April 6, 2009

Giving Green for Recognition during Administrative Professionals Week

Green can mean different things in business today, as can reward and recognition. Rewards are a form of recognition and they can be monetary or take the form of gifts. Green can mean money or it can be an ecological or economical contribution. Since April 19-25, 2009 will be Administrative Professionals Week, with the main day for recognition on Wednesday, April 22 (formerly know as Secretary’s Day) consider that April 22 is also Earth Day this year and Arbor Day just happens to fall on the 24th. So why not recognize the special contribution your administrative staff gives you by offering green options or other alternative gift ideas?

For years flowers have been given to secretaries and clerks, which are always appreciated. However flowers may only last the week in which they are given. So the only remembrance maybe the empty vase or container they were in. Consider giving a nice houseplant or plant arrangement instead. This lasts for months as a cheery reminder of the recognition and appreciation on the desk or in the office area of the recipient. Also, plants also help reduce carbon monoxide and other pollutants in the area and refresh oxygen.

If you want to make the recognition more personal (as in the 3 P’s of Rewards and Recognition), you will need to find out what the recipient wants or enjoys doing. For instance, is there something the person needs to make their job easier or more pleasant? This type of reward is for personal productivity and can be a book, specialized office supplies or equipment, or simply a nice desk accessory. To personalize it more, does the person have a hobby? If they like gardening then a plant still works but maybe give a shrub that is flowering for their office now that they could put in their garden after the blooms are gone to enjoy in future years. Do they like to cook or consider their self to be a foodie? If yes, then maybe they would appreciate some gourmet food item or cooking utensil – visit a gourmet shop and ask for green ideas or items that make kitchen chores faster and easier. If the individual’s family or friends outside of work is often spoken of, then consider giving tickets to a group or outdoor activity or maybe a very nice frame they can put a photo in. Another option is to offer them a special daycation they can take off work to enjoy alone or with others. Be sure to keep green in mind when selecting the gifts, green being both cost and good for the environment.

For ideas on what your office staff can do together for Earth Day, see last year’s post Greening the office with the 3 R’s.

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