planning

Amid all the various tasks an admin professional may tackle in their role, one thing is consistent: no two shifts are ever the same. Working as an admin professional gives other employees the ability to connect with various departments, often have close contact with top executives, and learn the inner workings of a company. It's an exciting and stimulating position to be celebrated.

How to Show Admin Appreciation

Much of the work of admin professionals occurs behind-the-scenes to many employees. However, this work is essential in order to keep operations optimal. Without the work of admin professionals, projects may never be able to be started, budgets may be disorganized, and work with executives can be stalled. The achievements of admin professionals touch the entire organization, whether employees realize it or not.

These important accomplishments are ideal to recognize on Admin Day, and throughout Administrative Professionals Week. Also, throughout the year, executives and employees can show admin appreciation in the following ways:

  • Recognize admins at team meetings
  • Send out a thank-you email pointing out the specific contribution of an admin professional
  • Celebrate an admin professional's work anniversary
  • Spotlight an admin professional in a company newsletter or website

Make admin professional recognition more meaningful by using the person's name in recognition, acknowledging the direct impact of their work, and showing genuine thanks for all they do. Pairing the recognition of secretary day with a thoughtful gift they'll love displaying or using makes admin appreciation extra-special.

Get Ideas for Admin Professionals Day

Now that you know the history of Administrative Professionals Day and why these employees are so integral to an organization's success, get inspired with ideas to recognize admins. Successories has thousands of fun and thoughtful admin assistant recognition ideas. Be sure to show your gratitude on Admin Professionals Day April 25, 2018, and give tokens of your appreciation year-round to reinforce great work.